Friday, January 08, 2010

Books That I've Read in the Zeroes Decade

I was supposed to post this during the month of December, but it was quite the writing project, because I wanted to present a list of all of the books I read in the past decade. I didn't actually start keeping a list of books read until 2003, so I had to really think about the ones I remember reading. Unfortunately, 2001 and 2002 were the most difficult for me to remember what I read, so the list is smaller than what I actually read for those years. With each year, I will spotlight one of the books I read that year with an explanation about why that particular book made an impression on me.

2000

Next of Kin by Roger Fouts. I happened to see this book in the remainder bins at a Borders or Barnes and Noble in Virginia sometime after my internship ended and I was looking for a job. I had been intrigued by interspecies communication ever since I read Michael Crichton's novel Congo in 1993 (about a gorilla that was taught sign language and tried to use it with native gorillas in Africa). Since Crichton's book was a novel, I thought he was just making things up...but most of his novels are based on actual scientific research. The idea that we could teach our closest animal cousins words and language is truly profound, especially in what these animals share with us in communicating their thoughts and actions.

Some highlights I still remember from the book included a female gorilla who was given a copy of Playgirl magazine and was seen stroking the picture of a human male's sex organ with her fingers (an indication that chimps can recognize from a picture the different body parts and what purpose they serve). She supposedly had a crush on male humans. When angry, the chimpanzees made the sign for excrement, which is their form of using our word "shit." One lady who took care of a chimpanzee was so struck by his human qualities that she decided to baptize the chimp. This chimp would often make the sign of the cross (like Catholics do after a prayer). When asked why she baptized her chimp, she said that the chimp had every right to be saved as any human. I thought this was an interesting idea, even though I disagree that anyone (human or animal) needs to be baptized in order to transcend the death of the physical body.

Roger Fouts set up what he calls "Chimposiums" at Central Washington University for people to visit some of the chimps or their descendants in his ongoing study. Its one place I've been wanting to go since moving to the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, I haven't met anyone who seems as interested in interspecies communication as I am. I believe that this is a very important field of study because just imagine what it means to be able to communicate with and understand the thought patterns of another species on our planet. It would make humans think more about the consequences of our destruction of this habitat all kinds of species call home.

Other books read this year were:

Timeline -- Michael Crichton
Portofino -- Frank Schaeffer
The Soul's Code -- James Hillman
Storming Heaven -- Kyle Mills
Faith of My Fathers -- John McCain
The Testament -- John Grisham
The Politics of Meaning -- Michael Lerner
Hope in the Unseen -- Ron Suskind
The Prince of Tennessee -- David Mariniss

2001

Spirit Matters by Michael Lerner. I read this book early in the year (months before 9/11) and was struck by his prescriptions to our modern corporate capitalistic society. Too many people think that the way society is structured today is how it always was and how it always should be, but if one studies history, one knows that corporations and the culture surrounding it is only a modern invention. Along with the corporate culture has sprung up a superficial, materialist, and ultimately empty (soul-deadening) lifestyle. If you want to imagine how a much different society might look, a society that has spiritual values at its core, then this book offers a glimpse of that kind of world. Its a world in which corporate charters are reviewed frequently (every few years or so) by a panel of diverse community leaders to determine the corporation's impact on the environment, economy, and wellbeing of the people who live in that community. This panel would have the power to revoke a corporation's charter if it failed to meet the standards (think of how much pain would have been averted if such a panel existed to revoke Enron's charter in the late 1990s before the greed of its CEO and CFOs brought down the company in the most spectacular crash of our era). Another prescription would be that no American corporation would be allowed to sell its product in the United States if it moved jobs overseas and hid profits in Caribbean banks. This book makes a great case for how much better our society could be if we made spiritual and humanist values the bottom line, instead of profit and greed.

