As the year wraps up, here are the recommendable books I read this past year (I’ll spare you the few that I regretted reading):
- “New Seeds of Contemplation” by Thomas Merton. This could be considered one of his seminal works. I’m a big admirer of Merton and will be the 1st to admit that some of his writings can be hard to digest. Engagement is required. But I consider him a spiritual guide of sorts and strongly recommend his work to all.
- “The Spirit of Zen” by Alan Watts. A fairly easy read about a very challenging subject.
- “Dune Messiah” by Frank Herbert. A re-read. The conclusion to the story of Paul Atreides, the main character in the start of the Dune saga. I do hope Denis Villeneuve gets to do a 3rd movie that covers “Dune Messiah”. The 1st part of “Dune” (he split the telling of the 1st novel into 2 parts) was brilliant and I look forward to the 2nd part’s release in 2023. The books are always better but he did an admirable job conveying a very dense and nuanced story on film.
- “The Seeker and the Monk” by Sophfronia Scott. A book of imagined conversations between a contemporary thinker and the late Thomas Merton, using Merton’s personal journals as the focus.
- “Eruption: Conversations with Eddie Van Halen” by Brad Tolinski and Chris Gill . Surprisingly insightful interviews with the one musician I miss more than any other at this point.
- “Running with the Devil” by Noel Monk. An entertaining recounting of the era of Van Halen that is nearest and dearest to my heart (i.e. 1978-1984). As I posted previously, it is likely a skewed perspective of a shared history but it is enlightening and entertaining all the same.