4 out of 4 stars
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Confucius Analects, written by Raymond K. Li, is a collection of sayings and teachings attributed to Confucius and his disciples. The book details the most important thoughts and ideas of Confucius and also features several conversations between him, his disciples, and other notable people of their time.
Originally written in Chinese, this new translation of Confucius Analects has been written in plain and simple English for the average reader. It also includes commentary and annotations that add much-needed context to some of the teachings. In sum, this book has been written with the aim of helping readers understand and apply the invaluable lessons of Confucianism in their lives.
All in all, I learned so much from the teachings and quotes in the book, as I could relate them to my life. Often, I paused to ponder and reflect on the true meanings of the teachings, which were so inspiring that they have been imprinted on my mind. In fact, one of the most important lessons I took from the book is that one “should have internal substance as well as external sophistication.” What this means is that we should not only strive to improve on our inner qualities but also our external appearance.
Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed the commentary and annotations in the book, and without them, I dare say that I would have missed the true meanings of half of the teachings in the book. This shows just how important they were.
The one thing I liked most was the key lesson that I took from the book. It suggested that we should be pragmatic in life: to change our ways according to prevailing circumstances and to avoid dogmatism. There was also a quote that God helps those who help themselves. I found this to be truly profound and insightful.
Nonetheless, I had one issue with the book. After every quote, the author provided a short biography of every person mentioned and also a translation of every Chinese word present in the quote. Although I found them to be initially helpful, they quickly became tiresome and boring, as some persons and Chinese words were consistently repeated throughout, accompanied by their short biographies and translations. I would have loved it if the author provided only one biography for every person and then referred the reader to the initial biography instead of repeating the same information whenever each person’s name was mentioned.
All things considered, I rate Confucius Analects 4 out of 4 stars. Indeed, my life has been profoundly impacted by the teachings in the book, and although I had one issue with it, I found the issue to be inadequate to affect the perfect rating. Further, I believe the book was exceptionally edited, as I found only one error in it. I would recommend it to anyone who loves reading self-improvement books.
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