Gallery of Books
that Kick Ass
that Kick Ass
Dropping Ashes on the Buddha. Let's assume one knows nothing about the subject; that's what books are so perfect for. This book explains what exactly is meant by Oneness.
Buddha, a Hindu prince named Siddhartha Gautama, became One with all humanity. One with all animals. One with the oceans of water and the trees and the grass and the birds and the atmosphere of air. In short, all are One.
Learn about wordlessness and the relinquishing of language. As this book details, a "tree" can be called many things in many languages - so which one is truth?
This is just one of those books that for a while doesn't seem to make sense, and slowly makes more and more sense.
The journey of young prince Siddhartha Gautama and how he came to be the Buddha.
You've heard of the basic concept of there having been witch trials. This fills you in on many details of how it all went in 1692.
This is basically a kid's book, but can be read by adults pretty quickly. Somehow or another, the very concept of a village living in terror of a witchcraft phenomenon held responsible for the deaths of innocents somewhat cannot be turned into something cute or silly. Yet, at first, that might be the first impression one has of witches: "that's for kids". Really, it was the deaths of kids that led to suspicion of witchcraft. (So, yep. Really, really dark.)
Witches were described longer ago in the Brothers Grimm, as living out in the scary dark forest waiting for children to come by that she would bake and eat. In real life, the accusations weren't quite that, nor was there any idea of green skin in the witches. Really, all accused witches (and males, wizards) looked like ordinary humans.
This book (and some others out there on the subject) help you to gain an understanding of how the witch trials went. A very quick read, with a lot of interesting information to retain. (Did you know that urine cakes were seen as a cure?)
Everyone's heard of the basic idea: there was a series of witch trials, most famously held in 1692, although they actually went back centuries further.
This book has the specifics in a nonfiction book about what went on. Longer than the last book I described on the subject, and although the subject matter is equally dark, it's written in a (not quite darker but) more serious way. An ordinary town, Salem, slowly transitioned from normal goings-on to a town plagued with illness, and the fervor that witches could be anywhere and anyone. Even men were put to death, such as Giles Corey, whose last words were "Press harder".
The nonfiction story just goes on and on and on until eventually you can just basically see that an enormous number of people went to jail or prison for a witchcraft phenomenon that either wasn't happening at the time, or, possibly, was limited to Tituba, who wasn't executed.
The Story of Oil
The story of oil.
You learn about the first oil rigs.
One can just safely assume that a lot of oil rigs are out there in the world. True, yes. But who was the man who installed the first oil rig? Who actually took it upon himself to build it and invent it before the whole world would see oil rigs having spread to everywhere?
There's been a shortage since the early 1970's, however, and planet Earth is eventually headed to a day without any oil left at all.
Literally, when only the subject of oil is discussed, that is a major part of the discussion. Some day, there ain't any left.
This book serves two purposes: it talks about the witch trials of 1692, and it warns the world of the consequences of such history repeating itself in the form of the 1950's-era anti-Communist scare.
Everybody already knows the basic concepts of the witch trials. In short, women were falsely accused of witchcraft, and executed by the state for witchcraft-related charges. Of course, this was back in 1692, long before 1776 and the Declaration of Independence. So, that alone shows you how complex the history of the USA really is.
Everybody already knows the basic concepts of the witch trials, but this revisits the same tale less in the form of an informative nonfiction book and more in the form of the story mode of a play. It's like a Shakespeare play about the witch trials happening in real life in 1692.
However, it turns out that a lot of stuff was simplified, rolled together, and in some way or another altered in ways that are more convenient, but less accurate. Now Abigail was 17, the farmer John Proctor's age from his 60's to somewhere in his 30's, and other little alterations made it pretty confusing to gather how everything happened, as supposedly in real life multiple people were simplified to a single person for the sake of convenience.
Overall, the story of the Crucible began with logic and reason. Children were falling violently ill, or rather . . . well, it's actually way worse. (Warning: it's kind of nausea-inducing.) A woman had lost all seven of her kids and witchcraft became suspected to be the result. Illness happens, but such a large widespread scale led men who had exhausted their resources of doctors and medicine to turn to God. Bible Law was still usable as state law.
