Tsundoku | My Reading List for February 2022

I know, I know, I'm late. I am sorry, but I am too busy with overkill.wtf currently.


I thought I ended up reading much less than I wanted. No particular reason, but I found it hard to read last month. Maybe it's because of all of the stuff happening in the world (I did some doom-scrolling, unfortunately), but I often felt too tired reading.

But, in the end, I've read five books and didn't even realize. I tend to read daily, and when I don't, it makes me feel like I didn't touch a book at all. But I had longer sessions and got a lot of reading in that way.

This mental discrepancy is bizarre.

One Blade of Grass by Henry Shukman

One Blade of Grass is the memoirs of Henry Shukman, a Zen teacher of the Mountain Cloud Zen Center in New Mexiko. It's a fantastic book, and it made me look deeper at zen.

But sometimes it's a bit too colourful in its description. (This is not an issue; I sometimes just had difficulties following the story. Then again, Shukman was a poet, which you can feel reading this.)

One Blade of Grass

Henry Shukman

Bookshop

Buddha by Karen Armstrong

3/5

If a book is called "Buddha", you expect it to be a biography of, well, the Buddha. Karen Armstrong's Buddha looks like a biography of Siddharta Gautama but is instead a retelling of how Buddhism came to be. (To be fair, there doesn't seem to be enough source material to create a complete biography of Gautama Buddha.)

It's still a good book, but not entirely what I expected. For a biography of the Buddha, I preferred Thich Nhat Hanh's "Old Path White Clouds" more, though due to the "no-sources-issue", it's more a fictional than factual biography.

Buddha

Karen Armstrong

Bookshop

How to Be Perfect by Michael Schur

Excellent read, hilarious, but what do you expect from the guy who wrote The Good Place?

Talking of The Good Place, this book is everything Schur learned from philosophy while producing the show. It dives into different philosophical schools to show you how to be morally "perfect". It sounds much drier than it is. Read it if you care about this stuff!

How to Be Perfect

Michael Schur

Bookshop

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson

It was a decent read at first, but it just felt too long after a while. Too much randomness and jumping through autobiographical parts for my liking. Good message, but I had to skip a few pages to get through.

Then again, I have never really suffered from this level of anxiety and so have difficulties relating to what Wilson describes.

Gorgeous cover, though!

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

Sarah Wilson

Bookshop

Death with Interruptions by José Saramago

What a fantastic book, both the story and the writing style. But I don't get how Saramago pulls it off. How can he write these long, intertwined sentences with commas and commas and even more commas and still make it work?

I was sad when it was over; I would take a few chapters more. Which is a good sign, I believe. I definitely will look at his other stuff.

Death with Interruptions

José Saramago

Bookshop

P.S: I'm publishing these reviews as I finish a book on GoodReads (and then add the review here.) If you're eager to see what I read, follow me there.