Tag Archives: books

A Thousand Desires

Zen Speaks: Shouts of Nothingness by Tsai Chih Chung, ©1994, is a wonderful little book of illustrated Zen and Tao parables. The illustrations don’t add a lot to understanding, but they make it a little friendlier. I recommend it.

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No Matter How Hopeless

The appeal of Don Quixote eludes me. It’s the story of a mentally ill man and his mentally ill enabler who travel the countryside upsetting people and getting the hell beat out of them. I’m not charmed. But without the book we wouldn’t have the musical, and without the musical we wouldn’t have one of …

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Music

Excerpted from The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien, ©1954: Frodo was left to himself for a while, for Sam had fallen asleep. He was alone and felt rather forlorn, although all about him the folk of Rivendell were gathered. But those near him were silent, intent upon the music of the …

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Beginning to Look Black

Excerpted from The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien, ©1954: “But last night I told you of Sauron the Great, the Dark Lord. The rumours that you have heard are true: he has indeed arisen again and left his hold in Mirkwood and returned to his ancient fastness in the Dark Tower …

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On In Out

“Turn on, tune in, drop out.”  ~Dr. Timothy Leary Excerpt from Dr. Timothy Leary’s autobiography Flashbacks, ©1983: “Turn on” meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers engaging them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. “Tune in” …

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Ah.

In a wonderful article from Harper’s Magazine, No Time But the Present , Alan Jacobs argues that reading old books makes our lives better: To read old books is not simply to escape our current condition of frenetic standstill, the torrent of data and demand managed moment by moment (though, to my mind, occasional escape …

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Algorithms

Excerpted from How Algorithms Are Changing What We Read Online by Russell Smith: Articles that show low engagement typically get sidelined in favour of pieces that show more, a measurement that, along with all of the above, takes into account the click-through rate, or CTR. “You’re looking at your analytics,” (Andrew )Gorham explained to me, …

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Time

Excerpted from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, ©1922: “Did you,” so he asked him at one time, “did you too learn that secret from the river: that there is no time?” Vasudeva’s face was filled with a bright smile. “Yes, Siddhartha,” he spoke. “It is this what you mean, isn’t it: that the river is everywhere …

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In Defiance of All That Is Bad

Excerpted from A Power Governments Cannot Suppress by Howard Zinn, ©2006: Even when we don’t “win,” there is fun and fulfillment that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in …

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Inscrutable

Excerpt from Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley, ©1917: Rolling cloud, volleying wind, and wheeling sun– the blue tabernacle of sky, the circle of the seasons, the sparkling multitude of the stars– all these are surely part on one rhythmic, mystic whole. Everywhere, as we go about our small business, we must discern the fingerprints …

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Waffles

Excerpted from Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast by Bill Richardson, ©1993: Historians annoy me with their blinkered selectivity.  They took the time to write down the names of those who invented the telephone, the atom bomb, and the cotton gin.  But the geniuses who left us with that truly worthwhile legacy of recipes have gone …

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Books and Cats

“We have noted that a passion for books and a fondness for cats are very often points of intersection on the Venn diagram of personality.”  ~Bill Richardson, in Bachelor Brother’s Bed & Breakfast, ©1993

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