The Path of No Resistance purports to hold the key to achieving a more successful, productive, and satisfying life. To Garrett Kramer the one thing The Path of No Resistance purports to hold the key to achieving a more successful, productive, and satisfying life. To Garrett Kramer the one thing that you must do in order to be successful is to stop thinking. If you can quiet your mind, you'll be more in tune with your emotions, and if you're more in tune with your emotions than your mind will automatically reset any negative feelings you have. That's the essence of the book.
While I think that he has a good point when it comes to clearing away negative thoughts, I don't think this advice is the best for people suffering from mood disorders or dealing with toxic relationships. For minor issues, however, the advice is good. You can generally communicate more clearly and from a better spot if you're calm, and the bulk of bad performance in sport seems to come from thinking too much.
The low rating then, is not entirely due to the message. The low rating mainly comes from the fact that I didn't enjoy the way the book was written. It was scattered with anecdotes that were either redundant or not terrifically helpful. The book felt repetitive more than much else, and several grammatical errors really grated on me: most strongly, the use of the phrase "I could care less." It isn't that difficult to correct to "couldn't."
I did enjoy the formatting, however. The use of summaries and bullet points halfway through the chapter and again at the end helped to drive home the points made. I just wish there had been more points, overall.
Finally, I thought the inclusion of a rather large selection of quotes in the Appendix was questionable at best and self-congratulatory at worst....more
We tell this story still as it has come down to us through many retellings, mouth to ear; ear to mouth, both the story of the poisoned box aOut today!
We tell this story still as it has come down to us through many retellings, mouth to ear; ear to mouth, both the story of the poisoned box and the stories it contained, in which the poison was concealed. This is what stories are, experience retold by many tongues to which, sometimes, we give a single name, Homer, Valmiki, Vyasa, Scheherazade. We, for our own part, simply call ourselves "we." "We" are the creature that tells itself stories to understand what sort of creature it is. As they pass down to us the stories lift themselves away from time and place, losing the specificity of their beginnings, but gaining the purity of essences, of being simply themselves. And by extension, or by the same token, as we like to say, though we do not know what the token is or was, these stories become what we know, what we understand, and what we are, or, perhaps we should say, what we have become, or can perhaps be.
Salman Rushdie's new book is a story about stories. In the same vein of At Swim-Two-Birds, the narrative is continued through manifold layers. As other reviewers have noted, it is possible to separate the story into two separate tales. The first is that of the jinnia Dunia, who fell in love with a man many, many years ago. Their affair spanned the titular Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights and resulted in the birth of new hybrid race, which over the ensuing centuries spread over the face of the globe. At the start of the book these half-jinn are beginning to come into their heritage, woken by the old matriach, to be recruited for a grand purpose and a great war.
The cause of the war forms the crux of the second, underlying story. This is a philosophical battle between two great philosophers - Al-Ghazali and Ibn Rushd. This clash of belief over the centuries - that of fear of God over reason, and reason over God (or rather as a way of understanding God) spreads through the whole narrative though the actual philosophical arguments between the two philosophers are rarely directly addressed.
The book is full of gorgeous passages, as the quote that I began this review with shows. It's written at turns in a traditional folk tale sense (much repetition, rather overt symbolism being used, irony, etc.) and in an almost text-book like simplicity. As I read through it I found myself eager to reach more text-book like explanations of the worlds. I'm certain that my lack of familiarity with Arabian myth and folklore hurt my understanding of some of the text, but anyone who is familiar with it will likely take away a great deal.
Even though I didn't like this book quite as much as I loved At Swim-Two-Birds I'm quite glad that I read it. I will most definitely be going on to read Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses at some point. Salman Rushdie is a gifted writer, and there's much beauty to be found in this book. If you can set aside some annoyance at a bit too much repetition, it's great and quite a few spots should make you laugh.