A Charge to Keep -- George W. Bush
Shrub -- Molly Ivins
The Brethren -- John Grisham
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius -- Dave Eggers
Vanity of Duluoz -- Jack Kerouac
Jack Kerouac: A Biography -- Tom Clark
Satori in Paris -- Jack Kerouac
Kerouac: A Biography -- Ann Charters
Jack's Book -- Barry Gifford and Lawrence Lee
On the Road -- Jack Kerouac
Subterranean Kerouac -- Ellis Amburn
The Dharma Bums -- Jack Kerouac


2002

Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac by Gerald Nicosia. In June 2001, I finally gave in to the whispered voice in my mind that had been trying to get me to read Kerouac since at least 1994. I was never interested in Kerouac because I always pictured a drunken writer encouraging rebellion in adolescence. It was an unfair stigma. Yes, Kerouac was a drunken curmudgeon in his final decade of life (and he died before age 50). Yes, teenage boys are the main demographic that Kerouac still seems to appeal to. However, there is so much more about this Beat Generation writer. I read quite a few of his books and biographies about him in 2001. Memory Babe is perhaps the most comprehensive and the longest one. The writer had cooperation from Kerouac's daughter, Jan, and seemed to write the book so she could understand why her father was the way he was (he never acknowledged that he was her father, even though she looks just like him). This biography offers the most detail, though there might be some question about the accuracy of the writer's salacious accusations. However, if one were only to read one biography on Kerouac, the one I most recommend was published in 2004 by Paul Maher (Kerouac: The Definitive Biography).

Maggie Cassidy -- Jack Kerouac
Visions of Gerard -- Jack Kerouac
Good Blonde and Others -- Jack Kerouac







2003




The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Both versions of this novel have the best cover art I've ever seen in a book. That was part of what attracted me to this book. But I'm not one who judges a book merely by the cover. The fact that it received rave reviews, won the Booker Prize in Literature (the British Empire's version of the Pulitzer Prize, if I'm not mistaken), and was a popular selection for Book Clubs across the country made this one a must read. As I read the novel, I had a million thoughts in my head about all kinds of thing. Its hard to explain in a short sentence what its about, because its about many things.

The basic premise of the story is that its about a young Indian boy who survives a ship that was sunk in a storm. His lifeboat has a few animals, including a tiger. Somehow, he has to find a healthy balance in keeping the tiger alive for company and compassion and not becoming dinner. It also explores religion and spiritual ideas. Its been awhile since I read it, so I don't remember every detail about the novel, but the one that stands out was the idea that animals actually like living in zoos because they are fed and protected from being hunted by predator animals. However, this safety also induces boredom which can cause neurotic behaviours to emerge. When I read the passage that mentions all of this, I couldn't help but wonder if the writer was actually talking about human life (and our preference for the safety of suburbia, which takes us away from living full, adventurous lives). Its an incredibly deep novel and makes you ponder about many things. Its definitely worthy of a Book Club selection and after reading it, I wanted to talk to someone about it. Out of all of the books I've read this past decade, I would rate this one as THE BEST ONE of the bunch.

Not so surprisingly, a couple years ago, when I first started getting to know the school marm lady at work, she was reading this book with her book club at church. It actually impressed me...until I learned that she gave up reading the book because she "didn't get it." In the two years that I worked next to her, I just have to laugh whenever I think about her giving up this book because she didn't "get it." It reveals so much about her psyche and practically tells me everything I needed to know about her (she's "Miss Know-it-all" who has a very dogmatic view of her Mormon religion and rejects any idea that contradicts whatever she learns in church. In other words, she's narrow minded and believes she knows everything, so a novel like this challenging her assumptions would obviously upset her enough to stop reading it. She's right about "not getting it").

The Frog King -- Adam Davies
The Subterraneans -- Jack Kerouac
1984 -- George Orwell
American Hero -- Larry Beinhart
Tristessa -- Jack Kerouac
Martin Eden -- Jack London
Lily Dale -- Christine Wicker
A Walk to Remember -- Nicholas Sparks
American Son -- Richard Blow
You Shall Know Our Velocity -- Dave Eggers
Madonna Unauthorized -- Christopher Anderson
The Rescue -- Nicholas Sparks
Baghdad Express -- Joel Turnipseed
Living History -- Hillary Rodham Clinton
A Bend in the Road -- Nicholas Sparks
Bleachers -- John Grisham
Nights in Rodanthe -- Nicholas Sparks
Saint Maybe -- Anne Tyler
Cry the Beloved Country -- Alan Paton
Prey -- Michael Crichton
Winning Back America -- Howard Dean
Citizen's Guide to Howard Dean


2004

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Though published the previous year, I was waiting until it was published in paperback before buying it. Most books appear in paperback a year after the hardcover debut. However, this novel was such an unexpected phenomenon that publishers saw no need to release a paperback version when the hardcover was still selling millions of copies (the final tally is somewhere between 30 and 60 million sold, which is unheard of in the publishing world). My dad happened to have a hardcover copy, so I borrowed it from him and read it before I heard any more about what the novel was about. Though the writing isn't the best, the ideas propelled the story forward and made me turn pages, staying up late to read "just one more chapter!" I would take notes on various paintings mentioned so I could Google-search the images later (this was before the illustrated edition was published). The paperback version was finally released in 2006, in time for the movie's release. After you see the movie, though, there's no point in reading the book.

