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Tao Te Ching, Laozi

The Tao Te Ching is fundamental to the Taoist school of Chinese philosophy and strongly influenced other schools, such as Legalism and Neo-Confucianism. This ancient book is also central in Chinese religion, not only for Taoism but Chinese Buddhism, which when first introduced into China was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts. Many Chinese artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and even gardeners have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has also spread widely outside East Asia, aided by hundreds of translations into Western languages.

 

The Art of War, Sun Tzu

The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise that was written during the 6th century BC by Sun Tzu. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it has long been praised as the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time.
The Art of War is one of the oldest books on military strategy in the world. It is the first and one of the most successful works on strategy and has had a huge influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, and beyond. Sun Tzu was the first to recognize the importance of positioning in strategy and that position is affected both by objective conditions in the physical environment and the subjective opinions of competitive actors in that environment. He taught that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through a to-do list, but rather that it requires quick and appropriate responses to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled environment, but in a competitive environment,

 

The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli

Il Principe (The Prince) is a political treatise by the Florentine public servant and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. Originally called De Principatibus (About Principalities), it was written in 1513, but not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli's death. The treatise is not representative of the work published during his lifetime, but it is the most remembered, and the work responsible for bringing "Machiavellian" into wide usage as a pejorative term. It has also been suggested by some critics that the piece is, in fact, a satire.

 

The Republic, Plato

The Republic is a Socratic dialogue by Plato, written in approximately 380 BC. It is one of the most influential works of philosophy and political theory, and Plato's best known work. In Plato's fictional dialogues the characters of Socrates as well as various Athenians and foreigners discuss the meaning of justice and examine whether the just man is happier than the unjust man by imagining a society ruled by philosopher-kings and the guardians. The dialogue also discusses the role of the philosopher, Plato's Theory of Forms, the place of poetry, and the immortality of the soul.

 

The Einstein Theory of Relativity, Hendrik Antoon Lorentz

Whether it is true or not that not more than twelve persons in all the world are able to understand Einstein's Theory, it is nevertheless a fact that there is a constant demand for information about this much-debated topic of relativity. The books published on the subject are so technical that only a person trained in pure physics and higher mathematics is able to fully understand them. In order to make a popular explanation of this far-reaching theory available, the present book is published.

 

Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Beyond Good and Evil (German: Jenseits von Gut und Böse), subtitled "Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future" (Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft), is a book by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, first published in 1886.
It takes up and expands on the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but approached from a more critical, polemical direction.
In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche attacks past philosophers for their alleged lack of critical sense and their blind acceptance of Christian premises in their consideration of morality. The work moves into the realm "beyond good and evil" in the sense of leaving behind the traditional morality which Nietzsche subjects to a destructive critique in favour of what he regards as an affirmative approach that fearlessly confronts the perspectival nature of knowledge and the perilous condition of the modern individual.

 

The Kama Sutra, Vatsyayana

The Kama Sutra, is an ancient Indian text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by the Indian scholar Vatsyayana. A portion of the work consists of practical advice on sex. Kāma means sensual or sexual pleasure, and sūtra are the guidlines of yoga, the word itself means thread in Sanskrit.
The Kama Sutra is the oldest and most notable of a group of texts known generically as Kama Shastra). Traditionally, the first transmission of Kama Shastra or "Discipline of Kama" is attributed to Nandi the sacred bull, Shiva's doorkeeper, who was moved to sacred utterance by overhearing the lovemaking of the god and his wife Parvati and later recorded his utterances for the benefit of mankind.

 

The Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura

The Book of Tea was written by Okakura Kakuzo in the early 20th century. It was first published in 1906, and has since been republished many times.
In the book, Kakuzo introduces the term Teaism and how Tea has affected nearly every aspect of Japanese culture, thought, and life. The book is accessibile to Western audiences because Kakuzo was taught at a young age to speak English; and spoke it all his life, becoming proficient at communicating his thoughts to the Western Mind. In his book, he discusses such topics as Zen and Taoism, but also the secular aspects of Tea and Japanese life. The book emphasises how Teaism taught the Japanese many things; most importantly, simplicity. Kakuzo argues that this tea-induced simplicity affected art and architecture, and he was a long-time student of the visual arts. He ends the book with a chapter on Tea Masters, and spends some time talking about Sen no Rikyu and his contribution to the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
According to Tomonobu Imamichi, Heidegger's concept of Dasein in Sein und Zeit was inspired — although Heidegger remains silent on this — by Okakura Kakuzo's concept of das-in-dem-Welt-sein (to be in the being of the world) expressed in The Book of Tea to describe Zhuangzi's philosophy, which Imamichi's teacher had offerred to Heidegger in 1919, after having followed lessons with him the year before.

 

Walden, Henry David Thoreau

Walden (also known as Life in the Woods) by Henry David Thoreau is one of the best-known non-fiction books written by an American. Published in 1854, it details Thoreau's life for two years and two months in second-growth forest around the shores of Walden Pond, not far from his friends and family in Concord, Massachusetts. Walden was written so that the stay appears to be a year, with expressed seasonal divisions. Thoreau called it an experiment in simple living.

Walden is neither a novel nor a true autobiography, but a social critique of the Western World, with each chapter heralding some aspect of humanity that needed to be either renounced or praised. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, and manual for self reliance. (from Wikipedia)

 

Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha is an allegorical novel by Hermann Hesse which deals with the spiritual journey of an Indian boy called Siddhartha during the time of the Buddha.
The book, Hesse's ninth novel, was written in German, in a simple, yet powerful and lyrical, style. It was first published in 1922, after Hesse had spent some time in India in the 1910s. It was published in the U.S. in 1951 and became influential during the 1960s.
The word Siddhartha is made up of two words in the Sanskrit language, siddha (gotten) + artha (meaning or wealth). The two words together mean "one who has found meaning (of existence)" or "he who has attained his goals". The Buddha's name, before his renunciation, was Prince Siddhartha Gautama, later the Buddha. In this book, the Buddha is referred to as "Gotama".
Source: Wikipedia