Carpe Diem Regained

UK edition

Read extracts at the book's unique website

US edition

"Brilliant. One of those rare books that forces you to ask what the hell you’re doing with your life.' George Monbiot, The Guardian, Best Holiday Reads 2017

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About Carpe Diem Regained

Carpe Diem Regained is the first ever cultural biography of ‘carpe diem’, and a call to seize back the true meaning of ‘seize the day’.

In our age of distraction, carpe diem matters more than ever, but there’s a problem: this ancient ideal has been hijacked and reduced simply to the instant hit of one-click online shopping and the idea of living mindfully in the here and now.

In this thought-provoking and empowering book, leading popular philosopher Roman Krznaric unveils five very different ways humankind has discovered over the centuries to seize the day that we urgently need to revive, from the personal to the political.

Drawing on everything from the neuropsychology of regret and medieval carnival traditions to the carpe diem lives of nightclub dancers, war photographers and committed revolutionaries, the book unpacks the history, philosophy and modern-day applications of ‘seizing the day’. At the same time, it offers inspiration for anyone up for the daunting challenge of leading a meaningful life.

Carpe Diem Regained is published in the UK by Unbound and in the US by Penguin Random House. Get the Audio Book or the Dutch edition. Other editions coming soon in Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Croatian.

Selected Reviews

The Guardian Best Holiday Reads 2017; Forbes Magazine Best Books for Summer 2017; Culture Whisper Best Non-Fiction Books 2017

"Brilliant. One of those rare books that forces you to ask what the hell you’re doing with your life.' George Monbiot, The Guardian

"Inspiring, bracing, and elegant: a timely corrective to contemporary follies, from mindfulness to workaholism. Carpe librum!"  - Sarah Bakewell, author of At The Existentialist Café and How to Live: A Life of Montaigne

“I read this book with a mixture of wonder and recognition. The sound of the galloping hooves of the horses of oblivion have always stalked me like a rumour of something both awesome and terrible waiting in the wings in case, for a moment, I should be distracted by the temptations of a life lived passively. This has driven me to live and work as I do. In Carpe Diem Regained, Roman Krznaric has written a hugely important book for anyone who seeks to have agency in their life. It is, in short, a profound, playful book for wannabe grown-ups who love life.” - Sir Tim Smit, Founder of the Eden Project

"A rather wonderful new book is trying to seize back the noble art of day-seizing.' - Viv Groskop, The Pool

"As always Roman takes a unique look at the world we've created. Insightful and thought provoking." Tim Lovejoy, TV presenter

“The media tells us that we are forever young, but this wise and uplifting book is the perfect reminder that life is short and fragile, and that we need to seize the day to avoid living with regret.” - Philippa Perry, psychotherapist and author of How to Stay Sane

“Insightful, inspiring, and instructive. Anyone who feels like time is moving too fast and things are out of their control will be reinvigorated by this thoughtful guide.” - John Gray, author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

"Stunningly good. Roman Krznaric has written a modern classic of contemporary philosophy. Seize it immediately". Julia Hobsbawm, author of Fully Connected: Surviving and Thriving in an Age of Overload

Selected Media

Observer: How the carpe diem ideal was hijacked

BBC Culture: Can carpe diem help us rethink death?

Guardian: Why it's time for political hedonism

Time Magazine: How we ruined mindfulness

Telegraph: 7 ways to be more spontaneous

Royal Society of the Arts: 7 min video on How to Seize the Political Day (full 60 min podcast version)

The i-Paper: The extraordinary story of Bernard Jordan

Sunday Herald: How TV robs us of the carpe diem spirit

Aeon Magazine: How "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" inspired Victorian hedonists

YES! Magazine: Six Ways to Think About Death

Prospect Magazine: 5 Ways to Seize the Day

Psychology Today: What Jean-Paul Sartre and a fire-walking granny can teach us about life

Open Democracy: Can Carpe Diem save democracy?

Signature: Carpe diem and the art of writing

Other media: BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 3 Free ThinkingBBC Radio LondonMr Porter, The Reading Lists, Professional Wild Child, De Standaard, Trouw, Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Nightlife, Extraordinary Business Book Club, Filosofie Magazine, Renegade Inc TV, The Hero Forge