When I was at BYU in the late 1990s, I had heard some Mormons speculate that Jesus was married, but I dismissed such talk. Funny that it took a provocative novel to open my mind to the possibility. Though I still believe that Jesus was a single man all his life, I'm always open to any contrary views and speculations. After all, we truly do not know that much about Jesus. We have more documented evidence about Socrates than about Jesus. So, when people claim "to know Jesus"...its all just an opinion based on one's feeling. Jesus makes a great imaginary friend to many people. In the end, it doesn't really matter much what we believe about Jesus. Our eternal existence is not dependent on what we believe and we'll all learn the truth about this interesting spiritual leader when we are back in the heavenly realm. It won't shock me one bit if I learn that Jesus was in fact married to Mary Magdalene. Whether he was or wasn't doesn't make a huge difference in my life or what I believe about why we are here, thus why I don't understand all the evangelical Christians who offered courses refuting the claims made in a NOVEL. If its just a novel, why spend so much time refuting it? Kind of makes you think the claims might have more validity than one first imagines.

Jarhead -- Anthony Swofford
Cold Mountain -- Charles Frazier
Memoirs of a Bangkok Warrior -- Dean Barrett
A Moveable Feast -- Ernest Hemingway
Memoirs of Pontius Pilate: A Novel -- James Mills
Why Are We At War? -- Norman Mailer
The Guardian -- Nicholas Sparks
The Gospel According to the Son -- Norman Mailer
Three Weeks With My Brother -- Nicholas Sparks
Mystic River -- Dennis Lehane
The Search for Jack London -- Jerome Lofgren
The Da Vinci Code -- Dan Brown
The Moon is Down -- John Steinbeck
The Notebook -- Nicholas Sparks
The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
We Pierce -- Andrew Huebner
The Wedding -- Nicholas Sparks
Dude, Where's My Country? -- Michael Moore
Everything is Illuminated -- Jonathan Safran Foer
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them -- Al Franken
The Lovely Bones -- Alice Sebold
Sammy's Hill -- Kristin Gore
Hungry Ghost -- Keith Kachtick
A Call to Service -- John Kerry
P.S. -- Helen Schulman
You Have the Power -- Howard Dean
Biography of John F. Kerry -- The Boston Globe reporters
Bangkok 8 -- John Burdett
The Preservationist -- David Maine
Amusing Ourselves to Death -- Neil Postman
Trials of the Monkey -- Matthew Chapman
Skipping Christmas -- John Grisham
Kerouac: The Definitive Biography -- Paul Maher


2005

Leaving the Saints by Martha Beck. I admit, I'm a sucker for any book written by a Mormon who left the faith. This happened before, in 1994 when I happened to be meeting with Mormon missionaries and examining if I wanted to join that church. During that time, I happened to find a copy of a book called Secret Ceremonies in the freebie bin at the American library at my small Navy station in Sardinia. In retrospect, it seems strange coincidence that I came across an anti-Mormon book in a limited library overseas just as I was meeting with missionaries. That book was about one lady's experience with the meat of the book being the revelation of the various ceremonies conducted in Mormon temples that non-members are not allowed to witness. I found the lady's credibility to be a little suspect though based on some of her neurotic behaviours (such as her using and reusing the same condom with her husband, washing it out and letting it dry between sex sessions). I was mostly interested in reading about the temple rites, and it was not disappointing at all.

Anyhow, in this book, another lady reveals her fall away from the Mormon church. Though she does not name the General Authority who was her father, she does present a very startling allegation: that her father had sexually molested her repeatedly as a girl. I read this book in morbid fascination until I realized that she was the daughter of Hugh Nibley. My favourite roommate in D.C., Matt had married one of Hugh Nibley's granddaughters, Anna in 2000. So, I know that this book is a delicate issue to discuss with Matt and his wife. After I read the book, I confessed to Matt that I read the book and wondered about the allegations. I learned that as a girl growing up, Anna thought of Martha as her favourite Aunt. Of course, after this book was published, Martha is basically ostrasized from the family.

