Philisophical musings, of a sort

A Reader's Respite is waxing a bit philosophical about books these days. Why, Kierkegaard might have wondered, are books about Tudor vampires so popular?

Immanual Kant may have wondered whether an author has a moral responsibility to refrain from writing bad historical fiction.

Or perhaps not.

Would Locke have said that each of the over 400 million people who have read Harry Potter come away with a different perception and therefore, a different reality? Or would Nietzsche have said none of it matters since we're all just going to trample over each other to get our hands on the newest Diana Gabaldron book anyway?

somehow, we're just not seeing Nietzsche as a big Outlander fan

Okay, okay, we're not really thinking too much about all of this, but Charlotte Greig's novel, A Girl's Guide to Modern European Philosophy, did get us thinking about our old university philosophy courses. (As it turns out, A Reader's Respite has forgotten most of our edu-ma-cation over the years.)

Greig's charming book recounts the story of Susannah, a young British university student majoring in philosophy during the turbulent 1970's, who plows through life's problems with a decidedly philosophical eye.

Finding herself unsure of her romantic choices and pregnant, Susannah uses her philosophical education to sort out her problems and try to make the right choices in life.

While you shouldn't expect a comprehensive education in philosophical schools of thought here, a general overview and historical perspective is woven into the story line as the reader follows Susannah's life, choices and the consequences.

Would you like to read it? Leave us a comment (all comers welcome, including international!) and on July 28th, we'll draw a random winner who will receive a copy!


  1. I too would like the answers to the first two questions :)

    Thankfully Echo in the Bone is on preorder so I'll miss the stampede.

  2. You totally crack me up! :) I haven't given in and ordered the Diana Gabaldon book yet. I will soon though.

    Oh, and I loved the reference to "edu-ma-cation," - my absolute favorite from Homer is "saxa-ma-phone."

  3. Great review. I would love to read this book. Sounds really interesting. If I don't win it I will obtain it another way.

    Email: thereadingjourney[at]gmail[dot]com

  4. So, so glad I wasn't drinking when I saw your graphic about vampires and Tudors! Hilarious! I'm glad that you enjoyed this book, too. I think I took sociology instead of philosophy in college, but they are not mutually exclusive.

  5. There was absolutely nothing philosophical in my degree is in accounting! It's all black and white baby! Everything has a debit and a credit! Ying and yang. Frick and frack. Vampires and witches. Claire and Jamie. BTW, do you happen to know if the audio will come out simultaneously with the book? It is thus that I am waxing about these days...

  6. Can I haz book, plz?

    I think Nietzsche would love reading romance novels. He was a total romantic!

  7. I plan to listen to Echo in the Bone and will digitally download (if possible) thereby missing the midnight lines and dress-up parties that will likely be held the world over in anticipation of the release.

    I think I took some kind of philosophy course way back in the early 70s when I was in college (yes, I'm an old person). Please don't enter me the drawing.

  8. Love those pictures! It would be interesting to read about someone that actually uses her edu-ma-cation in philosophy.

  9. I already have this book so no need to enter me in the contest ...

    I have to say that your review post is much more interesting than the book itself. :)

  10. I heartily agree about the musings of WHY do we need Vampires in the tudor books.. Zombies in the Austen sequels.. just yuck for me.

    I am totally skipping the Outlander stuff.. I really don't need another huge series in my life right now.
    But thanks for hosting it!

    You are giving away an interesting looking philosophical-pregnant-musings book there and I would like to be entered for that one.

  11. sounds original. I'm interested in the author's definition of 'modern' philosophers, if Kant is included! But it's been a long time since I wandered through my 'Intro to Philosophy' authors so this could be interesting.

    mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

  12. I just found your blog through your 451 Fridays post. I really love it! I think we have similar senses of humor, and I love how yours comes out on your blog :-)

  13. This is too funny - you were my first laugh of the day - thank you for that! :) Include me please int he giveaway!


Fire away!