Cover graphic of The Courage To Be Disliked

The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga


My husband and I tend to read wildly different books. He reads a lot of sci-fi, graphic novels and books about dystopian wilderness, whereas I am more along the lines of cosy reads - crime, romance and a bit of Classics thrown in for good measure. Even when we have linked our kindle libraries, it is a case of Never the Twain Shall meet. He ignores the recommendations for Karen Swan and Agatha Christie and I turn my head away from Isaac Asimov and Joe Hill.

But every now and then he will recommend a title to me and I sit up and listen as he knows what I will like. He also recommended it to our family reading group. Would this come up to the high standard set by American Dirt that we discussed previously?

Read my review of American Dirt

Read my Review of another family book group title - Rules for Perfect Murders

Plot (From the Back of the Book)

Using the theories of Alfred Adler, one of the 3 giants of twentieth century psychology alongside Freud and Jung, a young philosopher and a man have a discussion. Their conversation reveals a profoundly liberating way of thinking by developing the courage to change and to ignore the limitations so frequently imposed upon us, it is possible to find happiness.

My Thoughts

The subtitle to the book is How to Free Yourself, change your life and achieve real happiness and this was certainly a very interesting read. This is non-fiction and is organised into parts and then chapters in the form of dialogue between the Philosopher and 'Youth'. I found that I tended to read a bit and wanted to have time to think about and consider the points raised. I certainly would not contemplate reading this all in one go.

The dialogue between the Philosopher and youth is designed to replicate that between Socrates and Plato. The youth is angry with the philosopher and dissatisfied with his own life. He visits the philosopher to debunk the myths of Adlerian Psychology and through this dialogue comes to open up a bit more about why he is so dissatisfied.

The different parts or 'nights' are themed according to the theory being discussed such as 'Discard other people's tasks' and 'All problems are interpersonal ones'.

And this is a very quiet, very thoughtful book. The Adlerian theories are interesting and as I read a chapter I found myself slowing down, taking time to consider the point being made and hopefully understand them. I did feel calmer and I found myself choosing not to let certain situations bother me that I would have previously got annoyed about.

When I was discussing the book with my family, I thought that the book felt extremely Japanese in nature. There is a strong focus on the now and being surrounded with simple beauty.

Many of the messages spoke to me - the part on anger and allowing events to affect me. Or the idea of vertical vs horizontal relationships blew my mind.

This is a lovely book and we decided to purchase a physical copy and keep it. I do know I will be revisiting certain parts again. There is also a follow up to this book The Courage to be Happy.

I'll be back on Tuesday with a book that has been all over Instagram and I loved it!