The most frustrating thing about the book, though, is that while she has no problems revealing what supposedly happened between her father and her when no one else was around, and demanding of him to tell everyone the truth, Martha herself is not so forthright about her own life, which strains her own credibility. For example, she does discuss leaving the church and being asked to leave her teaching position at BYU, but she never tells why. Nor does she mention why she got divorced from her husband. She's willing to air "dirty laundry" about her dead father, who is a respected authority in the LDS Church, making some of the most damaging accusations you can level against a person without offering any evidence but her word...yet she can't tell her readers that she and her husband got divorced because they both learned or came to terms with both of their homosexuality? She would have had more credibility if she had bared her soul and revealed her own struggles with sexuality, especially if she felt that it was linked to being molested by a beloved family member. All I can say is that I hope her allegations are dead wrong. Only God and Hugh Nibley know the truth. My heart is with the Nibley family, because this book was unnecessary. I had no idea the bombshells contained within when I bought the book. Weird how such a book can be connected to people I know personally, because of the allegations leveled against Anna's beloved grandfather.

State of Fear -- Michael Crichton
Tales of the City -- Armistead Maupin
More Tales of the City -- Armistead Maupin
The Great Gatsby -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Farewell to Arms -- Ernest Hemingway
True Believer -- Nicholas Sparks
Sideways -- Rex Pickett
Catcher in the Rye -- J.D. Salinger
The Dharma of Star Wars -- Matthew Bortolin
Dark Nights of the Soul -- Thomas Moore
Further Tales of the City -- Armistead Maupin
Manifest Your Destiny - Wayne W. Dyer
The Summons -- John Grisham
Return of the Revolutionaries -- Walter Semkiw
The Things They Carried -- Tim O'Brien
At First Sight -- Nicholas Sparks
Plan B -- Jonathan Tropper
Will They Trust Us Again? -- Michael Moore
Not in Kansas Anymore -- Christine Wicker
Generation Kill -- Evan Wright
46 Pages -- Scott Liell



2006

The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. I had picked this book in the summer of 2006 for my reading material during the upcoming journey across America on Amtrak. I had been responding to personal ads so I could know a few people before I moved to Portland and one ad was of a Thai woman who quoted from this novel. It intrigued me enough to pick it up. I read it on the train. The story is a simple one about a young boy who goes off in search of treasure. He goes off track and meets interesting people along the way. I can't reveal much else without spoiling the story, so if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Its one I need to read again, because its quite profound. Alchemy is actually a spiritual concept that got lost in man's quest for material wealth (the idea of turning lead into gold was the basis of alchemy). The real meaning of alchemy is to turn one's life experiences into a spiritual development. Even as I endure the job I hate more than anything I ever hated in my life, I have to remind myself that even this trial may lead to something better...and that one day, I will be able to fully understand why I had to endure this trial. I just wish it didn't have to go on so long. I'm ready to move on!

Memoirs of a Geisha -- Arthur Golden
King of Torts -- John Grisham
Babycakes -- Armistead Maupin
Angels and Demons -- Dan Brown
Message in a Bottle -- Nicholas Sparks
What Should I Do With My Life? -- Po Bronson
Way of the Peaceful Warrior -- Dan Millman
If Only It Were True -- Marc Levy
My Life -- Bill Clinton
Your Sacred Self -- Wayne Dyer
There Are No Accidents -- Robert Hopcke
The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell -- John Crawford
Land of a Thousand Eyes -- Peter Olszewski
God's Politics -- Jim Wallis
The Man Behind the Da Vinci Code -- Lisa Rogak
Dear John -- Nicholas Sparks


2007

Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama. This memoir was published in the mid-1990s, though it did not make any headlines or find its way onto the best seller list. Its one of those discoveries I wish I had known about earlier, so I could have had a better chance of meeting Obama when he was a nobody and getting involved with his earlier campaigns as an investment in his future. This memoir only found success after it was republished in the late summer of 2004 to capitalize on Obama's Democratic National Convention speech and Senate campaign. Because it was written before Obama was an elected official, its quite candid in some of the situations he wrote about and even the words he used. This book will most likely be required reading in high school some day (if not already). Its surprisingly well-written and shows the kind of frustrated committment it takes to be a community organizer in low income neighbourhoods of Chicago's south side.

