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The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
alex ross is one of the few remaining music critics for a major american periodical (there used to be many more, but it's a dwindling profession/art),...more
Jan 2007
Dec 29, 2007
Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Buddhism
Can I buy a vowel and tout my own book here? (This isn't the cover: it now has a big fat luscious lotus on a greenish background ... with the familiar...more
not set
Sep 04, 2007
The Big Time
i was secretary to this brilliant human being, and this is my personal favorite book of all of his remarkable titles. [the 'change wars' cycle has oth...more
Jan 2005
Dec 09, 2007
The Great Gatsby
**spoiler alert** <i>The Great Gatsby</i>.

First impressions, having just read it for the first time this month: questions I'm asking mys...more
Feb 12, 2007
Feb 25, 2008
The Metamorphosis of Plants
Finally, a good translation -- with illustrations!

My rating : Skyful of blossoming stars.
not set
Feb 28, 2014
Roget's Thesaurus, 6th Edition
maybe one of the few books on my shelves really deserving the five-star rating.


i'm not sure if this edition has the format i prefer: a d...more
Jan 1955
Dec 29, 2007
The Waste Land
the facsimile edition (published around 1969) of the original draft, with valerie eliot & ezra pound's mark-ups, indispensable : you get an impres...more
not set
Aug 30, 2010
Buddhist Wisdom: The Diamond Sutra and The Heart Sutra
Unless you can read the original, it is good to take two or more different translations and read them parallel (perhaps as practice, with a group). Si...more
not set
Oct 29, 2012
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation
I take brain science / cognitive studies with a grain of salt. (To his credit, he does mention peptides, the heart, and other systems, with a sweep of...more
not set
Jul 29, 2012
The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce and Selected Stories
after dashiell hammett elevated the nickel pulp to classical status (knopf published his works just as they were serialized), in comes cain. where ham...more
Jan 1992
Dec 28, 2007
The Incredible Double
pitch-perfect & dry as a martini, with a kicker olive of some literary backchat, & a plot really took me somewhere else.

maybe it's 'cos owen...more
not set
Mar 17, 2011
Field Days: A Year of Farming, Eating, and Drinking Wine in California
seems appropriate to read after fast food nation and michael pollan. i heard him read from and discuss it at canessa gallery this week, and i'm fairly...more
not set
Jun 19, 2009
Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
of numerous sources i've been studying on the subject, this is hands-down the single best introduction: an amazing story, with a variety of insights r...more
not set
Jul 15, 2012
stephane mallarmé's poetry is often absolutely untranslatable [but listen to the music in a line such as "abolit le bibelot d'inanité sonore"], and h...more
not set
Dec 28, 2007
The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being
great insights into interface of mindfulness and social awareness (and "attachment' theory) leading towards a multi-skull social brain perspective.

not set
May 20, 2009
Flags in the Dust
Wm Faulkner???


The characters are [as throughout his books] all people from his own life. With this book [unlike two previous witty novels]...more
not set
Mar 24, 2008
Death with Interruptions
The first line of the book is one of the great ones.

Not as extensive as other titles of his, yet that may be one of its virtues. It's bright, tight, a...more
not set
Nov 23, 2012
ABC of Reading
The first few pages might suffice: they can force a needed demolition job on much of the garbage we've all been fed and led to follow over the years....more
not set
Nov 07, 2007
Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day
improvisatory and minimalist yet often penetrative & durable.
the story of the octopus for instance is now a favorite.
not set
Jul 15, 2012
Lessons With Eisenstein
like Pound, Goethe, Shakespeare, Dante, da Vinci, Wang Wei, et al, Eisenstein absorbed whole lakes of culture and civilization and sweated out diamond...more
not set
Nov 07, 2007
Breaking the Drought: Visions of Grace
not set
Mar 24, 2011
The first American to translate philosophy from India (parts of the Lotus Sutra), Henry David (HD) Thoreau had read that ice was being shipped from Am...more
Jan 1972
Nov 09, 2007
I Love a Broad Margin to My Life
in the tradition of the "long poem" (h.d., pound, eliot, wc williams) 'tho critics ( " reviewers " ) may never make the association, this one is an ep...more
Jan 2011
Mar 15, 2011
Zen in English Literature & Oriental Classics

blyth's first book ain't his best nor his easiest but worth at least one read

the premise is more or less that great literature is zen, and what's not...more
Jan 1966
Jan 01, 2008
Give My Regards to Eighth Street: Collected Writings
One sentence for me, stands as an epigram for this fascinating, provocative, enlightening collection of essays, reminiscences, and riffs:

"What was gre...more
Jan 2001
Dec 28, 2007
What Book!?: Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop
350 works by 125 contributors

"from beat to hiphop" = 1950 to today, rather than particular "style(s)"

took gary gach 5 years to gather, collate, edit

Jan 1997
Sep 04, 2007
چهره‌ی  مرد هنرمند در جوانی
after his truly wonderful book of short stories, dubliners , james joyce gave us this novel, bildungsroman, with prose as solid and clear and musical...more
Jan 1961
Apr 07, 2008
'Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science
am still ruminating & regesting; very nice to have a survey of post-jarry pataphysics; very heady (and ironic?) to read it in such academic prose,...more
not set
Dec 04, 2007
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
**spoiler alert** where fast food nation was brilliant book, but a "downer" this one's an "upper," so to speak ... or a healthy antidote to eric sch...more
not set
Nov 02, 2008
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism
For endorsements by, Neela Banerjee, Rev Dorsey Blake,, Chevy Chase, Ven Thich Nhat Hanh, Lama Surya Das, Shambhala Sun,...more
not set
May 31, 2009
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