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11
4.3 out of 5 stars
Solitude
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2011
This book begins with the Author wondering 'I write of solitude amid the sounds of breaking glass, roaring flames and angry shouts. Am I wasting my time?'
He is talking of the recent London riots, he goes on to say 'These days will pass but others will come. Personally and nationally, we will again stand frightened and amazed at what we and other people do'
He asks us to consider that our actions come out of our abilty to sit quietly with ourselves and suggests that if we are unable to do this our actions are likely to be reactive and often harmful to ourselves and others.

This book invites one to step into solitude and goes on to guide in ways of doing this.

I found this book simple to understand, yet deeply powerful. It is in the form of 53 short chapters that encourage reflection on themes that would be helpful to anyone who is on a honest journey to get to know themselves better.

It explains what solitude is, why it is helpful and how it can bring healing. It explains how it is possible even to bring moments of solitude into our busy days.
I am now on my fourth reading and am still finding new and rewarding insights.

I enjoyed the conversational form of the text and liked that quotes from different people, centuries and cultures were used, alongside the authors own deep insights. For me things that have been known by others in the past, coming to together in the moment 'now' and still ringing true, always has a powerful effect.

I would reccomend this book as a gift to oneself, Like me, I hope you will find it will keep on giving.

I'll end this review with one last quote from the book 'In solitude we lead our desires back to love, our mind back to stillness and our attention back to the present. In so doing, we find ourselves in balance and harmony with the universe once again'.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2012
I didn't find this book, this book found me.

This book is an excellent gateway to a diverse but interconnected set of concepts that are so meaningful that it could actually change the way you view things.

It is written in a light and highly digestible way, but is by no means lacking in depth or punch.

If you are open to the possibility that your mind might sometimes be out of control, might be controlling you (with exotic consequences), and that balance can be restored through a process of waking up, then you will get a lot from this book.

If you are open to the possibility that many of the things we feel we know might be an inaccurate simulation of how things really are, then you will eat this book up.

For any reader it's possible to find a large number of reasons to appreciate this book.

Thank you Simon Parke for taking the time to articulate your wonderful insights and share them with us.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
As I am getting older, I find I need solitude in my life more and more and this book is an absolutely fantastic reference book. You can pick it up anywhere, re-read it, etc. I have only just started reading it and I find that it is calming me down and making me aware of the things I need to do in order to gain that solitude. A must have for anyone who is looking for calm in their lives.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2011
In this book, Simon Parke explores solitude as an "active path to inner stillness". Written in the form of a dialogue, it is a rich compendium of ideas, illustrated with quotations from a variety of sources including Lady Gaga, Aldous Huxley and the Bible, as well as Simon Parke's anecdotes and vivid, sometimes poetic word pictures. For those seeking, or enduring, solitude it is not so much a self-help book as a warm and entertaining companion. Some of my favourite bits : In Chapter 28 "Creativity is not about our ego or about making our mark on the world. Rather, it's about liberating ourselves and those around us into the present moment." I couldn't agree more! In Chapter 10, you could try the test to see whether your ego is alive and well - simple and surprising . Many of the ideas are not necessarily related to the theme of solitude - for example the difference between knowledge and wisdom (Chapter 18), and many more. For that reason, I wonder whether the title does the book justice. I haven't finished it yet. It's the kind of book you can pick up and put down, dip into on any page. I will read it all, though. There's something in here for absolutely everyone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 December 2011
With this beautiful book you can enter in to your world of solitude. It is insightful, poetic and simply written. If you are looking for peace, this is the book for you! There are pauses throughout the book giving you time to think about what has been discussed. There is nothing wrong with being alone, a scarey concept but amazingly neccesary!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2011
This is truly an effective, wise and accessible guide to loving ourselves by knowing ourselves as fully human and not as agents of economic expediencies, or victims of media frenzy or as mugs mugged by celebrity and reality tv.

It is a book that feels therapeutic, offering a healing and wholeness that grounds and roots us in a place firmly on earth and yet blissfully and challengingly in a place of endless possibility.

It is a book about being still, about being oursevelves and knowing that we are the sole inhertiors of an extraordinary gift of life, yet more than that because we share it with those who are themselves sole inheritors too! This is a book about making the most of that gift for ourselves and also for those who share it with us.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2012
i didnt really no what to expect fron this book i read the reviews in the daily mail and being on my own i thought id give it a go.
for any man or woman who likes there own company or just wishes to be on there own i would highly recomend this book i continuly find myself saying so this is why i do this is think this and everything simon says is so true its helped me through a very sad time i love solitude
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2012
Because I don't get a lot of Solitude in my life it has taken me a year to read 'Solitude'. Life events came and went and the book stayed under my bed ready for me to reach out to whenever I needed to 'tune in' to that quiet place within myself - on the many days when time for meditation evaded me. The pages that I turned had an uncanny knack of answering/exploring the question/dilemma that I had been pondering/facing - one time 'death' and another simply 'why' people who love each other continue to slag each other off!! (cannot remember the chapter). For me the pages reveal deep wisdom that has been carefully nurtured, gathered and harvested by Simon and then simply shared. I admit to being a Simon fan - for me his words resonate truth...of course truth is an individual taste but I found Solitude is the perfect book for times when 'Solitude' is difficult to find.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2012
This book is another little gem from Simon Parke. Easy to read but with lots of depth, I, like another reviewer on here, also found it very calming. As someone who fears loneliness, this book on solitude gave me a completely new perspective. Although it is relatively simple to read, it needs time to contemplate and absorb the messages so is best read a little at a time - and revisited. I loved this book and would highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
The rhetorical device of author and conversation partner works well for easy reading but lets Parke off having to create a reasoned argument. Essentially a set of strung-together quotes and frothy daily mail speak in defence of self-awareness, integrity and mindfulness. He makes no real case for solitude except when citing Anthony Storr, who argued for disconnection as a 'way out' from disruptive dependencies and a way forward for creative personalities to discover a personal voice and vocation. A quick read, but not a book to reopen.
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