(Not quite mentioned here, but mentioned in an AP History book: the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 granted as much luxury as there being trials, instead of just being thrown straight in prison.)
At some point Abigail had pointed an accusing finger at household servant (well basically that means slave) Tituba as being responsible for what was going on with all strange happenings. What's interesting in this book/play is that nobody really just jumps straight for the "Devil did it" approach, but instead exhausts the resources of logic, medicine, and science before the eerie notion of witchcraft begins to spread. Once it does, however, it claims more and more and more and more people until, at some point, eventually, it starts to become clear that everyone's being persecuted wrongly.
The possibility of Tituba practicing witchcraft is examined a bit. At first, only TItuba was an accused witch. From there, she was sentenced to execution, but would be spared if she would name enough names. So she began to name names, and Abigail always concurred to seeing visions of that person dancing with the devil. That was roughly all it took for a conviction of witchcraft in those days. Men weren't spared either.
A harrowing tale, but its purpose is to remind us not to make such mistakes again. Will we persecute witches again? Probably not, but it's well-known that Arthur Miller intended to show the world that what had long ago been true of the witch trials could happen again in the form of something else, like the anti-Communist scare of the 1950's.
This is not quite mentioned in the book, but useful to know: there was no such thing as a Communist government yet in 1850, yet China and Russia went Communist in the late 1930's and late 1940's, leaving the 1950's with a terrified sense that Communism would spread. To stop that spread, the Vietnam War happened. Russia is now a democracy and other countries, such as China and North Korea, are not. Overall Communism's spread has probably been stopped. It's probably been contained. That will come up again in "A Young People's History of War".
At first I didn't figure that this would be quite the place to read about something that is out there. It seemed to me, I don't know . . . somehow a product of 2010's pop-culture. People often interpret organic food, a stance against GMO foods, and words like meditation, chakras, mindfulness, and Om to be some newer product of the newer decade.
However it's not quite like that, because the Baghavad-Gita is a more ancient Hindu text which explains the seven chakras - in India, long before Buddhist missionaries brought the beliefs to China, then to Japan.
At first I didn't figure this would be quite the same thing as reading details of science in a science book written by a scientist. However, I overall concluded that this book is full of research from older sources. The entire way through, it's not the writer making up something new, but compiling data from old sources into a new book about it. I feel like YOU, whoever the **** you are, would agree by the end of the book.
There are (at least) seven chakras in your body, spinning wheels of energy. The word "chakra" is Sanskrit for "wheel". One by one, you learn about HOW they work.
Root chakra - at the bottom. (Red frequency.)
- flesh out the other six.
First, you learn about what they are.
But also how they work. What corresponds to what. For instance, the root chakra if underactive results in disorganization. The root chakra if active enough results in better grounding.
You also learn exercises that can help with misaligned chakras.
Overall, you could read the book once and be able to just go back to your own life. But the formula is in there.
The Baghavad-Gita, the Hindu text, should also be read in order to fully understand these chakras.
This is easily a very important book that everyone has to drop everything to read.
Think and Grow Rich teaches you the formula for success.
Think and Grow Rich explains the connection between those who succeed and the many who are not.
Think and Grow Rich is the one that would change the course of a young man's life.
Should be read more than once.
If I had to sum it up in three bullet points, I would say this book is the following.
1. Teaches you the secrets of the universe regarding financial success and prosperity, and is therefore very important to read.
2. But it's also incredibly quick and easy to read. Somehow, even though it's "a whole 200 pages long", it is literally the quickest and easiest and FASTEST 200 pages ever. It's much easier to gulp down a thin liquid like water than a thick liquid like soda, and it's much easier to gulp down 200+ pages of this book than even 20 pages of something thicker, like the Hobbit.
3. It also sort of breaks it down to being too simple and easy.
Then you have to wonder, is that a good thing or a bad thing? If you're in 8th grade and they're giving you 6th grade work, it seems like an insult somehow. But it's hella easy! This book makes it seem like the information has been made digestible to a 6th grade reader. But is that a bad thing? It's so easy everyone can read this book and grasp it.