(view spoiler)[ To repeat: only one human being ever returned in good shape, the hero Hamza, and the suspicion remains that he may have been part jinni himself. So when Dunia the jinnia, aka Aasmaan Peri the Lightning Princess of Qaf Mountain, suggested to Mr. Geronimo that he return with her to her father's kingdom, suspicious minds might have concluded that she was luring him to his doom like the sirenuse singing on the rocks near Positano or Lilith the night monster who was Adam's wife before Eve, or John Keats's merciless beauty.(hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was phenomenal. M.R. O'Connor did an excellent job of eI received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was phenomenal. M.R. O'Connor did an excellent job of examining not only the question of extinction and the controversial subject of de-extinction, but of asking the very uncomfortable question 'What is a species worth?' What is it that makes a person decide that one species is worth saving over another, and is saving a species from extinction truly a worthwhile endeavor? Does everything have an intrinsic value?
The book is divided into 8 chapters, each focusing upon a different species either going extinct, or possibly being revived. For those interested the subjects of the chapters are as follows: Spray Toads Florida Panthers White Sands Pupfish Northern Right Whales Hawaiian Crow Northern White Rhino Passenger Pigeon Neanderthal
Each species discussed raises a different question regarding the course of extinction and conservation. Should we save or protect a species if doing so hurts the human community around it? At what point of hybridization does a species stop being what it originally was? If human interference is largely responsible for the differences between a species that has been fragmented - are they still the original endangered species? What can we do to protect endangered species we know very little about? What if breeding a creature in captivity ends up erasing the very behaviors that were the hallmark of the species? Would reviving a species artificially result in the same species? Is conservation on the ground more worth it than rescuing the genetic data?
These questions and more abound, and are examined from all angles. The result is a book that looks at the ethical questions beyond conservation in a way that I've seldom seen discussed. This book is vitally important, engaging, and thought provoking. I would like nothing more than to see this book in the hands of everyone involved in the environmental movements. It asks uncomfortable questions and raises troubling points that need to be raised.
I can't emphasize enough how much I adored this text....more
You know, this short story gets thrown around quite a lot.
I've seen it copied and pasted in comments threads, seen it appear as an image on imgur, aYou know, this short story gets thrown around quite a lot.
I've seen it copied and pasted in comments threads, seen it appear as an image on imgur, a short film on YouTube, even as a Facebook status once or twice. It's a bit of a meme in and of itself, and it just won't die. The first time I saw it, I feel, was when I was a little kid though I doubt that's actually the case. It's more recent than that, isn't it?
Maybe it's insidious in some way. It slips into your mind until you're convinced it's something you've always known. Maybe that makes it a great work of art, or at least a decent one. I'll give it that. If it's the first time you've been exposed to this sort of philosophy it definitely will stick with you. If you're of a bit more of a philosophical bend and this is not news to you, then it won't really impact you that deeply.
I'm more of the latter, and I've seen this before. I've seen it in The Matrix, The Fountain, and in the works of Jonathan Carroll. I've seen some of the better aspects of it in [Book: The Magician King] and The Dark Tower. It's a mish-mash of popular ideas with a heady dose of Deepak Chopra.
So it goes.
Other authors have treated this material better, and in a more striking way. Even The Book Thief touched on this philosophy in a more meaningful way.
It's decent for first exposure, but I'm afraid many people will only get that first exposure and not delve deeper into what better writing and more ambitious projects have to offer....more
I first read this book in seventh grade, and although I enjoyed it I can't claim I really understood it. It was a gorgeous readSuch a beautiful book.
I first read this book in seventh grade, and although I enjoyed it I can't claim I really understood it. It was a gorgeous read then, and is a gorgeous one now. The story is a beautiful myth, an exploration of Buddhism and Hinduism that was written before either one was thoroughly understood by the West.
The introduction and the analysis offered at the beginning of the book both enhance the reading of the actual story, and reading Joseph Campbell I can even further understand the text itself. I think this is the sort of book that the more one reads it, the later in life one reads it, the more thoroughly it can be understood and appreciated.
I can't recommend this book enough, but I do know why everyone might not enjoy it....more
I think I got more out of this book by reading the extensive notes and introductions than by reading the book itself. The book was so full of allusionI think I got more out of this book by reading the extensive notes and introductions than by reading the book itself. The book was so full of allusions to political situations, changes in speech and text depending upon what was being mentioned, legitimate philosophical meanderings and religious commentary. Well, it was a piece of work.
