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A listing of the books that were influencing my thinking— including the mind candy and the ongoing reading.



  • When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron
    It helps.
  • T'ai Chi Classics translation and commentary by Waysun Liao
    I've been coming back to this one because I'm teaching now...
  • Introduction to Spoken Chinese by J.J. Brandt
    Clear and concise. A valuable learning tool.
  • T'ai Chi Magazine
  • Qi Journal


May 2006

  • The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics by Gary Zukav
    Mind bending.


July 2006

  • Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman
    Chee and Leaphorn. A little disappointing. Seemed like I was reading the author's notes, not the finished story.
  • An Alchemy of Mind by Diane Ackerman
    Excellent! Lots to think about.
  • Why Your Life Sucks (and What You Can Do About It) by Alan H. Cohen
    Very helpful. Lots to think about.
  • A Beginner's Guide to Reality: Exploring Our Everyday Adventures in Wonderland by Jim Baggott
    I couldn't get into this one. I was hoping for another "Dancing Wu Li Masters" or "What the Bl**p Do We Know?"
  • The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently... and Why by Richard E. Nisbett
    Very, very interesting. Now I know why Ang Lee's movies end the way they do: the Chinese think that the lovers dying together is a happy ending. Nuts, I say!
  • Encounters with Chinese Writers by Annie Dillard
    "These are anecdotes— sketches— of encounters in China and in the United States with various chinese people, many of them established writers." I wonder how much things have changed in China since the early 1980's.
  • Second Sight by Amanda Quick
    Romance novel. Set in the Victorian Era, but historically far fetched. Adequately written for entertainment purposes.
  • Frederica by Georgette Heyer
    Regency romance. Heyer's novels have an... elegance of mind that the others don't. As caviar to the general, you might say.
  • Incubus Dreams by Laurell K. Hamilton
    Anita Blake, vampire executioner. Sex and violence, in spades, with knobs on.
  • Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton
    Anita Blake, vampire executioner. This one could have used a plot.
  • Too Darn Hot by Sandra Scoppettone
    Book two about Faye Quick, the semitough New York steno who turns private eye after her boss goes off to fight in WWII. (Book one: This Dame for Hire.)


August 2006

  • The Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer
    Pre-Regency romance. An old favorite.
  • Mother Earth, Father Sky: Native American Myth
    The title says it all.
  • Land of the Dragon: Chinese Myth
    The title says it all.
  • Spanish Language Books
    Jo has decided to learn Spanish, and Matt is taking Spanish this semester, so I'm brushing up.
  • The Tao of Tai-Chi Chuan: Way to Rejuvenation by Jou, Tsung Hwa
    I've been meaning to look up something by Master Jou for a long time. The folks at Peaceful Wolf Tai Chi are students of his. So far, nothing in this book has grabbed me, but there's a lot of information to wade through.
  • The Book of Go by William S. Cobb
    Matt was playing Go when I first met him. Maybe I'll ask him to teach me.
  • Widdershins by Charles de Lint
    Another visit to that other reality that lies just around the corner from ours. Very entertaining.


September 2006

  • Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton
    Anita Blake, vampire executioner. I didn't like this book the first time I read it because it featured the most tedious character ever invented, Richard the werewolf. But this time around, I got a better understanding of the other characters and was able to tolerate Richard in the context of the other characters' development.


October 2006

  • Don't tell me I didn't read anything this month, and only one book last month, because I won't believe it. I must have picked up a few books at the library. But, unfortunately, I didn't note any of them down in the journal.


November 2006

  • The Kill Bill Diary by David Carradine
    Very entertaining.
  • American Speeches, Volume I edited by Edward L. Widmer
    Speeches from the early days of our country. (Ted Widmer is director of the JCBL where I work.)
  • Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
    Not my usual reading fare, but this one caught my attention when I flipped it open to a conversation with god. The book turned out to be very entertaining— and it will give you a better way to think about religion.
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
    I couldn't get into this. Maybe another time.
  • Why Talking Is Not Enough: Eight Loving Actions That Will Transform Your Marriage by Susan Page
    Sensible information, applicable to relationships of all kinds.
  • CLEP Study Guides
    College Level Examination Program. I mentioned the challenge test to Matt when he told me RIC wouldn't accept his college credits because they were earned more than ten years ago. Now Matt has me thinking about going back to college to get my degree.


