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tmdblya

Currently reading

Zen Buddhism: A History (Japan) (Treasures of the World's Religions) (Volume 2)
James W. Heisig, Heinrich Dumoulin, Paul F. Knitter
The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo
Jokei Molly Delight Whitehead, Kosho Uchiyama Roshi, Shohaku Okumura, Shohaku Okumura
Living by Vow: A Practical Introduction to Eight Essential Zen Chants and Texts
Shohaku Okumura
Grant
Ron Chernow
Being Nobody, Going Nowhere: Meditations on the Buddhist Path
Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Ayya Khema

To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918

To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 - Adam Hochschild Read this book and, if nothing else, you will come away with an deep, burning hatred for Rudyard Kipling.

Buddha

Buddha - Karen Armstrong Simple, quick biography. Recognizes and grapples with the lack of historical validation modern readers would expect, as well as makes comparisons to Western religious traditions for better understanding.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke I "read" the audio book, performed by Simon Prebble. I say "performed" and not "read" because it is truly an astounding performance. And it is likely his performance that makes me describe the pace of the book as a slow burn rather than simply slow, as others have done. I was completely taken in by this world and the characters he vividly brought to life. So much so that I will inevitably compare the TV miniseries to the audio book, and undoubtedly find the TV version comes up short.

Ready Player One

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline A case study in the dangers of trading in nostalgia. Boring as all hell. More of a description of internet culture circa the publication date than an imaginative vision of the future. Poster child for why "show, don't tell" is an old writers' saw.

Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company

Do You Matter? How Great Design Will Make People Love Your Company - Robert Brunner, Stewart Emery, Russ Hall Preaching to the choir. If you're already onboard with design, this will be encouraging. But it probably won't help you change a non-design culture. For the non-design audience, it's not terribly persuasive. Another business-y book that is primarily a series of anecdotes.

Strategy: A History

Strategy: A History - Lawrence Freedman Abandoned about 1/3 through. Tremendously boring and lacking in much insight.

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World - Jane McGonigal An apologist for video games, a paper argument for their value, but more an explanation of the prevalence of addiction.

I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)

I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) - Chuck Klosterman Pretty funny book, but the last chapter is the clincher for why this is 5-stars. I won't ruin it for you.

Man's Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner Feels very much a product of a specific time, dealing highly specific issues in psychoanalysis, not the timeless classic with real insight into the human condition its reputation indicates. Can't recommend it.

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind - Jocelyn K. Glei, 99U Get up early. Go to bead late.
Have some silent time or meditation time.
Block out time on your calendar for yourself. Keep it as sacred time. Don't compromise it.
Do big, important things early in the day.
Don't keep your email open all the time.

None of these things are secrets. Probably been known for ages. It's not the knowing, its the doing that's the key.

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 - Tony Judt Boring as hell.

Finland's War Of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Coalition in World War II

Finland's War Of Choice: The Troubled German-Finnish Coalition in World War II - Henrik O. Lunde This review is of the audio book.

The portions relating the actual combat operations are mostly a litany of unit designations, commander names and repetitive locations. very little or no insight into tactics, motivations, or strategic events. The small portion that deals with Finland's political options and strategic approach to being squeezed between two totalitarian regimes and picking from just a few suboptimal choices is interesting, but brief.

And the audio book narrator consistently mispronounces "Murmansk" as "Murmanks" at least 200 times throughout the book, which is unbelievably annoying.

The Pixar Touch

The Pixar Touch - David A. Price

Straightforward history of Pixar upto it's acquisition by Disney. A quick read, mostly focused in the corporate events on the company's development. Very little insight as to what makes the company unique and great, aside from hiring the best and keeping them together come what may, focused on a long term broad goal.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - Eric Metaxas Long after finishing this biography, a friend pointed out the twisted theology and politics of its author. I was stunned that the author would view the world in exactly the opposite terms as myself and view Bonhoeffer as a model to opposition to liberal mainstream Christianity and politics rather than a light to those those fighting against the Christofascist efforts of modern American evangelicalism, as I do.

http://religionandpolitics.org/2016/10/18/eric-metaxas-bonhoeffer-delusions/

The Gun

The Gun - C.J. Chivers Disappointing considering how much I like Chivers' reporting in the Ny Times and his blog. Uneven style and recurring redundencies. Could have been much shorter. Tying the central theme to the AK47 is a stretch and works better as a general history of the automatic rifle. The sections on the development and commercialization of the Gatling, Maxim and M-16 are great, though.

The Brand Gap

The Brand Gap - Marty Neumeier A good, quick overview of branding from the creative viewpoint, if you need it. Mostly redundant for me, at this point. Some good guidance about doing research (what type is appropriate for what purpose.)

The Third Reich at War

The Third Reich at War - Richard J. Evans Horrific.