Let’s Talk About Books Baby!

 March

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Books Read

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn

The Parade by Dave Eggers

On a cozy March snow day, the bomb cyclone to be precise… I curled up with this book that is totally not something I would usually read but it came highly recommended and so I wanted to check it out. Why would I not read this book? Well, because it’s mostly a man and a gorilla having a conversation. But, why was this book so awesome? Because the conversation they had is SO important and relevant, and this is from a book that was written 25 years ago!

“”In your cultural prison what inmates wield the power?”

“Ah,” I said. “The male inmates. Especially the white male inmates.”

“Yes, that’s right. But you understand that these white male inmates are indeed inmates and not wardens. For all their power and privilege- for all that they lord it over everyone else in the prison- not one of them has a key that will unlock the gate.”

“Yes, that’s true. Donald Trump can do a lot of things I can’t, but he can no more get out of the prison than I can. But what does this have to do with justice?”

“Justice demands that people other than white males have power in the prison.”

“Yes, I see. But what are you saying? That this isn’t true?”

“True? Of course it’s true that males- and, as you say, especially white males-have called the shots inside the prison for thousands of years, perhaps even from the beginning. Of course it’s true that this is unjust. And of course it’s true that power and wealth within the prison should be equitably redistributed. But it should be noted that what is crucial to your survival as a race is not the redistribution of power and wealth within the prison but rather the destruction of the prison itself.”

“Yes, I see that. But I’m not sure many other people would.”

“No?”

“No. Among the politically active, the redistribution of wealth and power is...I don’t know what to call it that would be strong enough. An idea whose time has come. The Holy Grail.”

“Nonetheless, breaking out of the Taker prison is a common cause to which all humanity can subscribe.”

I shook my head. “I’m afraid it’s a cause to which almost none of humanity will subscribe. White or colored, male or female, what the people of this culture want is to have as much wealth and power in the Taker prison as they can get. They don’t give a damn that it’s a prison and they don’t give a damn that it’s destroying the world.”

Ishmael shrugged. “As always, you’re a pessimist. Perhaps you’re right. I hope you’re wrong.”

“I hope so too, believe me.””

Isn’t that astounding? I hope you are just as baffled by this as I was!

Anyway… the next book that I read was Dave Eggers’ latest. And per usual, it was a good read that makes us ponder a modern day issue, it is so simple in its telling that it almost reads like a parable. In this book two contractors from an undisclosed country are paving a road in another undisclosed country, even the two characters names are never given and instead they go by Four and Nine, the premise being that they would be less likely to be kidnapped and held for ransom if the locals can’t figure out who they are. Many reviewers have criticized the book for all the anonymity and claim that the book doesn’t go into all of the real issues that it is asking us to think about, I disagree.

In the book Four & Nine are both in this country to do one thing: pave a road that will connect two parts of a war torn nation. They both have extremely different personalities. Four is all business and keep your eyes on the goal, he toes the party line and really thinks of nothing besides doing what’s best for the company that sent them there. Nine on the other hand wants to mingle with the locals, eat their cuisine, sleep with their women. He is there to celebrate their culture and live it up. Through their story we are brought to think about the role of the western world in non-developed nations- do we do more harm than good? Is money a motivating factor? Can we make a difference? And if so, what kind of difference do we make?

Some have said that Eggers’ is answering these questions with a hopeless demeanor. But I think rarely is foreign policy black or white. There are always shades of grey and things can rarely be answered definitively. I think all Eggers is doing is asking us to think about these things. I really liked his interview with the publisher which was posted on McSweeney’s. https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/an-interview-with-dave-eggers-about-his-new-novel-the-parade

Happy Reading!

Let’s Talk About Books Baby!

February

Books Read

Jump…and Your Life Will Appear by Nancy Levin

Look at me! Posting this before the end of the month... I wish I could say that my doing this wasn’t me putting off other things... but hey, I’ll take it, it’s a victory nonetheless.

Life has been so busy that I only read one book in February! 

