The Dude and the Zen Master

As I mentioned earlier, I recently re-read the book The Dude and the Zen Master by Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman. This book is something I really needed to familiarize myself with, again. I started it on November 12th and finished it on the 17th. It really helped me to get a perspective on the world and to nourish my soul.

Rather than try to talk about it more, I’m just going to transcribe the quotes I made note of as well as any notes I made while reading it. I just ran across a wonderful article that talks about the book. Check it out if you’re interested. These are simply the quotes that really impacted me this time around. I hope that they inspire you to pick up this book for yourself, or at least gain something from them. But remember that these are simply parts of the whole. They have more when they are consumed as part of the whole. Enjoy! Continue reading “The Dude and the Zen Master”

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Unblocked!

Yesterday, my wallet decided to hide out on the backseat of my car. That was part of my problem. Knowing that I had a stack of books waiting for me at the library that I couldn’t get out because my ID was in my wallet was the other. But since I found it just chilling back there after tearing my room apart, things have significantly improved.

Cover of 'X-Men and the Mutant Metaphor: Race and Gender in the Comic Books' by Joseph P. DarowskiOne of the books in that stack is X-Men and the Mutant Metaphor by Joseph P. Darowski. This is the book I have been trying to find. I’ve been wishing I could find a book that would give me some guidance as to overall stories in the over 50 years of stories in the comics. This is it.

I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoys the comics of The X-Men universe. He focuses on the original title, known today as Uncanny X-Men, through issue #500. This book has not only given me guidance as to what comics I want to look at, it has given me focus in general.

It feels so good to have my focus back. It feels so good to know what comics I am going to look at in more detail. It feels so good to have a game plan as to what I am including and what I am excluding. It feels so good to know someone else has looked at these comics closely to examine what they say about things we deal with every day.

I have focus!!!! Now to get my hands on the other comics!

Who lives, Who dies, Who tells your story?

I haven’t talked about this here yet. I think it’s because I wasn’t ready to. I was trying to figure out my relationship and feelings about the hit musical Hamilton.

I’ve only been listening to the music for a few months now, but things changed drastically when I decided to write about it for one of my classes. Somehow that decision gave me permission to fully immerse myself in everything I could find. Since then, the paper has gone from an academic analysis of the musical to an autoethnography about “my descent into Hamilton fandom” as I like to put it. Basically, I’m going to be writing about becoming a fan, with academic analysis thrown in.

On Tuesday, the #Hamiltome arrived. It’s actually titled Hamilton: The Revolution. It is a beautiful book. I will definitely be writing a post about it when I’m done reading it. The fact that I’m actually going through and reading it, page by page, is surprising me right now. I thought I’d be too excited and jumping all over the place. But I am enjoying it immensely!

I still feel like I need to get the academic paper written before I go full fangirl on here. Maybe it’s partly because I feel like this is more of an academic interest than fangirl. Don’t get me wrong, I listen to it all the time for enjoyment. But the thing that allowed me to fully immerse myself in it and why I am so in love with this work and the people who bring it to life is deciding to look at it as an academic, as a popular culture scholar. It’s weird. I’ve never felt like this about anything. It’s kinda cool. Like I’ve gone through some rite of passage or something. Like I’m one step closer to being a “real scholar”, as if there’s a point where you become one.

Sorry, that got rambly. But it’s how I feel, so there it is. Stay tuned for more Hamilton love!

In my car, holding my copy of Hamilton: The Revolution to my face in pure joy of finally having it. It just arrived.

Challenge Accepted!

The other day my sister posted something on Facebook and tagged me in it. My response: Challenge accepted!

2016Reading

Some of these are going to be really easy for me to do. Others will be a little tougher. But I have a year to do it in. So, anyone else? Come on, you know you want to! Accept the challenge and join me! If you decide to go for it, leave a comment saying “Challenge accepted!” I want to see how many people are going to try this!

Finished! Chicks Dig Time Lords

Have I mentioned I have an awesome father-in-law?

Image from Goodreads

This year one of my Christmas presents was the book Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It. I had put it on my Amazon wishlist once I found out about it a few years ago. It’s not a huge book, so I thought it would be a good choice to bring with me to Ohayocon to read during down time between panels. Boy, was I right.