December 2006

  • Acting, the First Six Lessons by Richard Boleslavsky
    Very pretentious in the telling— an ego trip for the author, but... he's right about the acting. And the information is valuable for writers as well as actors.
  • The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman
    Annoying when favorite authors seem to publish the notes on the novel and not the novel itself. (By the way, Tony, candied cherries are all pitted, so there's no need to make a tiny puncture hole with a hypodermic needle to inject poison into them, and so there would be no telltale puncture hole. Sorry. If you're going to write about fruitcake, and you don't like it, you should really find someone who does like it to advise you.)
  • Endless Highway by David Carradine


January 2007

  • Shibumi by Trevanian
    Matt recommended this book. It introduced him to the game of Go. Enjoyable.
  • Mind Set: Reset Your Thinking and See the Future by John Naisbitt
    Remember "Megatrends"? Same author. Some interesting ideas, but nothing most people haven't already thought of.
  • Why Talking is Not Enough by Susan Page
    Relationships. "The Martial Arts Response: The next level of nondefensive, peacemaking response to a verbal assault is to use the martial arts model... instead of throwing up your own arm and trying to stop [the fist], which will probably hurt both of you (the defensive move), you can grab the fist and pull it, continuing... and pulling [your opponent] off balance... repeat the remark... respond in a way that seems as if you are agreeing, even if you aren't..." Yup. Works every time. Just like taiji.


February 2007

  • Chinese Fast Wrestling for Fighting: The Art of San Shou Kuai Jiao by Liang Shou-Yu and Tai D. Ngo
    Throws, takedowns, and groundfighting. Matt picked this book up while we were over at the mall after the Martial Arts gathering we were invited to over at Brown. Lots of good basic training exercises as well as the techniques. Matt was kind enough to leave the book with me since he has so much school work to do now.
  • Rubayyat by Omar Khayyam
    Thinking about this because Matt has been notified that he will be going back to Iraq. "Were it not folly, spider-like to spin The thread of present life away to win— What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall Breathe out the very breath we now breathe in!" Indeed. Old Omar had it right.


April 2007

  • Embrace Tiger Return to Mountain by Chungliang Al Huang
    T'ui sho is push hands. They talk about it a lot in the book, describe lots of different exercises... "When you see the old masters practice, first they do the form, and then they begin to just let go and improvise. It's very beautiful to watch, because it's as if some new creation continually unfolds in front of you." Cool book. I've owned it for years and reread it now and again, learning more each time.


May 2007

  • No Humans Involved by Kelly Armstrong
    Another supernatural detective. *ho hum*
  • Hundred Dollar Baby by Robert B. Parker
    What can I say? Spenser. As ever.
  • Speed-Up Chinese by Peking University Press
    Wǒ yào qù dǎ tàijíquán. [I am going to practice taijiquan.] Matt's sister gave me this book. She got it when she was doing a semester in China, learning Chinese herself. Cool.
  • Tuesday by David Wiesner
    One of the best picture books. Ever.
  • Spirit Walker by Nancy Wood
    Poems. "Ravens, let there be peace among us. May we fly as one idea. Ravens, give memory to my dreams So that I may hear the voices Of my ancestors telling me that all the world is changing And my fears will turn to leaves." With paintings by Frank Howell.
  • Dancing Moons by Nancy Wood
    Poems. "Anywhere is the center of the world. The place where my love lives. The house we made of earth. The dream we built on hope. The spirit that connects our tongues To songs of ancient wisdom." With paintings by Frank Howell.


June 2007

  • T'ai-Chi by Cheng Man-Ch'ing and Robert W. Smith
    The "Supremem Ultimate" Exercise for Health, Sport, and Self-Defense... It's good to read a spare, sensible book about taiji to remind you what it's really all about.
  • Medicine Road by Charles de Lint
    Coyote Woman, Changing Dog, and Corn Hair and all the trimmings. Very enjoyable.
  • The Right to Write by Julia Cameron
    Good to be reminded what writing is all about...
  • Someplace to Be Flying by Charles de Lint
    Rereading this one about the Crow Sisters, et al, because of Medicine Road.
  • Taiji Notebook for Martial Artists by Scott M. Rodell
    Subtitled "Essays by a Yang Family Taijiquan Practitioner." Student essays. The copyright date is 1991.
  • The Naked Warrior by Pavel
    Subtitled "Master the Secrets of the Super-Strong— Using Bodyweight Exercises Only." Very interesting.
  • A Dirty Job and You Suck by Christopher Moore
    This author has a very peculiar mind. And the writing is funny, too.


Copyright © 2006 New Moon

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