if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What are you reading?

Someone recently asked me what I was reading and I lied. I picked one book. In my most annoying approval seeking way I told them the book I thought they would appreciate the most. What I should have said is "Hey let me get some comfortable furniture for you to sit in and some big steaming hot drinks for us to blow on and I will tell you what I am reading right now." There is that comfortable? OK

First of all I'm reading about 10 books
Its not that good of a strategy, really, but that is what's happened.
The first book Ill share is the one that calls to me every day. Its called Knowledge of Freedom Time to change and it's by Tarthang Tulku. It seems extremely pertinent and helpful with my quandaries about what we as a race and I as a person can do to evolve past the fear driven living as a entity looking at everything outside myself as separate. Its a readable and captivating book but oddly I can not sum up what it's about. The first third of the book has been a overview of the cosmic (as in cosmos) realm and the formulation of our world, moving into more anthropological and pshcho social observations. It has a salve for a soul who regularly hears the starting gun of the rat race, and even competes in it. I look forward to the future chapters where specific suggestions for changing our competition based existence are offered. OK it's not pulp fiction... I read most of it in the early morning dark, while riding the commuter bus, somehow it seemed the perfect reading then, harder to read by the light of day, though. I read it out loud to Jordan who speaks highly of it and doesn't start snoring, usually.
The next book, some fiction, is by Mary Wesley (she published her first novel at 70 and followed it up with 9 more bestsellers in the next 11 years.) is called Jumping the Queue It's a story about a widow who plans to have a final picnic before she takes some pills and swims out to sea once and for all, only her plan is inadvertently foiled by some carefree teens. It does give the chance to meet and become curious about a matricidal criminal and well thats as far as Ive gotten. It is set in England. It is sparky and concise and I like the writing.
It would not be fair to leave out the Massey Extramural study guide for my creative writing course, which is half poetry and half short story based. It is good reading but I have to read it into a voice recorder because my mind checks out and I cant follow it while reading it. I hang the laundry and do the dishes to to the lectures and they seem to get into my brain better. I suppose that means I'm a kinetic learner. I am enjoying the poetry, and still look forward to the short stories. In June, our dead of winter, there is a contact course where I will meet some of the other correspondence students on a 3 day retreat.
My Grandma Kelly (of the salty oatmeal cookie fame) once told me that she learned that if a person could get control of time, they could master plenty. I thought of her when I found a book at some garage sale called Getting a Grip on Time. It is by Robyn Parsons. The book is wholesome and welcoming and reassuring on such a fast spinning globe. It turns out that she lives in Glen Innes, my neighborhood. She recently had an evening speaking engagement at the local library. I cried when I couldn't find childcare (but not for long). I pick up the book a lot but not many pages have been read. As soon as I cheat and don't do an exercise I lose interest. Oh well.
Im studiing rituals for school and I have a couple of books going with that; one is Celebrating the Southern Seasons which is written by an Auckland based writer psychotherapist/artist/teacher (whew) named Juliet Batten. It is chock full of great celebrations and rituals to confirm the seasons and what they may represent. The other ritual study book is a glossy slick Atlas of Sacred and Spiritual Sites. It is got everything from famous places of worship, sites of pilgrimage, isolation and meditation sites to stone circles and megaliths. I love leafing through and reading a new one when it grabs me.
I bought a book of stories by Salmon Rushdie called East, West The stories are good. This is my first time reading this Indian author. The libraries in Auckland sell discarded books for 3 for a dollar and this one was an excellent buy.
One of my co reads with Jordan is the book Blink: The power of thinking without thinking by Malcom Gladwell. Read at bedtime, truly fascinating, but usually the eyelids win. Its about our quick intelligence that happens right away when we confront a situation. Perhaps intuitive impulse might be a good way to put it.
One day as I was showing Desmond the other Desmond Alexanders of the world on Google images when he asked me to look up the images for "Joe". I did and something caught my eye, a site for Joe Vitale. He is a marketing whizz and a sort of life coach. I flitted around the internet and found he had discovered a Hawaiian based "system" that I found interesting. I looked it up in the Library and ended up ordering two books by the guy. One called Hypnotic Writing and the other one called Zero Limits (the Hawaiian one). These two books are sadly sitting in the bag awaiting their turn counting the 21 days skeptically.
The last story is one by New Zealander Rob Hewitt with help from Aaron Smale. It is a story of Rob's 75 hours in the sea off the coast of North island NZ. He was lost, having gotten separated from his diving party. Just think of that! While he was making up rhymes to keep his mind alert and focusable police were searching for his dead body! Its a good reality check, this book.

Thats about it! How about you? What are you reading? Tell me please on the comments part of this blog. It always interesting to here what people have chosen to read, plus, I need some suggestions for when I get these read!


  1. Hi Kate Stone!!! I love your blog! I have been lurking for several months (maybe even years).

    I just read Jumpha Lahiri's new clollection of short stories, SUPERB, I love her. And I am reading Isabel Allende's The SUm of our days, EXCELLENT. My book club is reading Perfect Madness, Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety, a good whine.

    I love reading about you and your famiglia and hope to see you on your next visit.

    Much love, Tori Zehner

  2. Your blog is marvelous!

    When I wish for people to feel/taste what our life is like, I send them here.

    I am reading endless children stories for the wee-ones.

    And endless technical treatises for my graduate studies, including Cowley's "The Theory of Stellar Spectra", Gray's "The Observation and Analysis of Stellar Photospheres", Gordon's/Sorochenko's "Radio Recombination Lines", and Stebbings'/Dunning's "Rydberg States of Atoms and Molecules".

    And for a little variation, I am re-reading Vonnegut's funny, irreverent, and penetrating "Cat's Cradle".


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