This book is a collection of essays written by women Who-vians. Jody Lyn Nye, Seanan McGuire, and Carole E. Barrowman are just a few of them. I decided to pick through and read what caught my attention instead of just reading it straight through. Why not? It was a good approach. Strike that. It was a great approach!

Reading about how all these women got into Doctor Who and the fandom was really inspiring. Some got into it watching it on PBS. Some started with the Ninth Doctor. Some were there at the beginning in Britain. Some talk about different aspects of the fandom. All of them talk about how it became a part of their lives, in one way or another. All of them made me glad to be a part of the fandom.

Right now I’m reading through it, again. This time with my notebook and pen nearby to write down thoughts and passages as I go. I wished I had that the first time, but there’s only so much you want to carry around at a convention.

If you’re into Doctor Who, this book is a great read. I highly recommend it!

Finished! The Signature of All Things

The Signature of All Things audiobook cover
Goodreads

The Signature of All Things is a novel by Elizabeth Gilbert. It follows the life of Alma Whittaker from her birth to the later years of her life. It even goes into the details of her father, Henry Whittaker, leading up to her birth. The details of Henry’s life help to explain a lot about his intelligent daughter. Alma grows up to follow in her father’s footsteps as a botanist. In the book we follow her as she grows in knowledge, years, experience, and relationships.

This book takes you all over the world and back again. There were times I felt if I were reading it, I might have gotten a little bored. Just because of the lull in the action, so to speak. But being an audiobook, the narrator did an amazing job of reading, and it kept me engaged the entire time. This is one of the few times where I do not feel the need to read the book. Most of the time I enjoy the audiobook, but crave the immersion that reading a book gives me. Again, the narrator does such an amazing job, I felt completely immersed while I was listening. Well, as immersed as one can be while driving.

Projects galore!

We are busy little bees here at home.

Like I mentioned before, I have my Dresden Files project all lined up once I get my reading list cleared. Or at least down to one other book. And after I read Skin Game, because I doubt I’ll be able to get started on the project before it comes out. Oh darn. I guess that means I’ll be reading it twice fairly quickly.

Books 1-7 of The Dresden Files
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

But yesterday I gave in and made the project a little simpler. Yesterday the first seven books of The Dresden Files were $1.99 for the Kindle. Now the only books I don’t have on the Kindle are 8, 9, 11-13, and Side Jobs. Wow, I have over half of the series on my Kindle now. Cool!

The contents of the Bond 50 collection
Image from Neuron Syndicate

Next weekend is finally when my hubby gets to do his long planned project: the Great Bond Project. A while ago he bought the Bond 50 collection, which is all the cannon Bond films. He is going to watch all 23 movies over the course of Memorial Day weekend to see how the changing culture is reflected in the movies. I will be joining him for most of the movies. This is going to be fun! It’s probably going to give me a few posts for Ianto’s Black Book.

Book hopping

Yesterday when I posted my plan to read The Dresden Files as completely as possible, I mentioned something about clearing up my reading list. I thought I’d share what that is right now. Or more accurately, what I’m reading right now.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Audiobook cover of The Signature of All Things
Image from Goodreads

This is what I’ve been listening to in the car for a little over a week now. I’m about 61% done and am really enjoying it. It’s a wonderful piece of historical fiction that looks at science and biology before the Civil War in the US. It will probably go through the Civil War, but I’m not up to that point.

I’m looking forward to having the time to sit down and read this later. I love audiobooks, but it is a different experience than sitting and reading the book. Which brings me to my next book.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Cover of Ready Player One
Image from Goodreads.

This past weekend at Marcon, I saw this on a dealer’s table and knew that I should just finally buy the thing. I love listening to Wil Wheaton read this book, but I’ve really been wanting to read, and own, this book. It’s become my “at home” book. I’ve got it with me all the time, but I’m feeling like the place to actually read it is at home. I started to pick up a different book, but found myself really wanting to read this instead. It’s been a while since I’ve had that desire. I missed it.

By reading it, it gives me the time to write down lines that really hit me. It also gives me the time to write down all the cultural references that aren’t explicitly pointed out. I want to see how many I can find myself. I’m hoping to be able to find them all, eventually.

