Archive for December, 2007

Taoism (Religions of the World) – by Hsiao-Lan Hu, William Cullu Allen

Okay, so I am a bit of a student of the Tao, so sue me. I wanted to read a bit about the “real world” practice of Taoism. I think that most Americans who embrace the principles of Tao would not be willing to practice Taoism as it exists in the Eastern cultures, but maybe that’s just my take on it. Reading this was enlightening, and reinforced the fact that I like religion and philosophy most when it exists as a personal belief rather than a set of rituals.

bookmark: tao te ching

Tao Te Ching – by Lao Tzu (translated by Sam Hamill)

Do you get the impression that I’m a student of the Tao? Well, I’m not really, but there is much to learn from reading the Tao Te Ching. It’s also a book that you can read over and over again, finding new meanings with each reading. This is read best in bits and pieces, rather like poetry, rather than trying to plow through the whole thing to the end in one reading. I liked this translation, too.

bookmark: the tao of willie

The Tao of Willie – by Willie Nelson

This book is more interesting than Willie’s The Facts of Life. Reflecting an attitude towards life that only age can bring, there’s some good advice dispensed, along with a few more jokes. Willie does like his jokes.

bookmark: the tao of poo

The Tao of Poo – by Benjamin Hoff

A thoughtful examination of this eastern philosophy using the characters from the Hundred Acre Wood as archetypes.

bookmark: refuse to choose

Refuse To Choose – by Barbara Sher

For those of us who live life like a starving man at a banquet, this book helps you deal with your inability to eat only one thing. If that is too metaphoric, let’s say that you no longer have to feel like you have to choose one path in life – one specialty – and live your whole life with only that. There’s more of you out there than you know.

Notes From a Small Island – by Bill Bryson

Typical Bill Bryson fare – a walkabout in England, with a bit of history and local color thrown in. Having lived in England, he is able to speak with authority about his subject matter. However, I think that he has written better books than this.

Iron John – A Book About Men – by Robert Bly

Bly interprets the Grimm fairy tale, Iron John. Though there are occasional insights, this was more a book to slog through than to enjoy. The author is a poet, which is odd considering his propensity to say in one hundred words what could be said in ten. Hemingway he is not. Be prepared for a very liberal bias throughout the whole book, if that matters to you.

The Facts of Life: and Other Dirty Jokes – by Willie Nelson

There are indeed dirty jokes in this book, accompanied by stories of events in Willie’s life. Not much of a book to read, but if you like Willie, you might find it interesting.

bookmark: dreams from my father

Dreams From My Father – by Barack Obama

Interesting autobiographical information, taking it for what it is worth – the author’s personal view of his life up to a relatively young age. Not badly written and gives you some idea of why he is the man he is.

The Devil in the White City – by Erik Larson

An intriguing real-life story about the infamous H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor, woven with the story of the 1893 Columbian World’s Fair. A history book that keeps you reading. Recommended.