Tag Archives: Books and Literature

Decision Making Strategy

Excerpted from The Power of Persuasion:  How We’re Bought and Sold by Robert V. Levine, ©2003: You might try an eight-step decision-making strategy developed by cognitive psychologists known by the acronym of PROACT (problem, objectives, alternatives, consequences, and trade-offs): Clearly define your problem. What is it you’re trying to decide? Be sure you’re addressing what’s …

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The Prophet

I recently discovered The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran is in the public domain. You can download a free copy from Project Gutenberg, HERE.  It’s available in plain text, Kindle, and Epub formats, and in HTML for online reading.

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they can seem like magic

Excerpted from The Power of Persuasion:  How We’re Bought and Sold by Robert V. Levine, ©2003: Matisse, it was said, could create any color in a painting without touching the color itself. All he asked was to control the colors around it. Similarly, look closely at a Van Gogh or a Monet or virtually any …

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The Gentleman

The first time I read The Gentleman from San Francisco by Ivan Alekseevich Bunin, I was completely unimpressed.  I tossed onto the pile to be donated to charity. A few hours later I wanted to re-read a passage, so I brought it back, read it, then returned it to the pile. The next day there …

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And Now She Raps

From the short story How to See a Bad Play by James Thurber, © 1935: In Fig. 4 we take up the character who bobbed up (and down) oftenest in last year’s bad plays (she bobbed up and down in some of the better plays, too, but mostly in the bad plays); namely, the elderly …

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Not Even

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  ~William Faulkner, from Requiem for a Nun, Act I Scene III

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18th Century Hippy

Too lazy Ryōkan Taigu from The Zen Poems of Ryokan, translation ©2014 Too lazy to be ambitious, I let the world take care of itself. Ten days’ worth of rice in my bag; a bundle of twigs by the fireplace. Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment? Listening to the night rain on my roof, I …

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Signature Style

Excerpted from A Geography of Time by Robert Levine, ©1997: The Chinese developed an incense clock. This wooden device consisted of a series of connected small same-sized boxes. Each box held a different fragrance of incense. By knowing the time it took for a box to burn its supply, and the order in which the …

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Perfectly Satisfied

Excerpted from A Geography of Time by Robert V. Levine,  ©1997: In the United States, today’s latest hit, by its nature, becomes tomorrow’s throwaway. Fred Turk, who was a colleague during my year in Brazil, is a U.S. citizen who has spent most of his adult life teaching in countries throughout South America. “I don’t …

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First

Appropriately, it’s the last sentence that’s the most important: Marsiela Gomez, a doctoral student in pharmacology at Johns Hopkins, is a part Mayan who was raised in a culture that taught the value of waiting for others to speak first. This habit has often caused problems for her in the United States: “It is very …

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Two Daughters of the Devil

Excerpted from Nashville’s Mother Church:  The History of Ryman Auditorium by William U. Eiland, ©1994: None was more famous or gifted than preacher Billy Sunday, who led revival meetings in the Tabernacle (later Ryman Auditorium) in the 1920s and 1930s. Once, as prominent Nashville attorney and author Jack Norman, Sr., relates, the Reverend Sunday held …

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And now, for something completely different…

I’m re-reading I Wait for the Moon:  100 Haiku of Momoko Kuroda, ©2014 by Abigail Friedman.  It does a wonderful job of placing the haiku in context and providing supporting details not generally known in the West.  The commentary really makes the haiku come alive, making it much more rich and colorful. These two little …

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