13 May Book Review of Stillness is Key by Ryan Holiday
Review written by Shana Schack, SCPL Adult Services Librarian
When I heard that the library was going to close and we would be working from home for an undetermined amount of time, I knew I better grab a few books to prepare. In no way could I have mentally prepared for what was to come – weeks of isolation brought on by COVID-19. But, one book I chose in particular ended up being incredibly relevant for the isolated situation I had found myself: Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday.
Drawing from a dynamic range of celebrated thinkers, from Marcus Aurelius to John F. Kennedy, Anne Frank to Fred Rogers, Shakespeare to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Holiday states that stillness is being “steady as the world spins around you. To act without frenzy. To hear only what needs to be heard. To possess quietude – exterior and interior – on command.” Holiday goes on to outline a pathway for us to successfully attain this way of life such as avoiding ego, finding a hobby, addressing your anger, and taking a walk.
I found this book to be intellectually stimulating, with plenty of tangible ways to help us bring calm into our lives, especially during a pandemic. I was fortunate enough to have read it during the COVID-19 experience of isolation and I found it to be incredibly helpful during those trying times inspiring stillness even with the constant clammer of teens, animals, and a husband in the background.
If this sounds like something you would enjoy, I recommend checking this book out for free at the Library and if it is on hold, it is well worth the wait!