I love to read, but sometimes, a book isn’t all it should be, as you may have seen in the last post. Today, I’m going over the stuff that could have fallen into that category, but managed to demonstrate at least one redeeming quality that made it worth the read, if not any particular love.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach
I know it’s a classic hippie book, and I suppose I appreciate the aspirational message a bit, but come on, what’s different than a Tony Robbins book? A touch more compassion, a lack of the author’s self-promotion? Perfect is dangerous; perfect isn’t a goal we can hit.
Hot Sex – Emily Morse, Jamye Waxman
Reads like a Cosmo article on sex, extended out to the length of a book, written by someone who’s only watched sex on TV (and porn). Nice illustrations, and I do appreciate that it includes a little kink, but yeah, if you’re looking for books on how to actually connect better in the bedroom, this ain’t it.
The Power Of Now – Eckhart Tolle
Take an idea thousands of years old, which has been written about by everyone from Lao Tzu to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jon Kabat Zinn, pepper it with demagogue-style language, cult leader megalomania and repeated references to religious figures in an attempt to equate yourself with them, and then pretend you discovered the whole thing on your own and sell millions, which you won’t give back to the community, despite apparently eschewing earthly possessions, and you could be Eckhart Tolle, a wannabe Messiah and grifter. The idea itself – presence and mindfulness – is good, but it’s hardly this thing only he understands. And you’ll notice that in the language. Only he understands. If you don’t get it, you’re just not enlightened enough. Add in a Revelations-style doom prophecy, a sort-of afterlife and some mansplaining of women’s menstruation and what do you have? A con man looking to steal ancient ideas, pretend they’re his own and take hard-working individuals’ money, while selling them on a prophet. People revere this guy, but he writes like I would in my twenties, thinking I’d discovered some secret and then writing with such ego and myopia as to have missed my own point completely. As much as the guy rails against ego, that’s all I find in his books – Eckhart Tolle’s delusionally outsized ego.
Aesop’s Fables – Aesop
There’s a couple of cute things in here, and a bit of good advice, but it’s outweighed by the casual racism, sexism and classism. Also, the point of the tortoise and the hare isn’t slow and steady wins the race, it’s don’t fall asleep in the middle of a race you’ll easily win. Focus is the key.
Awaken The Giant Within – Tony Robbins
Tony’s back, back again, with another edition of the same thing, only with little hints that maybe he really fucked up all the fame of his first go around. I won’t say this is entirely without merit, because there’s were a couple of ideas that were mildly redeeming, but in general, anyone who thinks that everything about you, even your deepest held core values, can be changed on a whim with some cheesy mental exercises? That person has no real values at all.
Living Dead In Dallas – Charlaine Harris
Two completely disjointed storylines, unconnected except by being part of the same book, in a YA novel? Boring. Not entirely unredeemable, but yeah. Not a great sophomore effort for Sookie and gang.
Grimm’s Fairy Tales – The Brothers Grimm
Like Hans Christian Andersen, but significantly more violent, and they don’t come with the nice guy label. Still, reading fairy tales with their lack of even remotely logical plot flow, but completely missing absurdity element, is tedious. Much like the Bible, if you’re going to just make shit up to sound spiritual, but it’s really just nonsense covering up dark shit, don’t take yourself so seriously.
White Hot Truth – Danielle Laporte
I think I was disappointed by this more because I like her earlier books, and I’m at a point post-personal development, where you start realizing what a scam it is and start looking for real advice, from real authors, instead of marketers. I thought this book might be about that, but it’s not.
HIlarity Ensues – Tucker Max
So, the first two were hateful, unfunny trash, but I’ll admit, I laughed a few times in this one, including in particular the texting portions. I appreciate good absurdity, and some of those exchanges were actually pretty good. I laughed out loud, so yeah, not the worst thing he’s done.
Unholy Night – Seth Graham-Smith
I mean, I liked the idea, I guess, but the execution? Meh.
Club Dead – Charlaine Harris
I mean, the climax is a phone call to save dead Elvis. It’s a puff piece, for sure, and a low quality one. I really hope these get better.
Lost In The Barrens – Farley Mowat
I wanted to like this, because I loved the other books of his I read, but yeah, couldn’t get into it. The characters were bland, the story kind of trite, and there was no particular insight, before the miraculous rescue.
And that does it for that. These didn’t inspire, so they don’t inspire much in the way of actual response.
Target: 1200 words
Written: 80 words, poetry: Roses And Violets