What Books Are You Reading?

Although these days I can’t seem to get my nose out of technical manuals, I’m still a voracious reader. Books I have read more than once in recent years include “A Soprano on Her Head: Right-Side-Up Reflections on Life and Other Performances” by Eloise Ristad, “The Mists Of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley and “Savitri” by Sri Aurobindo. The technical manuals on my nightstand include topics such as Final Cut Pro and Flash 8.

What are you reading?

A Soprano On Her Head
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21 thoughts on “What Books Are You Reading?”

  1. Currently I am reading “1421, The Year China Discovered America” by Gavin Menzies. According to Menzies’ incontrovertible evidence Chinese ships reached America seventy years before Columbus and had circumnavigated the globe a century before Magellan.
    I finished reading “Unmonumental, The Object in the 21st Century” published in association with New Museum in New York. A must read for anyone interested in the direction of art today especially sculpture which is described as ” punky, insouciant contemporaneity that belies the fact that the artists range in age from the very young to mature”.

  2. I have two books on my ipod…Johnathan Livingston Seagull, and Savitri. Bach’s JLS is to me the most meaningful book I have ever read. Savitri has a very personal meaning to me, for someone once reminded me as I was in a very difficult time and space of how she in essence said NO to the darkness. There is a great sense of being responsible for your own feelings woven into that story, and I find it and JLS are nice to have with me.

    I wrote so many technical manuals that I have a tendency to just fumble my way through some things, but I try to get real and read them if it looks like I am going to break something.

  3. Michael,
    Jonathan Livingston Seagull appeared at a time in my life when I was searching for more meaning. I used to wear a necklace with Jonathan on the front of it and on the back was the quote, “You have the freedom, to be yourself, here and now.” Very compelling then and now.

    I read much lighter books now…mysteries, spy novels, and political pieces. But, JLS is still my favorite too.

  4. Hi Everyone
    I have to agree that Jonathon Livingston Seagull is a wonderful book. I have read it in both English and Spanish and it’s one of the few that survive translation!

    BTW Michael, there is a children’s version out of Savitri written by Aaron Shepard. He’s also a flute maker and I have a booklet he wrote about making your own flutes!

  5. I’m just going to have to chase up a version of Savitri by Sri Aurobindo, this sounds very intriguing… I definitely want to read up on the story that inspires your music.

    I’m an avid reader and it’s never one book I read, but several. In the mornings I like to begin with inspiration, so I read a section from Doreen Virtue’s “Daily Guidance From Your Angels”. I’m also re-reading her book “Angel Medicine”. For evening after work I’m engrossed in re-reading for the nth time a book in Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series.

    And something last night made me pick up “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel… and I’ve forgotten his surname…oops 🙂 Starts with R! Anyway, I am struck once again by the amazing truths in this book and re-inspired to live and work by these principals. It’s a book I truly recommend to everyone.

  6. Hi Susan
    The Savitri I have I got in 1987. It’s from the Ashram Press in Pondicherry India. I was introduced to it by an opera vocal coach who had actually been involved in the beginnings of Auroville. http://www.auroville.org/
    Here is their creed: “Auroville wants to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities. The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.”

    You can find the text online at http://www.savitribysriaurobindo.com
    🙂

  7. I had no idea that JLS was so popular. Savitri has a very strong message, too. Stories like these; were they written solely for entertainment? They seem to have a magic about them. You read with your mind, the words and the story are captivating, but these two, especially, open your heart. Instead of reading, you are feeling. Oh, sure, some books can make you smile and laugh, but there is a depth in these beyond that. Poetic novels for there is more to them than the words.

    michael

  8. Thanks so much for that and the links. I formerly worked in a new age shop and had looked up the availability of Sri Aurobindo’s books in the huge book supplier catalogue. I knew then we could get it here in Australia (not always the case sadly!)

    I would speculate as to whether sometimes with books and music that the creators of it/artists are in some way tapping in to another source, so to speak? Something to ponder. It’s truly a gift to be able to write or create music in such a way that you can make people “see” or “feel” what the artist is conveying. For my own part, for a very long time I have always been able to “see” images within music, when I listen to it I nearly always see in my mind’s eye the pictures that the music is evoking. Mind you, the sleeve notes you put in your CDs also help…:)

  9. Don MIquel Ruiz…. The Four Agreements and the other Toltec wisdom books he wrote are GREAT reads. I think Ruiz and Tolle view creativity along similar lines. Inspiration is living ‘in spirit’; when we are able to be in spirit, or inspired, we can create. I think most of us have a desire to create beauty. Tolle, says living in the present, or finding the silence between the thoughts, and that is to me to be living in spirit. I don’t know who said it, but the quote I like is :

    We are spiritual beings on a human journey; not human beings on a spiritual journey.