I think it would be an easier read a second time around, bearing in mind all I learned from the first poke through it. It's one of those books you know you should read and contemplate, but doing so alone is a bit difficult. A bit like listening to a lecture and having your mind blown away - listen again, and you can begin to pick at the subtleties.
I do agree that the most fascinating bit about Utopia is the fact that there would be no way to enforce it had the structure not already been in place. Yes, it sounds great from the outset, but knowing freedom and having experienced this level of it (impinged upon as it may be these days) we'd not take too kindly to having it all stripped away. It truly is No Place as much as it may be a Good One (which can be thoroughly argued, seeing how flawed the system in place is.)
The commentary is great, the concepts novel at the time and still rather fresh now. Not to mention the dystopia genre does hinge upon this singular text, written and published so many years ago....more
This concise book is a collection of well known quotations from his work, organized loosely by topic. The begAh, who doesn't love William Shakespeare?
This concise book is a collection of well known quotations from his work, organized loosely by topic. The beginning features a nice biography of the author, although it does report some stories that are more likely inventions than truth. It does, however, quote some of the better Ben Jonson mentions of Shakespeare.
All in all this book, as previous reviewers have commented, is a bit too PG rated to be truly good fun. It is a good quick reference to various quotations, and a decent introduction to the life of the Bard.
All in all, quite fun, but a bit too whitewashed....more
So, I've been told to read this book for quite some time from various people. I adored Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, thought the Neil Gaiman penned filmSo, I've been told to read this book for quite some time from various people. I adored Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, thought the Neil Gaiman penned film was rather hilarious and a bit too overt in its symbolism, and was quite happy to see Grendel in the game A Wolf Among Us. It as an extra treat that you could beat him to death with his own arm in the game, too. Why not, right?
When I saw the book while looking for a copy of Cryptonomicon I decided to finally pick it up. When I had a moment, I decided to finally read it. It proved to be an interesting, if ultimately slightly unsatisfying read.
I feel that other books have fed into the misunderstood monster trope in a more satisfying manner than this one - both before and after this time. Grendel's crying out for understanding wasn't as well deserved or ultimately interesting as Caliban's in The Tempest and the existentialism of the dragon, while interesting, was not really explored in a powerful enough manner to really move me.
Grendel would have moved me a lot more powerfully if I'd read it when younger, when I was deserving as Grendel was to be beaten with his own arm. The ultimate foolishness of his pursuits would be better sought in On the Road, just about anything by Kafka or Camus. ...more
This book is an excellent collection of Peanuts comics, and the comics themselves are added to by the beginning Foreward and InGosh, I love this book.
This book is an excellent collection of Peanuts comics, and the comics themselves are added to by the beginning Foreward and Introduction that relate a number of anecdotes about Charles Schulz' life and writing/drawing techniques. Where he got his inspiration, what he wondered about his own characters - it's fascinating, and I'd love to read a biography of the fellow I admire so much....more
This used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing differenThis used to be my favorite installation in the Wrinkle in Time series. I adored Charles Wallace, enjoyed the trip through history and seeing different time periods... Rereading it, some of the twists were rather obvious and a bit insulting. The repetition of the rune got trying. Realizing when it was written, what was happening... well, it gave the book a context that made its message rather clear. It would have been interesting to see what kids thought of it at the time it was released with the very real threat of nuclear annihilation looming.
Good to see some Welsh mythology creeping in, as it doesn't tend to get looked at nearly often enough. The witch hunt was a bit annoying, but so it goes....more
Out of what I read of the Time Quintet originally this was the book I had the scantiest recollection of. I reread A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly TiltOut of what I read of the Time Quintet originally this was the book I had the scantiest recollection of. I reread A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet many many times, but this one? Not so much. My memory of it was very shaky and I think it got mixed somewhere over the years with some Magic School Bus episodes.
