Life On A B-I7

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Reading Log - January 2024

January Books

My reading goal for this year is six books a month. I’m off to a good start, I made my goal for January. Here are January’s books.

Title: 101 Essays that will Change the way You Think
Author: Brianna Wiest

It’s not a tremendous read, but it is a thoughtful one. I did take away some ideas for my Year of Living Thoughtfully Project, so all things considered, it was worth the time investment. I suppose one of the more important ideas I extracted from the book is the author’s notion that “thought creates reality.” When you think about it, it’s hard to deny that notion — especially since we have seen that played out so conspicuously (and negatively) in our social sphere these last few years… From a personal perspective, my thoughts have led me to take on projects (like the one mentioned above) and one I have in the wings for next year, so there you go.

Title: Bookbinding A How-To Guide
* Author:* E.P. Carter

This book talks about my dream job. It’s the inspiration for my plan to hand-bind my poetry for my children. There’s a trade school in Boston that teaches this art. It would be fun to establish a school for this in Bend Oregon, if I were, oh, let’s say, 40 years younger… I would skip the clay tablets and pressed papyrus scrolls and focus on hand-sewn and leather-bound varieties of books, FYI.

Title: The Slickrock Desert
* Author:* Stephen W. Hinch

A terrific read. I loved it. This book is worth reading every time before going into the Utah wilderness or the Four Corners area. I loved the story about the establishment of the Grand Staircase Escalante Nation Monument. President Clinton established the monument, but the proposal sat on his desk, unread and mostly ignored until Chelsea saw the proposal on his desk and told him “You have to do something about this!” Children are so wonderful.

Title: The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness, and Joy
Edited By: John Brehm

Not surprisingly, none of my poems showed up in this collection (that’s a joke). As poetry books go, I love most that I have run into, this one was top drawer. It is simply a collection of poems with no annoying commentary. There is an interesting introduction by the author, and at the end of the book, he says a few words about each poet. This is a book you can pick up from time to time and peruse easily and fruitfully. It is the inspiration for my “64 Poets Project” that I plan to undertake next year.

Title: Novelist as a Vocation
* Author:* Haruki Murakami

My main reason for reading this book was to discourage myself from thinking I could write a novel… Sorry to say, it did not discourage me from writing (stuff like this). I love to write. It doesn’t matter if you don’t do it well, what matters is that you do it. The same is true for all activities I should think. If there is something you love to do, it doesn’t matter if you are good at it or not, just do it (to steal a phrase). Back to writing, we need more writers in the world, and people willing to read. TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and X don’t count as writing, sorry.

Title: White Holes
* Author:* Carlo Rovelli

There is real science in this book, but more importantly, perhaps is the need to use your imagination to grasp the subject. Even if you are a trained scientist with a firm grip on the equations of General Relativity (I’m not describing myself) you still have to stretch your imagination to see how the pieces fit together. I have a small notion of what Rovelli is talking about. The following does not do his little book justice, but I’m going to throw this at you anyway: There is no solid agreement in the scientific community on this topic, but Rovelli has convinced me, that if you were to travel through a Black Hole, you would emerge in another time and place after having exited a White Hole. In other words, these two features of our Universe are conjoined and work in concert with one another. The only problem is no one has found a white hole (this is me talking) largely because they exist in a spatial and temporal plane that we (humans) can’t observe. Now go smoke some pot. (Side note: The Tralfamadorians understand all of this very well, as clearly insinuated by Kurt Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse Five. I will definitely be reading more Rovelli.

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