Anyone who mocks community organizers as not having actual responsibilities does not know the amount of work, sacrifice, and frustrations one has to endure as an advocate for the rights of the poor. Its easy to work for wealthy people because you get paid well and you often meet open doors and privileged access. Anyone who spend any amount of time working low wages for little result all in an effort to improve the lives of our nation's poor more than earned his (or her) way to the White House. After I read this book, I felt good about supporting Obama for president and I don't regret that choice at all. My only wish is that I hope he never forgets his roots and his idealism.

Home With God -- Neale Donald Walsch
The Confession -- James McGreevey
Bangkok Tattoo -- John Burdett
Empty Phantoms -- Paul Maher
Orpheus Emerged -- Jack Kerouac
Pic -- Jack Kerouac
Offbeat -- David Amram
Next -- Michael Crichton
Lord of the Flies -- William Golding
The Great Train Robbery -- Michael Crichton
The Assault on Reason -- Al Gore
I Had to Say Something -- Mike Jones
Dispatches From the Edge -- Anderson Cooper
Heart Full of Soul -- Taylor Hicks
Sammy's House -- Kristin Gore
The Kite Runner -- Khaled Hosseini
The Best Year of Your Life -- Debbie Ford
The Reincarnationist -- M.J. Rose
The Valkyries -- Paulo Coelho
The Choice -- Nicholas Sparks
There's A Spiritual Solution to Every Problem -- Wayne Dyer
Between Worlds -- Bill Richardson
A Christmas Carol -- Charles Dickens
The Audacity of Hope -- Barack Obama

2008

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I had the fortunate luck to find copies of this book marked down at half price at Powell's City of Books just before Oprah made it her book selection in early 2008 because once she did that, Powell's City of Books went back to selling it at full price. I also read this book at a time when I was just starting to have major conflicts with the school marm lady I worked with. I saw some of her in the book, particularly when Tolle writes about "pain-bodies." His view (which is a common view in metaphysical circles) is that some people are addicted to pain (particularly emotional) so they invite scenarios in which this happens. The trick is to not be dragged into it. The spiritual response is to recognize another person's anger as a cry for help, an invitation for kindness. They are nasty to people because their pain-bodies crave receiving the same abuse back. Its the reason why some women are drawn into one abusive relationship after another (subconsciously, they seek out such relationships because of the adrenaline rush of the never-ending cycle of abuse, guilt-based reconciliation, and "make-up sex").

I have a particularly hard time doing this because I'm like a mirror. I generally treat people the way I want to be treated: with respect and kindness. However, when someone is particularly nasty to me, I tend to mirror their behaviour back to them as a test. Of course, they don't like being treated the way they just treated me, so conflict happens. Besides their being hypocrites, they deserve to reap what they put out. My challenge is to not respond in kind to how I'm treated by another person. I need to show grace, forgiveness and understanding no matter how the other person treats me. This breaks the cycle of their pain-bodies looking for conflict and feeding off the adrenaline of it. In that way, the school marm lady with anger issues has helped me grow in this lesson, even though I'm no where near passing grade.

At any rate, this book should be required reading in high school and churches. Our world would become far less dysfunctional if people start practicing the principles. I think I do a good job already of not lashing out at people and keeping my natural temper in check. I'm not one to yell at someone without reason, even if I'm having a bad day. But, yes, when pushed and abused, I do bite back without regrets. Other people often get shocked when they see me lose my temper and it freaks them out. People do prefer the "Nice Nick" and miss that version of me whenever I decide to become a dick in response to their abusive behaviours. Why should I do all the inner spiritual work, though? Its time for other people to step up to the plate and work on the way they treat other people instead of being abusive and then getting shocked because they abused a person who's not afraid to fight back. When people pick fights with me, they generally lose because they don't realize my spiritual power (I don't tolerate any kind of abuse, and I have a long history of standing up to bullies when no one else would).