Nevertheless, rereading the book I found a lot of charming parts of it. I don't feel that it was nearly as strong as A Wrinkle in Time, but poking around I discovered that for a great many people this book was really their favorite. The author's speculative biology was both misinformed and predictive, interesting and thematic. It's a bit heavy, but all of her books are. I think my main problem was that the book came off as more rushed than the others for me.
Progonoskies is a fantastic character, but Blajeny and Sporos both didn't seem fully developed. Calvin could have been emphasized a bit more, too, considering what part he and his family play in A Wrinkle in Time and A Swiftly Tilting Planet but that might just be my own bias speaking.
Man, I wish this universe had been more fully fleshed out....more
I previously reviewed Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy and found both books interesting and informative. I thought the style was somewhat simplistic, but overall they were interesting and decent starting grounds for people who want to look deeper into history. This book, however? It didn't even really serve that purpose. It was just... very, very strange.
Being George Washington wanted to be a biography while also wanting to be a legitimate history book, political history, and a self-help book. It wanted to prove that Washington was religious while also wanting to show how Washington bettered himself by simply being civil and persistent. Essentially? It wanted to be way too many things.
I think an editor needs to go at this book with a machete, restructure it, and find out where the book wants to live. I think the purpose of the book would overall be better served if it simply rested comfortably in the arms of a dramatic narrative such as Killing Lincoln did. I think the book would be better served by relying on primary documents without editorial asides trying to emphasize Christianity over Deism or any other religious point of view.
Just... it was a bit like reading through someone's scribbled notes in a textbook this way....more
What do you do when your dog is acting outrageously? If you happen to be Charlie Brown, you write a letter to the puppy farm you got your dog fUh oh!
What do you do when your dog is acting outrageously? If you happen to be Charlie Brown, you write a letter to the puppy farm you got your dog from and send him back for a bit of obedience training. When Charlie Brown does just that, Snoopy decides a bit of school isn't in the cards for this World War I flying ace. An overnight stay at Peppermint Patty's on the way to Daisy Hill turns into something a bit longer... and longer... and longer . Patty, tired of Snoopy taking advantage of her good nature, decides to turn the tables on this feisty dog and a good lesson is learned.
Peanuts comics never get old for me, and these little booklets are some of the best. Snoopy's sassy behavior truly mirrors the fox terrier he was based on, and nothing can quash the fond memories of these animated specials in my mind.
This book I bought when I was down in Mississippi, appropriately enough. It's tiny, pocket sized in fact, and short... The book is poorly set up as faThis book I bought when I was down in Mississippi, appropriately enough. It's tiny, pocket sized in fact, and short... The book is poorly set up as far as organizing the quotes goes, but it's printed well and.. well, you can't really beat Mark Twain for pithy sayings. Many had me laughing out loud, and the biography of Mark Twain at the back was surprisingly in depth.
For memories, Mark Twain, and fantastic quotes? This book is great. For actual purchase and what not? Don't bother unless you're down South and have just heard an awesome recitation of one of the fellow's stories.
Bonus points if you're actually travelling down the river itself by steam boat or anything similar....more
The Dead Sea Scrolls are something that truly fascinate me. There's so much speculation about the community that wrote them, so much sheer oddness wheThe Dead Sea Scrolls are something that truly fascinate me. There's so much speculation about the community that wrote them, so much sheer oddness when it comes to what the Essenes believed and preached. It sheds new lights about just how different the religious communities were then.
This book goes into the history of the scrolls discovery, and what was known at the time of publication about the community that wrote them. It was a fascinating read, though of course now a bit out of date. I still would recommend it to anyone interested in the scrolls, as any information is still good information in my estimation. It was by no means a dry read....more
The content of this book was marvelous. It collected a series of Australian aboriginal folktales, transcribed from oral accounts. The low rating largeThe content of this book was marvelous. It collected a series of Australian aboriginal folktales, transcribed from oral accounts. The low rating largely comes from my lack of background in that field and the difficulty I had with the language therein. A lot of native language was used, and although the words were defined in the glossary in the back, it was a trying experience constantly flipping through to attempt to garner a better understanding of the content.
