Book Review: Nobrow, The Culture of Marketing. The Marketing of Culture by John Seabrook

I just couldn't get into this book.   I found it completely self-referential with little bits of cultural insight dropped in like easter eggs. 

The book is supposed to be about "The culture of marketing and the marketing of culture," or more specifically how mass marketing has completely removed cultural distinctions, so that there is no longer an elite culture, simply a marketed culture.  

Book Review – The Tonto Woman and other Short Stories by Leonard Elmore

    I grew up on Louis L’Amour westerns.  I have read a stack of them literally six feet high.  I've read many of them over and over and over... they are my comfort books, and I can often tear through one in an evening.  I’ve tried Zane Grey, but I was not impressed.  It was too long ago to remember why.  I dove into this book by Elmore with low expectations, but it was a collection of short stories, so I wouldn’t get trapped finishing a whole book just because I started.  It would be easy to chip away at the stories if they weren’t interesting.  They were.

Book Review: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk by Palden Gyatso

I started reading the book, worrying that I wouldn't finish.  Would a monk's deep spirituality be to much for me to grasp?  Would I find the graphic descriptions too painful to read?

None of the above.   Palden Gyatso is as human as the rest of us.  He felt petty emotions, despair and even did things he might be ashamed of.  And he watched his entire country and culture go through the same things.

His triumph is that he overcame judgement, and simply struggles to understand and forgive. And he understands that the only way he can save his country and his people's culture is to make the whole world aware of the oppression and cruelty.

I was struck by three things:

**Tibet and Tibetians are not some mysterious other-worldly people and culture. The basic needs and feelings, both good and bad, are universal.

**Would I be able to endure the physical, mental and emotional torture with equal grace? I hope I never have to find out.

Book Review: Elvis Jesus & Coca-Cola by Kinky Friedman

A good novel is so well crafted as to be an escape, but so will written that the reader ponders the universal truths and observations long after she has left the book.

Under normal circumstances Kinky Friedman's "Elvis Jesus Coca-Cola" provides both the escape and the catalyst for spiritual ruminating, but I was reading under special circumstances.  - The brother I recently lost had probably read and touched these very pages, and at the very least had bothered to save this book. It was hard to stay with the story when the first two pages contained the following:

The very first lined jolted me from the words.
"At Tom Baker's wake, quite well attended, as the wakes and funerals of minunderstood people usually are, "

The next paragraph contained
" "Between the gutter and the stars/People are what people are.." "

By page two Friedman was telling us
"Officially it was called an overdorse, but this doesn't tell us much because sooner or later everybody suffers from an overdose.  Too many over-the-counter dreams.  Too much Early Times. "

Book Review: Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins, M.D. Ph.D

Don't bother.

The premise of the book is so very appealing; that because we are interconnected to everything and everyone and every time in the universe, we can predict the "truth" of something with a simple muscle test.

Book review: The FDA Follies, an alarming look at our food and drugs in the 1980’s by Herbert Burkholz

I’ve heard people bash the Reagan administration many times, but I really never knew much about why. Now I do. Reagan’s and most of Bush’s terms were obviously about deregulation and allowing corporate America to not be hindered in the pursuit of the mighty dollar. Public be damned...

Book Review: The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson

I was well into this book when I realized nothing was happening. That is when I decided Hunter is a hell of a writer. There really aren’t any events in this book until the very end, but it flows so well. I can often get worn out by too much description, even when it is done well. The Rum Diary has just enough description for you to soak up and feel the atmosphere. I don’t know what to say about this book, but it wasn’t the over-the-top, wacky adventure that I expected from a Thompson fiction. My experience with him has been through the movie v

Book Review: Culture Jam – How to Reverse America’s Suicidal Consumer Binge – and why we must by Kalle Lasn

“Your living room is the factory, and the product being manufactured is you.” You are being programmed to consume. You are being programmed to never be satiated. You don’t need to think, the television will explain it all to you – what you need to belong, what you need to be unique like everyone else.

Book Review: Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen

I hated this book. This book depressed me. This book made me angry. This book is very well done! Sick Puppy’s main character, Twilly, try’s to re-educate environmentally inconsiderate people by teaching them hard lessons. His latest target, the man in the Range Rover that threw his fast food wrappers and garbage out the window, just doesn’t get the message, though. Not the first message, or the second, or the third. As it turns out, this slob is a very dangerous, connected, and politically powerful man. As Twilly terrorizes him in es

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