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Books I Read in 2019

With the exception of Todd Rundgren‘s long-awaited “autobiography” and a meditation guide, I devoted the past year to reading and rereading the works of Bhante G. Here’s the list of books I read or reread in 2019:

  • Mindfulness in Plain English (Henepola Gunaratana)
  • Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English: An Introductory guide to Deeper States of Meditation (Henepola Gunaratana)
  • The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English (Henepola Gunaratana)
  • The Meditator’s Atlas: A Roadmap to the Inner World (Matthew Flickstein)
  • Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha’s Path (Henepola Gunaratana)
  • Meditation on Perception: Ten Healing Practices to Cultivate Mindfulness (Henepola Gunaratana)
  • The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams & Dissertations (Todd Rundgren)
  • Journey to Mindfulness: The Autobiography of Bhante G. (Henepola Gunaratana)
  • Loving-Kindness in Plain English: The Practice of Metta (Henepola Gunaratana)
  • Buddhist Suttas for Recitation: A Companion for Walking the Buddha’s Path (Henepola Gunaratana)

I’m now halfway through a really good book on the music of the Beatles, but as I will not finish it by the end of the year, that book will appear on next year’s list.

Books I Read in 2018

Beatles Gear Ultimate Edition

This past year, I spent more time studying and playing music than I did reading books from start to finish. That said, here’s the list of books I read or reread in 2018:

  • Bhavana Vandana (Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)
  • White Gold Wielder (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • Life of a Lay Buddhist: Meditation=Awareness (Ven. Dr. M. Vajiragnana)
  • The Runes of the Earth (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four’s Instruments, from Stage to Studio – The Ultimate Edition (Andy Babiuk)

Here’s hoping for more reading time in 2019!

Books I Read in 2017

Stack of open books

I doubt I’ll have time this year to finish the next book I intend to read, so I’ve decided to go ahead and post this list of books I read or reread in 2017:

  • A Briefer History of Time (Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow)
  • Lord Foul’s Bane (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • Loving-Kindness in Plain English: The Practice of Metta (Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)
  • The Illearth War (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • The Power That Preserves (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • The Wounded Land (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • The One Tree (Stephen R. Donaldson)
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a ****: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (Mark Manson)

I didn’t expect to be reading any fantasy fiction in 2017, but when my brother told me that Stephen Donaldson had written seven more Thomas Covenant books after the three I’d read long ago, I went for it, starting from the first book. Expect a few more by Mr. Donaldson on next year’s list.

2017 Summer Reading

When I finish reading Beatles Gear and Stephen Donaldson’s The Power That Preserves, I’ll have to read two of these titles I bought recently at City Newsstand:

I’d already read the issue of Tape Op, as I’m a subscriber and read/save every issue, but my May/June issue was mauled in the mail and I wanted a clean copy. I look forward to reading the other two soon!

See For Yourself

“Question everything. Take nothing for granted. Don’t believe anything because it sounds wise and pious and some holy man said it. See for yourself. That does not mean that you should be cynical, impudent, or irreverent. It means you should be empirical. Subject all statements to the actual test of your own experience, and let the results be your guide to truth. Insight meditation evolves out of an inner longing to wake up to what is real and to gain liberating insight into the true structure of existence. The entire practice hinges upon this desire to wake to the truth. Without it, the practice is superficial.”

From Mindfulness in Plain English (Bhante Gunaratana)

 

Books I Read in 2015

Here are the books I read or reread in 2015:

  • The Mixing Engineer’s Handbook, Third Edition (Bobby Owsinski)
  • Tune In–The Beatles: All These Years #1 (Mark Lewisohn)
  • The Dhammapada (translated by Irving Babbitt)
  • The Dhammapada (translated by Acharya Buddharakkhita)
  • The Science of Marketing: When to Tweet, What to Post, How to Blog, and Other Proven Strategies (Dan Zarrella)
  • My Struggle: Book 1 (Karl Ove Knausgaard)
  • Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha’s Path (Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)
  • The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses (Kevin Birmingham)
  • The Mastering Engineer’s Handbook, Third Edition (Bobby Owsinski)
  • A Confession (Leo Tolstoy)
  • Buzzing Communities (Richard Millington)
  • Don’t All Thank Me At Once: The Lost Pop Genius of Scott Miller (Brett Milano)

Greatest British Novels I’ve Read

British Flag

When BBC Culture asked book critics to name the top 100 British novels and then published the results earlier this month, I couldn’t resist going through the list to see how many I’d read. As it turns out, I’ve only read 15 of them:

  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Laurence Sterne)
  • Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)
  • Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift)
  • The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)
  • Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell)
  • A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess)
  • David Copperfield (Charles Dickens)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
  • The Forsyte Saga (John Galsworthy)
  • Animal Farm (George Orwell)
  • A Room with a View (E.M. Forster)
  • Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • Sons and Lovers (D.H. Lawrence)

I do have Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf) on my Kindle, so sometime next year I’ll make it 16. Until then, however, I’ve got some nonfiction to catch up on.

For more from the BBC, see “What makes a ‘Great British Novel’?”

Half Price Books

Half Price Books

One of my favorite places to shop is Half Price Books, so for my birthday last month, among other things, I received a Half Price gift card. I finally got the chance to drop in yesterday, and I found some treasures:

Book

  • The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses (Kevin Birmingham)

CDs

  • The Legend Begins (Tony Sheridan and The Beatles)
  • Gene Vincent (Gene Vincent; 2 CDs)
  • The Chess Blues-Rock Songbook: The Classic Originals (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) (Various artists; 2 CDs)

Hey, isn’t Father’s Day next Sunday? 😉

Books That Have Sold More Than 100 Million Copies

Don Quixote

With the caveat that it is “an incomplete list that may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness,” Wikipedia lists nine books (one sold as a series) as having sold more than 100 million copies. For reasons listed on the site, books of a religious, ideological, or political nature (eg, the Bible, the Qur’an, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung) are excluded from the list:

  • Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
  • The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  • Le Petit Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J. K. Rowling)
  • And Then There Were None (Agatha Christie)
  • Dream of the Red Chamber (Cao Xueqin)
  • The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  • She: A History of Adventure (H. Rider Haggard)