I received this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
Ricky Maye's book is a concise examination of Christianity and the problems that he hasI received this book through the GoodReads first reads program.
Ricky Maye's book is a concise examination of Christianity and the problems that he has with the current incarnation of the faith. He explains how Christian's should strive to be more... well, Christian. What emerges is an understanding of the faith that incorporates the understanding, empathy, and altogether open-mindedness of the faith that existed when the religion first came into existence. I've no problem whatsoever with this message, and indeed, think it is altogether quite a good one.
The book didn't receive more stars from me because altogether this message is one that I've read/heard many times before. I didn't feel that this book brought anything to the table that other authors have not previously thought about and/or wrote about or spoke about in other mediums. Indeed, I thought some other books (such as Jesus for President) did it a bit better. This book, however, may reach a larger audience as it is readily available through more mediums and might catch someone else's eye.
It's a pretty good quick read, in other words. :)...more
Phil Rose had a fascinating analysis of the various concept albums of Pink Floyd, with an obvious bias towardI wish I could give this book more stars.
Phil Rose had a fascinating analysis of the various concept albums of Pink Floyd, with an obvious bias towards Roger Waters' work. He did take note of a good number of details that I missed, but some of the details I did pick up... well, he missed. For instance, the "Who was born in a house full of pain" and the way it hearkened back to The Island of Dr. Moreau. But.. yeah.
The analysis focused in a greater part on the musical themes than it did on the lyrics, which was refreshing, but also terribly dry. I can't help but think that if the book was published in a better format (bigger type on better quality pages) the book would have been an easier and more fascinating read. The format it currently is in hurts the eyes, though it does allow for easy portability.
All in all, a decent book, but one that could have been done a bit better. The interview with Roger Waters at the end, however, showed the fellow's wit off rather nicely and was much enjoyable. I hope he does publish his poetry one of these days....more
Yeah, I think I finally truly love Kurt Vonnegut and his writing style. I think I finally get it. Then again, Slaughterhouse Five probably wasn't theYeah, I think I finally truly love Kurt Vonnegut and his writing style. I think I finally get it. Then again, Slaughterhouse Five probably wasn't the best way to start. I should've taken a hint with Welcome to the Monkey House that I'd come to love and adore the author, but I was in high school and thick skulled. Oh well.
I picked this book up at the used bookstore for my boyfriend, knowing that he was a fan of Kurt Vonnegut and science fiction. Why not mix the two and give him the only overtly sci-fi novel that the author wrote? Well. I did. And he enjoyed it. Well, I think he enjoyed it. I probably should talk to him about it a bit. He did pass it on to me when he was done and said I'd probably like to read it, so, there's that.
This book was pretty darn hilarious. I didn't feel terribly kindly about the final arc of the novel, but I greatly enjoyed the rest of it and found it more amusing than I should have. Laughter was had, grins were grinned, and the book was eagerly devoured in a relatively short period. It was an entertaining read, a very fun one. The philosophy wasn't terribly deep, the message wasn't anything stunning or remarkable as one might perhaps expect and hope from the author... but the book was fun. It was fun, it was good, and what more do you want from some fine fiction?...more
It's more of a treatise than an actual book, and it is an incredibly quick read. It can be taken as a more modI actually thoroughly enjoyed this book.
It's more of a treatise than an actual book, and it is an incredibly quick read. It can be taken as a more modern view of On Bullshit, and owes a lot to the previous book (as it says) but it easily stands on its own as well. If you're looking for an interesting psychological study of manipulation, here it is. If you're looking for something a lot deeper and involved? Well, you'll have to look elsewhere.
I never knew that sled dogs had so many existential concerns!
This graphic novel was delightful. Cleverly written, beautifully illustrated, and well...I never knew that sled dogs had so many existential concerns!
This graphic novel was delightful. Cleverly written, beautifully illustrated, and well... just damn fun. I enjoyed the pack dynamics and the groan worthy punch lines. Reading the book in the library I did end up laughing out loud.
Quite fun, quite entertaining, and a very quick read. Four stars....more