Category Archives: Books and Literature

Ent

I love the Ents. I’m not unhappy that they made movies based on LoTR, because that introduced a lot of people to the stories that would otherwise have never heard them, but I do miss the fan art. It’s hard to find art based on imagination rather than the movies these days.

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In a Holy Nutshell

Excerpted from Life of Pi by Yann Martel, © 2001: But religion is more than rite and ritual. There is what the rite and ritual stand for. Here too I am a Hindu. The universe makes sense to me through Hindu eyes. There is Brahman, the world soul, the sustaining frame upon which is woven, …

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On to the next one!

I’m reading You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe, ©1940, and I’m at that horrible point where I’m not really enjoying it anymore, but I’ve invested so much time I hate to walk away without finishing it. He writes beautifully.  The problem is that he hates everybody. I’m 165 pages in to a 744 …

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Paging Dr. Schadenfreude

In Kurt Vonnegut’s book, TimeQuake, ©1997, there is a story-within-a-story.  Vonnegut’s alter-ego, Kilgore Trout, pens a short story about a psychiatrist who only allows his patients to talk about other people: The name of the shrink was the name of the story, too, which was “Dr. Schadenfreude.” This doctor had his patients lie on the …

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If this isn’t nice, what is?

Excerpted from my second-favorite Kurt Vonnegut book, TimeQuake, ©1997: “My uncle Alex Vonnegut, a Harvard-educated life insurance salesman who lived at 5033 North Pennsylvania Street, taught me something very important. He said that when things were really going well we should be sure to notice it. “He was talking about simple occasions, not great victories: …

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And what had he learned?

Excerpted from You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe, ©1940: For he had learned some of the things that every man must find out for himself, and he had found out about them as one has to find out– through error and through trial, through fantasy and illusion, through falsehood and his own damn …

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Clear

“Do you have the patience to wait / till your mud settles and the water is clear?”  ~Tao Te Ching, Chapter 15

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Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching is one of the more easily understood of the Eastern texts, and I found a wonderful site that makes it available in several different translations:  https://taoteching.org.uk/

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Not every day.

Howard Stern Comes Again, ©2019, is a collection of transcripts of what Stern considers his best interviews over the last several years.  The excerpt below with Paul McCartney is from January 14, 2009: Howard:  I haven’t spoken to you since George Harrison died. How are you doing with that? That’s got to be major. Paul:  …

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Less Civil

This excerpt from Leo Rosten’s People I have loved, known, or admired, ©1970, recalls an episode he uncovered while researching George Washington’s life: But I cannot forget the episode involving Washington as he was being escorted down the street of a town in New York by an official. An old Negro saw the General and …

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Restless, miserable, frustrated creatures

“We clutter the earth with our inventions, never dreaming that possibly they are unnecessary…or disadvantageous. We devise astounding means of communication, but do we communicate with one another? We move our bodies to and fro at incredible speeds, but do we really leave the spot we started from? Mentally, morally, spiritually, we are fettered. What …

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Freddie

It’s hard to write a charming children’s fable about death, but Leo Buscaglia gave it his best effort. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf can be read online HERE. (Side note: the linked site does have some troubling, xenophobic aspects to it, mixed in with the more useful stories and content. So be aware.)

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