2011-2012 in Books

Old Path White Clouds Thich Naht Hanh

A Buddhist adventure! Akin to reading a great fable or epic poem..but almost for children– due to a condescending tone at times and can make people averse to Hanh. I however enjoyed! **** [4 stars for the tone]

When Things Fall Apart Pema Chödrön

A wonderful guide to the challenges we face in days, years, months, and lifetimes. Favorite quote: ‘Did you see the sunrise today?’ [Instead of complaining about the problems surrounding your life] *****

A Constitution for Living P.A. Payutto

My Buddhist Master drove 40 miles to my school from his mountaintop to bring this book to me. It was a quick read and taught me much. My favorite point: Don’t dwell on any happy thing/Don’t dwell on any sad thing. Approach life in the happiness and the difficulty with the same balanced disposition. *****

Tao Aya Goda

I found this wonderful ditty in ‘Book City.’ Book City is a massive collection of books near the Museum District of Shenzhen. One of the many bookstores had books in English. I found Tao on display and was very curious when I read the back cover about a Chinese man evading authorities throughout China and Tibet. Alongside was Aya, a Japanese woman enamored with Tao and went on the run with him. It was a romping good time and painted a gorgeous portrait of Tibet…all of this taking place before the 1989 Student Protests.  Favorite part: when Tao sneaks into Nepal meets a homeless American and goes into business with him selling art for a few days.   *****

The Hunger Games Trilogy Suzanne Collins

During my 14 hour flight back to the States I watched The Hunger Games, I was immediately captivated by its chilling theme. I had heard the hysteria over this series back home but I had no idea what it was about. As a children’s book it bodes well. I do wish it could have been an adult’s book and much darker than it was. [Don’t know if that’s bad or good.] The first and second books were great, the third was okay. Reminded me a lot of The Giver by Lois Lowry. ****

Fifty Shades of Grey E.L. James

My girlfriend and I got this as a joke out of curiosity. A joke it was. Pornography on wheels! [or pages] The writing is terrible–mirroring the Twilight series characters and plot. I still have yet to get through the others in this trilogy. Unless you like pornography, I do not recommend. *

The Man Who Quit Money Mark Sundeen

When talking with my friend about this book, I raved and ranted about how much I enjoyed, learned, and understood things in a new way. I made a statement regarding, ‘money is an illusion.’–An idea talked about in this book. To which my friend replied, money is, ‘an agreed upon reality.’ –Not quite an illusion. Suelo is the main character in this biography about his life. Suelo hasn’t touched money or the ‘barter system’ for ten years, lives in a cave in Moab, UT and thrives. A great book for discussion! Chapter 11 is one of the best. *****

Crazy Sexy Diet Kris Carr

My Crazy Sexy Sister gave me this book and it has literally changed my life. Ten years ago, the author, Kris Carr was diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer. She decided to ‘watch and live’ with it and now ten years later it still hasn’t moved! She promotes a plant alkaline based diet. She has opened my eyes to plants, balancing our Ph and just how harmful our day to day choices can be. After going into Wal*Mart and seeing ‘acid reflux pills’ being sold for 15 dollars I realized how much money is being made off of our poor diet choice in the ‘Standard American Diet’ [S.A.D]. I made it over a week being gluten free and vegan and I have never felt so good in my life.  *****

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened Jenny Lawson

I was so sad this book wasn’t as great as other remarkable memoirs out there. It was god awful. Terrible writing. So much foul language. My poetry teacher, Lou, stressed to us the importance of not using so much cursing. He said, ‘if you really need it, use it sparingly.’ She’s not a writer and cannot gather cohesive thoughts to make compelling arguments that will then make your heart sing…instead it’s nails on a chalkboard. The best part was throwing the book back into the library’s bin. Thank goodness I didn’t buy this crap. [no stars]

Holy Cow! Sarah MacDonald

As I have come to find out from friends, India is China but on massive amounts of mind altering substances…it’s a mind-blowing experience. Which I will find out firsthand come January holiday! This book was an awesome depiction of the holy land and religious practices of India–everything sacred that has traipsed those lands. This book was hilarious and heartfelt. I loved every second of this book as did my Mama. *****

Buddha in Your Backpack Franz Metcalf

I found this book, thumbing through a bookstore in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It’s a guide for TEENS! I thought it would explain Buddhism in layman terms and be interesting to read- in that respect. It is just that and an incredible guide for teens! Buddhist or not, it offers wonderful advice for all the things teenagers go through. I immediately wanted to buy it for every teenaged niece and nephew I will have at some point. However, I have been advised against doing so. ****

Bossypants Tina Fey

I had no idea what this book would be about and was skeptical. It is a guide to handling stress/being a leader. It is laced with funny anecdotes about Fey’s road to being an amazing boss and leader, paving the way for many women in comedy. I had no idea comedy was such a male dominated field–never had I thought about it, so it never crossed my mind. Fey did a lot to remedy that. I enjoyed the book it was a quick easy read and funny. My favorite were her recollections on once being thin and once being fat. ***

Wild Cheryl Strayed

I am currently reading this one. Strayed is a great writer. First chapter seemed like a magnum opus. Seemed to have been written, rewritten, edited, re-edited numerous times. I am definitely enjoying it and can thus-far recommend it.

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About heidaway

Living-Breathing-China Dragon
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