I had never imagined a middle school kid reading a book like this, but, then again: it would be really nice if all middle schoolers were required to read this book at least once. Everyone would benefit from the knowledge in this book. A few would find that it would change the course of their lives.
This book is about how financial success really works. The Millionaire's Mind that you need to obtain to get there. Then again, middle school readers would probably develop an unrealistic expectation of wealth in their twenties. However, this book covers both aspects of it: the writer is now a billionaire, but was earlier begging people for change at a gas station to get a little bit of gasoline. He understands both ends of the argument, the student's angle and the teacher's angle. This book, on one hand, is basically critical knowledge that people must and should know, but on the other hand, music is cool too.
One of the most important things to take from this book is simply this:
Thinking poor and thinking rich exist in addition to being physically poor and physically rich.
At first, for a while, I figure, nahhh. This writer is just saying his own opinion. But after a while you begin to realize that the winning formula has been outlined in this book: he went from broke to successful with the formula of thinking rich. I guess they just couldn't use words like "think rich" in this book's name.
People who depend on lottery tickets, figuring eventually it'll work - that's a symptom of poor thinking.
People who respond to poverty by asking how many people would want lawns mowed, leaves raked, snow shoveled - that's a symptom of rich thinking.
You could read that, not necessarily be convinced right away, and soon begin to see that it's true. That a lot of people out there do intend lottery tickets as a strategy that will have a solid payoff, are actually "thinking poor", while another broke person tries to drum up as much business (mowing lawns, anything) as possible and is "thinking rich". The two people could be mere feet apart - not in the different worlds of college/non-college, different countries, even different states. People could be right next to each other and have these different views.
Eventually you find yourself wanting to explain this book to the people who could benefit from it, which is basically everyone! In fact, part of thinking rich is thinking that a millionaire would find this book worth reading if it taught two or three useful things.
Could you benefit from this book? Abso-fuckin-lutely. Will you? Yes. WIll you for sure learn something useful? You will.
I can't quite praise this book QUITE to the level of "Think and Grow Rich" but this is also an awesome read, and one that can be read a second and third time with little challenge.
This book will educate all readers and change the lives of a few.
This book teaches a lot about the history of war in the United States.
It seems to only deliver the anti-war angle, but don't let that dissuade you if you aren't anti-war. Even if you read this whole book and remain pro-war, you will still have learned a few useful things from this anti-war book.
Vietnam? Stopping the spread of Communism?
- Rich mineral resources. Largely oil.
If you can see that parallel there, you begin to see more parallels. For instance, Donald Trump recently decided to purchase Greenland the country, but had to stop when the Prime Minister said no thanks. He's really pissed. What would Donald Trump want from Greenland? Who knows? But a short quote from Fox News illuminates why it's such a "good idea":
"They have iron ore, they have lead, they have zinc, diamonds . . . uranium, oil, but also rare earth elements," Bruce said.
^-- Although the attempted 2019 American purchase of Greenland wasn't mentioned ANYWHERE in this book, it's a funny parallel.
Why did the U.S. go to war so much? In addition to there being cruel dictators to unseat, a large reason is either to obtain rich mineral resources - oil being a major one - or the profitability of weapons being sold to the enemies of Germany in World War I. This is part of how planet Earth rolled into World War II: as an angry response to World War I, which was largely about making a lot of profit.
Whether you have a pro-war or anti-war stance, it's an interesting angle to read. Even if you don't walk away agreeing with the whole of it, you will certainly not forget that part about oil in Vietnam. (Mainly that whole Greenland purchase story is a reminder - history lessons happening again.)
Fear by Bob Woodward
Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault
The other oil book
Unhinged by Omarosa Manigault
The other oil book
If someone made a really ass-kicking violent video-game in which Beowulf goes after Grendell, then wrote a novel based on that video-game, you would end up with this.
I'm serious: back in 1000 or so, Beowulf was written. It was simply the coolest book ever.
How "cool" could an old book be? You will likely identify Beowulf as one of the coolest books you've ever read.