Something that I said in therapy one day made my therapist get up out of her chair and pull this book off of her shelf.  She leant me her copy, and I have to say my favorite part of reading this book was seeing what parts my therapist had underlined or put exclamations next to. None of it was very shocking or insightful, it was just completely her. Passages about being kind to yourself. That’s always her thing. No matter what you did. No matter who you are. How do you talk to yourself? It better be lovingly. I like that about her... I still have loads to learn from her.

But about the book. I wish I could remember what I had said in the moment that made my therapist think this was the book for me. Mostly because she’s normally so spot on, but this didn’t feel right. The author of this book had some huge secret that she had to divulge- she had an affair, and she was caught when her husband read her journals. And then began a phase of him kicking her out, taking her back, kicking her out... until she just decided she’d had enough and she wasn’t going back.  

The book has some tiny little golden nuggets and is a quick read... if you all are a fan of Hay House authors then I’d say go ahead and check out this little one from your local library... and bonus! The author calls Boulder home, so there’s that.  

Not much else for you lovelies this month.... hopefully I’ll have some good stuff to write about for March! Until then! <3

Let’s Talk About Books Baby!

January

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Books Read

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Health, Healing, and Beyond: Yoga and the Living Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya by T.K.V. Desikachar

…So… yeah… February ends in just 4 days, and I’m just now getting to write about January’s books. Better late than never… but really I need to make this a priority.

Here we go…

First up was The Immortalists, I started this book in that sweet, sweet period that lies between Christmas and New Year’s. I had just finished A Place for Us, I was combating a cold that had made it’s way through the whole family… and I delved head first into this book, knowing that in a matter of days it would be life back to normal. Work. The routine. I always find it so funny that whenever I’m taking a break from normal life (vacations or holiday breaks), that the break itself isn’t enough, I have to dive head first into a fictional world. Every time. I love it. I live for it actually. Anytime I’m about to leave for a trip or for a long stretch at “home” then I always pack way more books than I’ll realistically have time to get to. So… when I finished one I had tons to choose from, but I finally chose The Immortalists. I say finally because I think I’ve owned this book for like a year before I finally got to it.

I both loved and was underwhelmed by this book. I know, weird, right? How can it be both? And here’s why… this book is about 4 siblings and when they are kids they go see a gypsy fortune teller who tells each one of them the day they will die. After that intro the book moves into parts… 4 parts, one for each sibling. Some of the sibling’s I loved their stories more than the others. For instance the youngest brother’s story was sooooooooo good that when his time came to an end and we were on to the next sibling I just found myself missing the other story so much. It ended up being that both of the brothers were my favorite parts.

The book toys around with fate vs free will, destiny vs self fulfilling prophecy. If you like thinking about these types of things then you would probably enjoy this book. The book came out right at the beginning of 2018 and was on practically everyone’s “best books of the year” lists (NPR, and The Washington Post- that’s “everyone” in case you were wondering. I know you were).

Anyway… I recommend it, but I don’t think it was the best book to come out last year. It’s worth reading though, even if for Simon’s section alone. So good. There are worst ways to start the year off than by reading one of the most noteworthy books from the year prior.

Ok- next up may seem like a strange choice but it is a book about the yogi Krishnamacharya. In yoga teacher training we were supposed to write a paper about Krishnamacharya and my teacher Raj made some comment about people always just copy Wikipedia and write the same thing. So… I was taking FOREVER to turn this paper in because my intention was to actually read a legit book about the dude so that I could drop some knowledge bombs and blow Raj’s mind. So… at Joy’s wedding I promised Raj that I would turn in the paper before a year had passed. So, now that I’ve read the book the paper is up next.

I’m glad I read the book. The book was written by Krishnamacharya’s son. I’m not going to write a lot about it here, because well, quite honestly it’s been a month since I’ve read it and details are escaping me… but no sense recalling it all here when I actually need to write a legit paper on it. lol

Here’s what I’ll do… when I write the paper, it will have it’s own separate post in case anyone is interested!

Anyway… I’ll be back in a couple of days with February’s reads! I swear!