Feed by Mira Grant

Cover for Feed.
Image from Goodreads.

Feed was that other book that I was starting to read when Ready Player One insisted I pick it up.

I’m honestly not sure how often I’ve read this book. Especially since I bought it for my Kindle. Granted, this time I’m a bit inspired by debuting my Becks costume at Marcon this weekend. But this book and the two that follow it are simply so good and well-written that they need no justification to reread multiple times.

I think part of why I enjoy this book so much is that while it’s about zombies, it doesn’t focus on them. It’s about how George and Shaun and Buffy are living in this world where threat of zombie attack is a real thing. Brilliant book.

The Abide Guide by Oliver Benjamin and Dwayne Eutsey

Cover of The Abide Guide.
Image from Goodreads.

After finishing The Dude and the Zen Master, the logical book to read next was The Abide Guide. All that talk about zen and the Dude inspired me to brush up on my Dudeist teachings.

This is a great book. If you enjoy The Big Lebowski and are open-minded when it comes to religion and philosophy and just different ways of living one’s life, then you should read this book. Personally, Dudeism is more of a way of living than a religion for me. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I consider myself a Catholic Dudeist. The two go together really well.

Really, Dudeism goes well with any religion or belief system. Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. But don’t think too much. If you find yourself tensing up, have a White Russian, relax and just abide.

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Cover of Skin Game.
Image from Goodreads.

Yes, Skin Game isn’t out yet. (May 27th!!!) But as usual, Jim is posting the first five chapters on his website. So I’m reading those as they get posted. Next week is when chapter five gets posted, but the week after that is when it arrives on my Kindle! Yes, I have pre-ordered the Kindle version of the book. I learned with Cold Days that if I want to read the book anytime soon after it comes out, just getting the Kindle version is the best way. Of course, I’ll also get the paperback when it comes out.

And I will definitely be reading it asap. I can’t continue on with my Dresden Files project until the newest one is read!

So that’s everything I’m reading right now. It might seem like chaos, but I’m loving it!

The Dresden Files

All covers of The Dresden Files series up to Cold Days.
Image from Ichimonchi.

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files may be my favorite book series of all time. I love it. Which is why I complied this list:

“Restoration of Faith”
Storm Front
Fool Moon

*”B is for Bigfoot”
Grave Peril
Summer Knight
Death Masks
Blood Rites

*”I Was a Teenage Bigfoot”
Dead Beat
“Vignette”
Proven Guilty
White Night

“It’s My Birthday Too”
“Heorot”
Small Favor
“Day Off”
“Backup”
“The Warrior”
“Last Call”
*”Curses”
Turn Coat
“Love Hurts”
*”Even Hand”
*”Bigfoot on Campus”
Changes
“Aftermath”
Ghost Story
*”Bombshells”
Cold Days

That is a list of all the books and short stories in the order that they take place. The short stories with a * in front are ones that are not in Side Jobs.

Why am I posting this? Two reasons. First, I thought fellow Dresden fans would like the list. Second, as soon as I can clear up my reading list, I’m going to go through and read as much of the list as possible. Unless my hubby has gone and bought the books with the other short stories, I’m going to have to stick to the ones in Side Jobs. But that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Reading: The Dude and the Zen Master

Have you ever picked up a book and have it be exactly what you need at the time? That is what The Dude and the Zen Master is for me right now.
The Dude and the Zen Master by Jeff Bridges and Bernie GlassmanI’ve been wanting to read the book for a while now, so when one of the tasks for the Spring Book Challenge on The Nest Book Club was “Read a book whose title is at least 6 words long (you can include “The”, “it” “as” etc…)”, I knew which book to read.

I’m a bit of a Dudeist myself. I’m a Catholic Dudeist. It’s wonderful how the two work together so easily. So reading this book really hits me. It’s like a gentle spring breeze slowly dissipating the fog that has been clouding my vision these past few months. Reading the wisdom that these two amazing men impart is exactly what I need in my life right now.

I can’t wait to keep going and see what else they have to say!

If you’re curious, there’s a great review over on NPR. Check it out!