Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Okay, a bunch to dispatch with. Really, I'm getting behind on a lot of things.

The Naked Buddha: Venerable Adrienne Howler -Spirituality is a hot and cold affair. Sometimes, you're on. Other times, you're off. I've been off more than on lately and so I picked up a short book on Buddhism, just to get my head straightened out. This book is definitely a light read, but a decent overview of what the whole thing is really about --which is simply living in a way that's beneficial to yourself and others. Not a lot of heavy lifting intellectually, but a good introduction to some of the ideas.

The Complete Maus: Art Spiegelman -I wasn't going to include my graphic novel diet in this list. Otherwise, I'd have been done in June. I read a lot of comic books. Maus is one of the rare few that are bigger than the medium they're part of. They story deals with the author and his relationship to his father, as well as his father's recollections about surviving the Holocaust. It's a story of loss and trauma handed down from generation to generation. Really, a moving piece of work.

Reheated Cabbage: Irvine Welsh -I love this guy. A magical bunch of stories about drinking too much, making the wrong choices and using drugs. Welsh is the same guy who wrote "Trainspotting." Not always an easy read. Welsh occasionally writes in a Scottish dialect, which can be hard on those of us used to less colorful language. Still, a lot of fun and occasionally touching.

Running With Scissors: Augusten Burroughs -A funny and tragic biography about growing up OK even when your Dad is a drunk and your mom is a narcissistic asshole who pawns you off on her dodgy shrink and his goofy, dysfunctional family. Incredibly foul at points but sort of uplifting. Makes you look fondly back at the beatings you got as a kid and think, "Well, at least none of that other shit happened to me."

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