You'll See It When You Believe It -- Wayne Dyer
Walking a Sacred Path -- Lauren Artress
A New Earth -- Eckhart Tolle
Gift of Change -- Marianne Williamson
The Mystical Life of Jesus -- Sylvia Browne
You'll Be Okay -- Edie Parker Kerouac
The Religious Life of Thomas Jefferson -- Charles Sanford
Steering By Starlight -- Martha Beck
Jack Kerouac's American Journey -- Paul Maher
2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl -- Dan Pinchbeck
Awakening the Buddha Within -- Lama Surya Das
The Wishing Year -- Noelle Oxenhandler
The Three "Only" Things -- Robert Moss
Bangkok Haunts -- John Burdett
The Lucky One -- Nicholas Sparks
Marley & Me -- John Grogan
A Return to Love -- Marianne Williamson


2009

A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants by Jaed Coffin. I was browsing the books in the Southeast Asia section of Powell's City of Books last summer when I discovered a copy of this book that I had never heard before. I flipped through and read the back cover, intrigued because I have been searching several years for a book about a "half-breed" like me (caucasian father, Thai mother) to see if he had similar experiences as I did growing up. This looked like just the book, even though it was a short book (under 200 pages). Coffin also has a caucasian father and a Thai mother, though his parents are divorced. Some of what he writes is similar to me (he even likes Kerouac and Hemingway, like I do). This book is about his experience in Thailand as a monk for a season (a Thai male rite of passage). Though my earliest childhood memories are of a family trip we made to Thailand in 1975, I have not been back (nor has my mother). Its on my list of things to do: a return to Thailand for a visit as a man, with my mother showing me the places she lived and meeting her side of the family.

While this book was interesting, I was ultimately disappointed when I reached the end. It doesn't really amount to much. I actually had the thought upon completing it: "So what?" or "What was the point?" I guess college English professors and Teacher Assistants drilled that factor into my head: the "so what? factor." A book that is published and sold should have a point or say something profound or give you an amazing experience. This one did not. While I did appreciate reading about some of his experiences growing up and as a monk, even at the end of his journey and the end of the book, he can't make sense of his experience. I would've preferred a longer book, myself. Maybe that's for me to write one day.

Coffin wants to be a writer (like Kerouac or Hemingway) and he's lucky to have had a publishing contract for this book, but I couldn't help but think of how he managed to get a publisher and agent on a book like this. I hope he has another book in him, even if its a novel about something else (not related to his personal history). Its nice to see someone's dream come true...especially one who shares the same cultural history as I do: born of two races, raised in father's predominantly white middle class American culture. One insight that I really enjoyed reading in the book was that Thai people apparently find "half-breeds" to be attractive in a movie star way (there's supposedly a lot of us around, particularly those who grew up in Thailand not knowing their fathers who served in Thailand during the Vietnam war, impregnated a Thai girl, and returned home to marry a white woman). I'd love to go visit Thailand myself to see if this is true.

Temples on the Other Side -- Sylvia Browne
Revolutionary Road -- Richard Yates
The Shack -- William Young
Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior -- Dan Millman
The Abstinence Teacher -- Tom Perrotta
The Voice of Hope -- Aung San Suu Kyi
Imperial Life in the Emerald City -- Rajiv Chandrasekaran
U-Turn: What if You Woke Up One Morning and Realized You Were Living the Wrong Life? -- Bruce Grierson
Obama: From Promise to Power -- David Mendell
Prophet of Death -- Pete Earley
The Lost Symbol -- Dan Brown
Faith -- Sharon Salzberg
The Kind Diet -- Alicia Silverstone
Creative Visualization -- Shakti Gawain

2 comments:

brooklyn said...

i haven't had time to read blogs in so long! i hope you've been well. i loved a lot of similar books you have on your list. janell gave me the alchemist and it's one of my all time favorites. i also liked life of pi, although it got a little repetitive to me (i wondered if he was trying to write a modern-day moby dick). as for the martha beck one...i'm incredulous. she "discovered" her memories of being molested via hypnosis. most people uncover past lives via hypnosis. i think that is what happened and she was remembering a past life and it wasn't hugh nibley at all. just my two cents.

Sansego said...

Brooklyn,

I really agree with you on the Martha Beck thing...when I learned about how she uncovered her "memory", I also believe that it was a past life memory...but she doesn't believe in reincarnation. The most bothersome aspect, though, is that throughout the book, she keeps demanding that her father "come clean" about what he supposedly did to her, but she wasn't so open and honest about her sexuality. How can she demand honesty in someone else (even if they were being honest and she didn't believe them) yet hide the truth about her own behaviours?