    Michael

  10. I looked up Lisa See. Her books look interesting, but I want to get through “The Navigator” by Morris West again first. Thanks for the idea.

    michael

  11. “We are spiritual beings on a human journey; not human beings on a spiritual journey.”

    I really like this a lot!

    Apparently it is a quote by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, according to quoteworld.com

    I don’t know who Pierre is, but he got it right with this! 🙂

  12. Lol…that is why I did not add his name. He did get it right, though. Was totally lost as to who he was; next time I come across an unknown I will put the page. I will try quote world. I have been using THinkExist.com

    Michael

  13. I thought Wayne Dyer or Neale Donald Walsch came up with that saying. Obviously it’s been around for a while!

    Don Miguel Ruiz’ work is amazing, I was recommended that a few years back. I did read Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” but I found that one a bit hard going. It wasn’t easy, fluid reading, and I find it easier to assimilate the material if it is explained and presented in such a manner that your readers easily grasp it. I have always ascribed the success of Doreen Virtue to her manner of writing in such a way that it seems that she is having a chat with you, and yet the information she presents is easy to understand. Wayne Dyer’s earlier books had been the same, but of late I found they were getting much more esoteric. Nothing wrong with that, I just prefer a different style.

  14. A change of pace…

    Marley and Me…by John Grogan. One of the good ones…I laughed until I could not see straight. Of course, the ending, well. You aren’t laughing then, but such a wonderful story. Anyone that ever had a dog they were close to will love this. It was fun to read just for fun.

  15. Hi Michael
    I haven’t read that one! But I have read the little kids version “Bad Dog Marley” by the same author.
    🙂
    http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Dog-Marley-John-Grogan/dp/006117114X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207370547&sr=8-1

    I see there are both good and bad reviews of the book on Amazon – that’s for sure.

    Our own lab lived to be 16. It was a roller coaster ride. And I know we weren’t always perfect parents to her – but we did truly adore her and she was the very best dog anyone could ever have. But my goodness (as do most labs it seems) she sure got into a LOT of trouble. She peeled the wallpaper off in the kitchen (yes, all of it), ate Randy’s wedding ring, destroyed many things – but back then crate training was not something most people had even heard of.

  16. oh, wow….
    labs are the greatest. Yours sounds like Marley..but I gotta ask…rofl…according to Grogan, the gold necklace that Marley ate was never as beautiful or shiny as it was after that…sorry ;-). They joked about starting a jewelry cleaning business.

    I always like to think I bought the dog, and the house was free. She was like Marley…little people could tug on her, Rachel could play doctor and bandage her, and she just lay there and looked like “Oh, well…they’re just little people”…

    what great things to remember. I have not read the one you read, but if you liked it at all you will LOVE this one.

  17. Hi Michael – Actually, the ring came back out the same end it went in. Apparently the watch and shirt she also ate did not agree with her tummy. 🙂 Not to mention she felled a tree the day before – gnawing around and around the trunk until it broke off. Still I miss her…

  18. lol…I had one that ate all the rose bushes. I just new she was going to die or have to go to vet. I called the vet who reassured me that ‘these things two shall pass’. Seemed to be no worse for the wear, though it was early spring and they were only starting to grow.

    I guess we never get over that one special dog.

    It has been warm and beautiful here for three days. Today it almost reached 80, a number we have not seen for over 6 months.

    Michael

  19. back to Susan’s comment about Tolle and the power of now. I finished the new one ” A New Earth”, and it goes beyond stillness speaks and the power of now.

    He did a web broadcast with Oprah over 10 weeks..one chapter a week. It is still available at oprah.com if anyone is interested in hearing him speak of the book. He is quite a remarkable character and I thorougly enjoyed the event..

    I think a lot of what he speaks of in all the books is what we look for in meditation. He calls it the quiet between the thoughts. I find it now with tai-chi…the quiet goes on, because the thoughts are racing around banging into everything.

  20. I love that space where you have found the stillness and the monkey mind is tamed for awhile. How long have you been doing Tai Chi?

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