The 100 Books Project: Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction.

“Individuals are thus the sole authors in their good or bad fortune.”


“Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction” by Damien Keown

As the title may suggest, this little guide to the basic tenants, beliefs, and history of Buddhism is a very short introduction. It was one of the books required for my university class that introduced me to Buddhism and opened up a new path in my life that had lead to a great deal of serenity, peace, calm, and understanding through some difficult times. Clear and concise, it is a great little tool for refreshing oneself on the founding of this religion and how it applies to modern society.

There isn’t much to say about A Very Short Introduction, except that I would highly recommended to anyone who is curious about Buddhism, or just feels like they could use a little refresher on the essential details of this beautiful, mystic, and engaging religion. Keown writes in a very matter-of-fact and knowledgeable tone, never getting too dry despite being very straight-forward in his approach. The moment of humor are rare, but there are a few wry little comments here and there that make it a little more enjoyable. Clearly, the overview of Buddhism is a very brief one; he only touches on the most important aspects of the religion, but he provides a comprehensive list of suggestions for further reading and exploration. It’s a neat little guide, very useful for me as I’m starting to get back into my meditations and trying to incorporate my Buddhist beliefs more into my every day life to make it happier and more fulfilling.

Part of a series by Oxford Univerity Press, I know I’d be interested in picking up some of the other Very Short Introductions, which seem to cover an incredibly varied range of topics. Plus, they’re all just a little over 100 pages, making them perfect filler books for my quest to hit 100 books in a year.

Books read: 56/100.

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One thought on “The 100 Books Project: Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction.

  1. I love the Very Short Introductions books, I have quite a collection of them already (including this one, although I haven’t read this one yet!)

    I’ve done my flash fiction post using your prompt! hehe 🙂

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