I recommend this book to everyone. It’s that good.
For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.
The Heartmost Desire
From the preface and foreword by fellow Prometheus-award-winning novelist, Brad Linaweaver:
Over the years many fans of J. Neil Schulman have said they want another book by him. Sometimes you get what you ask for ... but it's not always what you think you want.
Neil Schulman is one of those writers who doesn't just write the same book over and over and over. He writes a book when he has something to say.
Neil crams more into single paragraphs than other libertarians put into entire boring tomes. He can rattle off more limitations on our supposed free speech that most of us ever consider. He can recite a list of cultural taboos to frighten the staunchest social conservative. Neil is a libertarian. So why is he so often in hot water with other libertarians, the natural audience for this book? ...
A libertarian defends the right to be wrong. It takes a lot of effort to initiate force or fraud. Short of that, the libertarian is tolerant of actions that liberals and conservatives cannot understand. But a libertarian also has the right to judge the value of values.
A libertarian can have common sense. He can weigh the good and the bad in the shadowlands where ideas have yet to be put into practice. There is one kind of libertarian who will derive no benefit from the words that follow. That is someone who has no heart.
"The Lord ain't my shepherd Cause I ain't no sheep. I'm a god in a body Not Little Bo Peep."
By Steven Vandervelde on September 4, 2013
Review of J Neil Schulman's new book, The Heartmost Desire
"The Lord ain't my shepherd
Cause I ain't no sheep.
I'm a god in a body
Not Little Bo Peep."
What is the essence of the individual human identity? We might call it the personality or the ego, that which makes me, me. Is it any less real to call it the soul, the spirit or the divine spark? I do not see why it should be, if we are talking about the same thing. Thus, the above poem could be misleading to anyone who decides not to read further.
Schulman is a philosopher, not a theologian. He writes about his own personal experience and his interpretation of that experience, and never demands that we accept his view on faith. He is not trying to create a cult following. He is attempting to open a reasoned discussion. Basically, his is telling us a story, a story about what happened to him, and what he thinks it means. We are free to take it or leave it, to accept the possibility that he believes what he is saying and not trying to fool us, or to refuse to understand and misrepresent his intention, as, unfortunately, many have done.
In the end, it does not really matter if Neil's personal understanding of his experience is true or false. It is his experience, not ours. What matters is how we chose to understand what he is telling us. No understanding will be gained by a swift and superficial reading of his thoughts.
It is crystal clear to anyone who has written poetry, to anyone how has written fiction, or told a story, that there are other forms of communication besides solid logic and hard reason.
I debated posting this one at all because I was so disappointed with the ending. It was okay until the last chapter, and then lead character is revealed as Moriarty. Kind of a let down. I’m lucky and got it at a thrift shop for cheap. The link is here for Amazon, but I’d pass on this if I were you.
One of Tom Brown’s field guides. Essential for anyone interested in honing their outdoors skills. A big section on plant identification and usage makes this book a winner.
* How to build natural shelters in plains, woods, or deserts
* How to get safe drinking water from plants, trees, the sun, or Earth Herself
* How to make fire without matches and maintain it in any weather
* How to find, stalk, kill, and prepare animals for food
* The “big four” edible plants, and hundreds of others useful for both nutrition and medicine
This is a pretty darn good first book from Sandy Harris. The premise is interesting, and fairly well executed. A little more time editing would be good, as there are spelling and grammar mistakes (very few, but noticeable). I liked it, and look forward to more from the author.
The sheriff’s office thinks Bateman, a model high school senior and son of a prominent citizen, brutally murdered his three companions on a south Alabama whitetail deer hunt. They don’t buy the tale he tells of a huge buck that somehow managed to kill all three of the armed men. They are a hair’s breath away from indicting him for murder when evidence begins to surface suggesting that something strange and seriously wrong happened out there in the woods. Could it be that John’s unbelievable story is actually true? John must risk his own life in the final showdown to prove his innocence beyond a doubt.
Episodes with Wayne Thiebaud
I just learned that Ursula Le Guin has died at the age of 88. She was one of the shining lights of science fiction and fantasy, and will be missed. From The Dispossed to The Left Hand of Darkness to her Earth sea series, and essays on writing and other subjects, she brought a sharp mind and a way with words that were unparalleled. She will be missed, but leaves a great legacy, which I will be enjoying throughout the rest of the year.
Beyond The Empire is the third book in a trilogy, and it’s just as good as the first two. I recommend the whole series, basically because you won’t know what’s going on in this one without reading the other two. You won’t be disappointed if you like space opera, military SF, or grand sweeping stories. I actually anticipated each book, luckily she writes faster than George RR Martin. Now I’m anticipating the new series with Hail and crew The Farian Wars, release date not announced. 🙁
Gunrunner-turned-Empress Hail Bristol was dragged back to her home planet to take her rightful place in the palace. Her sisters and parents have been murdered, and the Indranan Empire is reeling from both treasonous plots and foreign invasion.
Now, on the run from enemies on all fronts, Hail prepares to fight a full-scale war for her throne and her people, even as she struggles with the immense weight of the legacy thrust upon her. With the aid of a motley crew of allies old and new, she must return home to face off with the same powerful enemies who killed her family and aim to destroy everything and everyone she loves. Untangling a legacy of lies and restoring peace to Indrana will require an empress’s wrath and a gunrunner’s justice….
You can get the whole series on Kindle here: The Indranan War (3 Book Series)
The description below pretty much says it. Except that Dillard can really turn a phrase.
In this collection of short essays, Annie Dillard—the author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood—illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterize the existence of a writer. A moving account of Dillard’s own experience, The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious professions.
A nice book of essays from Le Guin. Taken from her blog. The first section on aging is basically worth the price of the book.
On cultural perceptions of fantasy: “The direction of escape is toward freedom. So what is ‘escapism’ an accusation of?”
Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she’s in the last great frontier of life, old age, and exploring new literary territory: the blog, a forum where her voice—sharp, witty, as compassionate as it is critical—shines. No Time to Spare collects the best of Ursula’s online writing, presenting perfectly crystallized dispatches on what matters to her now, her concerns with this world, and her unceasing wonder…