Last summer it was ”The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot,” among too many others. <See Reading for punishment>

This summer’s book for punishment englightenment (and there will be only one this summer, not 6 like last summer) is Thich Nhat Hanh’s The heart of the Buddha’s teaching: transforming suffering into peace, joy, & liberation : the four noble truths, the noble eightfold path, and other basic Buddhist teachings.

Yeah, just a little light ‘beach reading’ even though there’s no beach in the flyover zone.

I’ve been interested in Buddhism since before I started yoga lo-those-many-years ago. My first teacher is a Buddhist and I’ve always been fascinated by the spiritual paths of the East. I even brought back Buddha-ettes to my sisters from Kamakura, Japan, a present that must’ve made my catholic parents think they had gone terribly wrong.

But I’ve been reading a lonnnnng pdf on B-ism, which I downloaded (and clearly reading it quite slowly, which is why I’m only on page 19 after 3 weeks).

And thanks to my magazine whoredom I keep running into articles that refer to books on Buddhism or interviewed Buddhist nuns (which I’ve considered becoming; see Increase your blog traffic by…), or that showed the Bamiyan Valley cave shrines the Taliban blew up, so I’m taking it as a sign to learn more about it.

I’ve also always wanted (and finally found, thanks to Brett) a Buddha for my garden, which will make an interesting juxtaposition to the cherubic angel bird feeders and “cute little kid” sculptures (calling them that denigrates sculpture) statuary and trolls in my neighbors’ garden.

So it seemed “meant to be” and I got this book from the libarry, and as with last year’s summer reading for knowledge, discussed in Reading for punishment I had to return it ’cause I had it since 4/10.

Not to worry though. I’m picking up a copy from the County library tomorrow. I already know I’ll run out of renewals before I’m done with it, so I am also back on the “hold” list for it at the City libarry.

After all that, how far am I? Uh, well, I’ve only made it to page 24. sigh. That’s an average of 2 pages a week.

And yet I am a reading geek who still joins the libarry’s Summer Book Club, just like when I was a kid.

Don’t laugh! I still haven’t won the laptop, but I have gotten free baseball tickets the past 3 years in a “random” drawing they have. AND a cool different book bag every year. I don’t think I was randomly drawn though. I think they rigged it because they like me 🙂

sigh. It can be a burden to have this much curiosity yet so little staying power (dare I say, “discipline”?) when it comes to reading tomes of wisdom for my own edification. Must be a holdover from school summer reading lists that were excruciatingly boring.

But I confess that with summer here, the pool doesn’t exactly inspire me to bring Thich Nhat Hanh for a little mindless reading.

I wish I were European. They bring books on vacation about Bush and the history of US involvement with the Middle East and oil. (That one, which I saw for myself in Barbados, was in English and the owners were Danish — not the edible kind though). And they could speak German with the owner. Anyway…

In motels / hotels / resorts / inns that have swapping ‘libraries’ you can always tell where Europeans have stayed because they leave behind books with wonderfully intellectual titles (even if I don’t understand the language inside) that I wouldn’t read on my most bored day on a desert island with nothing else to do.

I’m probably the only one that’s left a (comparatively) trashy suspense book there, that’s for sure. And I bet somebody snagged it up soon after I left it. That’s my hope and my consolation anyway.


**about Libarry: yes I know that’s not the correct way to spell it. Just deal, ok? This topic previously discussed in Definitely NOT a NY Times book review