Aphorisms from A to Z” by Jay Friedenberg

Jay Friedenberg’s “Aphorisms from A to Z” is a book of quotes on subjects that are vital to life.  Topics such as Pride, Humility, Politics and Politicians, Philosophy, Optimism, and countless other subjects.  Friedenberg collected these sayings, quotes and commentaries with the help of a half dozen “Aphorist Scholars”.

More than just a book of quotes, the author begins the book discussing the various types of aphorisms, and a list of five forms of utterance that cause a saying to be an aphorism.  I reference the following from the introduction of the book:  “No matter how you want to refer to them, aphorisms have been thought up and used by individuals throughout recorded human history.  They span most human cultures, countries and geographies…. In fact, there has probably been no major period in history when aphorisms were not being written.”

Friedenberg winds up his introduction with short interviews with six respected academics considered to be expert aphorists.

Early on, Friedenberg notes that aphorisms should be calls to action.  Calls to change our lifestyle, or the path down which we travel.  Calls to make some major change in philosophy or belief, and calls to literal action to improve our culture and community.

This was an extremely interesting book, because the subjects are so varied.  There is a small collection of aphorisms to address almost any subject.  It is obvious that the author invested an incredible amount of time and energy in research and assimilation of these hundreds of aphorisms. 

Always one who has enjoyed quote books and websites with quotes, this fits right there among those.  Friedenberg’s investment was indeed painstaking.

Out of the hundred of quotes I read, here a couple of my favorite’s:

“By studying genius, we better understand stupidity.”

“Life without humor is like dinner without dessert.”

“You are who you are, not who you think you are, unless who you think you are is who you are.”

An enjoyable read that automatically calls for self-reflection.  I highly recommend this book and urge you to obtain it. 

I received an e-copy of this book as an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  There are no personal nor professional connections or expectations between the publisher, author, and this reviewer.  You may also find my review on http://www.GoodReads.com, Amazon.com, and my blog: BookReviewsByJon.WordPress.com.

Thank you.


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