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Writer's Block: Book worms unite!

What are the three best books you have ever read and what are the three worst? What made them so good or bad?
1) Tao te Ching (Thw Way and its Virtue) attributed to Lao Tzu. It changed my life, its my Bible. Its cool! It's detachment, it's compassion, its spirituality without being religious or dogmatic. I can read it how I want and not feel like I am twisting its meaning.

2) The Cloud of Unknowimg, written by anonymous 14th(?) century Christian Monk. Classic neo-plationist Christian mystical description of the "nowhere path" teaches me I can love the ---- without knowing anything about it or even believing anything about it.

3) The Gospel according to Jesus, bu Stephen Mitchell. An effort to imagine what Jesus really said and did as opposed to what his supporters and critics thought he said and did.

4) I can't stop at three. Slaughterhouse Five. If I ever suffer from Post-traumatic stress disorder, I want Billy Pilgrim's version of it! This book introduced me to Kurt Vonnegut, for which I will always be grateful.

The three worst? Boy, I don't know. There are many I didn't finish. I don't deliberately read books I don't like, unless they were required for a course. The last book I didn't finish was Ecological Imperialism. Weeds make such lousy villians. Also Jean Auel's Valley of the Horses. Probably not a bad book, but such a let down after Clan of the Cave Bear that I could barely stand it. And the third runner up? Maybe one by James Burke whose title I blissfully forgot, Twin Paths or something like that; after Connections and The Day the Universe Changed (both marvelous) it was a real downer, a mess, incoherent trivia!


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 10th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
Yes they taught me a lot and changed my perspective on change. And written like novels, good novels.
Dec. 10th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
I also ~almost~ wrote thee "Tao Teh Ching" but decided that I didn't wanted to list more recent books and leave off the classics.

"The Cloud of Unknowing" sounds interesting. I had not heard ov it before now. Thanks for sharing!

I skimmed through "The Gospel according to Jesus" by Stephen Mitchell, and thought it was good... I think I might go back and read it again someday.

I also skimmed through Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steel: How Societies Survive" and I learned a lot... I would also like to take more time with that book...

So many good books... and so little time!

Dec. 10th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Re: books
I should have mentioned (well I did indirectly) Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel. Also, The Day the Universe Changed, by James Burke. I would highly recommend either book. As for The Cloud of Unknowing--If you are not a Christian you kind of have to make allowances for the fact that the author is a Christian. Read it as though he were a Taoist Sage with the Christology being sort of like the Chinese folk mythology that creeps into Taoist writing once in a while.
Dec. 10th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
BTW, another favorite book of mine is "Go: More than a Game" by Peter Shotwell. It has a section on "Go history" and he mentions the "Dark School of Taoism" and Confucianism... but I decided to leave that book off my list because most people would think it is a "special interest" book.

Your Taoist friend,
p.s. Do you know how to use thee Wei-Chi board and stones? (My way of asking Taoist if they know how to play the game of Go;)
Dec. 10th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
Re: books
I just googled go, interesting.
Dec. 10th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
Wei-Chi (aka Go, Baduk, WeiQi & Igo)
Check these out:
- I co-host that one.


The AGA:

Others on LJ:


If you are good at reading Asian fonts, you can use a search engine to find web-sites containing "围棋".

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of web-sites dedicated to this "game". I highly recommend this game/meditation tool!

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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