Book Review: Dalai Lama XIV, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlton Abrams, The Book of Joy

A wonderful book from two of today’s most important spiritual teachers The Book of Joy is a conversation that seeks to explain how everyone can withstand the trials and tribulations of living in the world to find joy in everyday living. Without being either overtly Christian or Buddhist, the book still draws from these spiritual practices, how could it not? I derived great joy in looking at the photos of these two great men and their great friendship, and thinking about what an impact this book will have on everyone who reads it.

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Book Review: Antonio Skármeta, I Dreamt The Snow Was Burning

A story of a Chilean footballer going off on his own for the first time, obsessed with losing his virginity, and lacking the social graces to do so, set in a tense time before the Revolution. Surrealistic with lots of heavy experimental writing with streams of consciousness drifting in one long paragraph among characters and other surrealistic styles.

Book Review: Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Roy’s first book of fiction in twenty years, since the Booker prize winning <i>The God of Small Things</i>, this novel did not disappoint. A critique of modern India, Roy covers everything from the treatment of hijras to the rabid nationalism that is taking over the country in effective, beautiful prose. I couldn’t wait to read this book while at the same time didn’t want it to end. A masterful piece of work.

Book Review: Arundhati Roy, The End of Imagination

A timely compilation of five of Arundhati Roy’s books of essays with a new introduction by Roy. Parts I and II focus on power politics in India; Part III on the rise of neoliberalism in the United States following September 11th. I’d read many of these essays when they were first published, but in the tumultuous aftermath of the takeover of the global stage by Donald T***p I find they are just as relevant now as then, even prophetic. An important book for everyone: activists, community organizers, and those just looking for a bit of hope in their struggle to survive modern imperialism including a blatantly corrupt Indian government and US domination of the world.

Book Review: Emma Donoghue, Frog Music

A historical mystery based on the unsolved murder of Jenny Bonnet in San Francisco in 1876. Fast moving and well written, I especially loved the afterward that delved briefly into the lives of the real people these characters are based on, and how Donoghue tried to keep faithful to what really happened, while acknowledging that because of journalist’s tendency to fabricate at times, it’s still a fiction. Also contains a description of the songs Blanche la danseuse sings throughout the novel and a French Glossary of Terms.