What Are You Reading in 2010?


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What Are You Reading in 2010?

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Mar 3, 2010, 5:39pm

I'm reading Buddha for Beginners by Stephen T. Asma, which has had its moments. He particularly piqued my interest with his discussion of the hard to sort out conjunction of there being no soul, but nonetheless a series of lives affected by karma.

On a daily basis, I'm also reading 365 Zen: Daily Readings by Jean Smith, which has given me plenty of food for thought and better guidance than the horoscopes. :-)

Edited: Mar 4, 2010, 12:18am

So far this year, wrt Buddhism, I've read The Best Buddhist Writing 2009, Dropping Ashes On the Buddha, The Novice by Schettini, Questions Of Heaven, and Zen Women (couldn't finish this - didn't like the styling), Poems of Hanshan trans. by Peter Hobson plus all the usual magazines.

None of them has really made a large impact on me I'm afraid, but that's probably more due to me than the quality or lack thereof of the works in question.

Mar 4, 2010, 12:29am

hey hey hey I'm reading shiloh. I really love the book it's awesome

Mar 4, 2010, 10:33am

For what it's worth, Andrew, I like the Burton Watson translation of the Hanshan (Cold Mountain) poems. Here's an Amazon link:


Mar 30, 2010, 1:54am

>1 jnwelch: Just finished rereading Buddha for Beginners this past weekend. I love that book.

Apr 6, 2010, 12:16pm

I've just started The Heart of Compassion: The Thirty-Seven Verses on the Practice of a Bodhisattva by Dilgo Khyentse.

I just joined LibraryThing a couple days ago. What have folks found to be the most useful aspect of this site?

Apr 6, 2010, 2:43pm

The Heart of Compassion looks good, kukulaj.

The most useful aspects of the site for me have been cataloging my books, and the discussions about books in the many forums, e.g. http://www.librarything.com/groups/whatareyoureadingno and http://www.librarything.com/groups/booktalk.

Apr 7, 2010, 8:29am

A quick read yesterday: Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems by Gary Snyder.

Apr 7, 2010, 10:18am

Tsurezuregusa or Essays in Idleness, a heap of miscellaneous anecdotes and observations by a 14th century Japanese monk. Not the most substantial literature in the world but interesting and easy to pick up.

Edited: Apr 8, 2010, 8:40pm

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Edited: Dec 11, 2012, 2:45am

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Apr 16, 2010, 9:36am

Just started Zen and the Art of Faking It, a young adult novel centered around Buddhism. So far, so good.

Apr 17, 2010, 8:07pm

#6: I think the best thing about LT are the book reviews people can post. They're so diverse and interesting and unlike critics' evaluations. So good to be real. I love it when someone says: I hated that book! Or: I loved that book!

Apr 19, 2010, 11:25am

I liked Zen and the Art of Faking It, a YA title, a lot, and recommend it.

For those looking for useful resources, I find this online one worthwhile: http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/wordofbuddha.pdf

Edited: May 2, 2010, 6:58pm

Just read Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, a novel by Isabel Allende, which has a strong Buddhist component.

Edited: May 12, 2010, 8:15am

Bodhisattva Archetypes - Taigen Daniel Leighton
Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames - Thich Nhat Hanh
The Four Immeasurables: Cultivating a Boundless Heart - B. Alan Wallace

What the Buddha Taught - Walpola Rahula
The Four Noble Truths - Geshe Tashi Tsering

May 18, 2010, 9:32am

Selfless Insight, the first 50 pages of it at least. I'm reading it here.

Edited: May 27, 2010, 9:24pm

I've decided, having found this group (thanks, Joe), to dip back into A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield. since my ability to read visually is quite limited, my sorties into the written word are always quite brief. a paragraph or two, sometimes as much as a couple of pages. this works nicely for my Buddhist reading. :)

i also visit Tricycle online and Shambhala Sun. SS is currently doing a 'best of Thich Nhat Hanh' and i found The Moment is Perfect particularly helpful.

I've listened to Thay so often that i can hear him speaking when i read the words and his voice in my head/heart is calming.

Here's the entire list of Thay's articles from SS.

May 31, 2010, 9:27pm

Thanks, mirrordrum. Good Thay article on SS. Maybe I can do a little better with my breakfast tomorrow! Not to mention the rest of the day.

I'll look forward to reading his other articles. And I'll look for A Path with Heart.

May 31, 2010, 11:18pm

Zen Baggage is quite engaging. Red Pine's travels around the primary Chan (Zen) sites in China, interspersed with lots of Chinese zen (and some Tao) history.

Jun 4, 2010, 10:33am

Thanks, Andrew. I picked up Zen Baggage; it looks like one I'd enjoy. Like you, I liked the Van der Wetering books, among others.

I just finished The Razor's Edge. Interesting to read a talented novelist take on issues of God and religion via the central character, Larry from Illinois. (About as non-mystical a character name and origin as I can imagine). (Says Joe from Chicago!)

Maugham touches on one of the conundrums for me (another one is no soul vs. karma and many lives), which is "no return" to this life after enlightenment. If one happens to like this existence, that doesn't seem like much of a reward, or a goal to strive for.

Anyway, glad I read it. I've never read Maugham before, and it certainly wasn't what I expected.

Jun 30, 2010, 10:24pm

I'm very much enjoying The Three Pillars Of Zen. Fascinating stuff.

Jun 30, 2010, 10:46pm

Of all the dreck about zen and Buddhism in general in print these days, you managed to find one of the true gems Andrew, looking forward to hearing what you think about it.

Jul 2, 2010, 9:33am

I'm currently reading Liza Dalby's Hidden Buddhas. Dalby certainly knows her stuff (in fact, the book reads more like a uni lecture than novel in many places) and I'm interested to see where she's taking the story. I'm not sure I agree with her assertion that the Japanese have forgotten or forsaken Shingon Buddhism. At least in my experience, of those temples that are regularly open to visitors, Shingon temples had the highest ratio of worshipers to tourists by far.

Jul 7, 2010, 3:52pm

Hidden Buddhas sounds good. I've added it to my TBR list.

Jul 8, 2010, 10:23am

Picked up a copy of Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness last weekend at Powell's, but haven't gotten a chance to dip into it yet. For that matter, still haven't really taken the time to sit down with Mindfulness in Plain English either.

Jul 11, 2010, 6:14pm

Just finished one that highlighted some of the benefits of Buddhism for me; Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman. After a good, easy-to-read discussion of many studies showing how things like irrational loss avoidance and labeling sway our behavior, the author at the end briefly extols the benefits of a Zen Buddhist perspective in making rational decisions.

Aug 8, 2010, 4:33pm

Finished Buddha for Beginners, and learned a lot from it.

Edited: Aug 8, 2010, 5:19pm

28> Thats one of my all time intro books. I just finished a reread of it about a month ago and lent it to my aunt. Hoping I get it back soon as its an ARC.