There is still plenty of time to fatten your holiday reading list, or pick up a brilliant book to whisk you away from your busy city routine. Here are a few wonderful volumes I’ve read recently and would recommend to anyone.
Another Country by James Baldwin
When Another Country appeared in 1962, it caused a literary sensation. James Baldwin’s masterly story of desire, hatred and violence opens with the unforgettable character of Rufus Scott, a scavenging Harlem jazz musician adrift in New York. Self-destructive, bad and brilliant, he draws us into a Bohemian underworld pulsing with heat, music and sex, where desperate and dangerous characters betray, love and test each other to the limit.
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
Noah is a little boy who knows things he shouldn’t and remembers things he should have forgotten. Because as well as being a four-year-old called Noah, he remembers being a nine-year-old called Tommy.
He remembers his house.
And now he wants to go home.
The Heart of Understanding by Thich Nhat Hanh
The heart of the Prajñaparamita Sutra is regarded as the essence of Buddhist teaching, offering subtle and profound teachings on non-duality and the letting go of all preconceived notions, opinions, and attachments, and so becoming open to all the wonders of our life.
The Heart Sutra is recited daily in Mahayana temples and practice centers throughout the world. Thich Nhat Hanh’s translation and commentary are the fruit of the author’s more than sixty years of monastic study and practice. He describes the sutra as “a precious gift to us, the gift of fearlessness.”
The Restful Mind by Gyalwa Dokhampa
I was fortunate to meet His Emenence Gyalwa Dokhampa and be in his presence when he gave a talk to the group who went on the Bhutan retreat.
The restless mind is frightened of silence,
easily bored, and busy, busy, busy.
The restful mind is creative and alert, relaxed and confident.
The step from one to the other is all in the way we think.
His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa has a real understanding of the pressures of modern life and how our crowded minds have left us too little space to stretch and grow.
He shows us new ways to calm body and mind, become more aware, better able to deal with problems and appreciate the moment.
It is with our mind that we create our world. Here’s how to open it up and let the world in.