Sunday, November 13, 2011

58. Why Read Moby-Dick

By:  Nathaniel Philbrick
Rated 3 Stars
From:  Library
Format:  Book

 I am rating this book 3 stars because I actually finished it. I wouldn't have if it had not been a very slim book, 127 pages and written in a very readable style. The author, who seems to be to be a few fries short of a happy meal, obsessed on Melvillle's Moby Dick until he convinced me that I should never read it even if I was on a desert island and it was the only book around

Library catalog description:

"Shares expert guidelines on how to read and appreciate Herman Melville's classic work, offering insight into its history, characters, and themes while explaining its literary relevance in the modern world."

57. Turtle Feet : The Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk

By:  Nikolai Grozni
Rated:  3 Stars
Source:  Library

Generally I love books about the Far East because I find it exotic and the people interesting.  While this was a very well written book and interesting, overall I was disappointed. The author spends way to much time on the exploits of his friend Tsar's religious/spiritual experiences as a novice monk.  This became yawn inducing.

People are universally people and with a bunch of guys living together and there are always going to be some there with bad tempers, some with mental problems, some who swear like sailors, some who love to talk about sex, some who use drugs and other's who are devout and sincere. Maybe the author thought some of us didn't already know this and it was important to point that out.

But there is so much more that he could have written about, things unique to his life in India and Tibet.  Maybe I was looking for another Kim or The Far Pavilions.  At any rate it's not a book I would go around recommending.

Publisher Summary:

 Traces the author's spontaneous decision to give up his life as a musical prodigy to become a Buddhist monk, a choice that led to his relocation to the Himalayas and his indoctrination into Buddhist culture, where he found unexpected humor, doubts, and new friends.