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Preview: Eudaemonia


Aristotle's concept that the goal of life is happiness and it's to be achieved through reaching one's full potential

Updated: 2018-02-10T05:13:55.625-07:00


The Somewhere-by-the-Sea Salon


So how does this grab you – how about a monthly Salon-ish gathering that is part book club, part film club, part supper club, part cultural get together? I’m thinking this could be a real-world group with a virtual component – like we could establish a Facebook group so that friends who are far away could participate in book and film discussions, but friends who are local could meet monthly and

Was it the Blue Pill, or The Red?


There are moments, usually when I have some cable news network on to keep me company, when I'm overtaken by an all-encompassing, surreal, dystopian queasiness. It's like the blue pill from The Matrix has kicked in (or the red one, I can never remember) and I'm just now realizing that something  terrible has happened, we have gone past a point of no return and we are hurtling toward an



Saturday by Ian McEwan spans the course of a single Saturday in the life of London neurosurgeon Henry Perowne. It's February 2003 and Henry wakes before dawn. As he stares out his window he sees a bright light that he at first assumes is a comet, but then realizes must be a plane on fire headed into Heathrow. The image and reporting on the plane will follow Henry throughout the course of the day

Instead of Talking About Saturday...


I'm reading this.

Library: An Unquiet History


When I opened this book and saw the opening quote from Jorge Luis Borges, I knew this would be no ordinary chronicle. Matthew Battles, a rare books curator at Harvard's Widener Library opens with his experience of trying to "read the library" and I was immediately captivated.Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles is an exciting and comprehensive journey through the history of the written

Falling Man


It seems fitting that of the books I've read in 2009, only two were audio books and both of them were 9/11 novels. I say fitting because I don't feel the same connection to an audio book that I do to a tangible book. I can't dog ear a page or highlight a paragraph. When I want to write my impressions about it, I can't go back and skim through to remember the names of characters or to refresh my

Inherent Vice


One of the benefits of being a selective reader is that I like and often love almost every book I read. It pains me to say anything negative about any book, but I do want to talk about this one. Of the books I've over the last few months, I least enjoyed Inherent Vice. See, I can't even come out and say I didn't like it.I should make a couple of points before I explain my problems with

Death in Venice


Thomas Mann published Death in Venice just prior to the start of World War I. At 73 pages, the novella doesn't waste a word. It's infused with signs and symbols rooted in Freudian psychology and Greek mythology.This story is about the artist and art and the balance (or imbalance) between intellect and passion.It begins:"Gustave Aschenbach -- or von Aschenbach, as he had been known officially

One a Day


Something was changing for a long time. It took about a year to understand it, but now I do. People who've been coming here for a long time know that the original focus of this blog was on writing. For a long time I couldn't stop writing and I couldn't stop talking about it. I took classes and workshops and attended retreats and wrote the better part of two bad novels before I stopped to try to

Filling in the Gaps -- What I Said and What I Read


Back in April, I joined a group of readers who, at Moonrat's suggestion made lists of 100 books to "fill in the gaps" in their reading lists. I am such a fickle reader that I knew it was unlikely I'd work my way through my own list with any consistency. There's a list of books I've read in 2009 at the sidebar and clearly, I have a short attention span. What was I thinking when I read The Iliad (

What I've Been Reading and Thinking


There's a funny thing that happens to me when I read great literature. I wonder if it happens to anyone else. I become mute. I feel incapable of communicating with other people in any meaningful way. I live in my head and I immerse myself in more literary work that knocks me out. The author who first got to me this way was Marcel Proust, but David Foster Wallace just about finished me off.I want

The End of Spring and On to Infinite Summer


Blogging and working out are very similar in that if you stop doing either, the longer you wait to get back into the routine, the harder it is to get started again. I've been reading so many great books lately and since two of them were written by friends and published this month, I want to send some positive vibes about them out into the world.I will dedicate separate posts to each of these fine

What I Look for in a Book