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For such a short book it took me quite awhile to finish but I have finally concluded Steve Hagen’s Buddhism Plain & Simple. As an introductory guide I was lost as often as I was found but roughly two-thirds of the way into the book I did feel as if some veil was lifted and I was finally getting it. Hagen’s book explores Buddhism in a manner that extracts it from eastern culture to help westerners better understand Buddhism.
I did enjoy it (in a bittersweet way though I regret spending money on purchasing it) and I do intend on rereading the book. Unlike my desire to reread Murakami’s novels and stories (simply out of pure enthusiasm for them), I’m rereading Hagen’s book for clarification. Perhaps during my reread I’ll do more postings on the subject.
As I finished this I finally picked up Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and am now dying to return home and reread Andrea Dworkin’s section on Tolstoy in Intercourse. I’m only about 50-pages in but the gender critique of the book has become irresistible. I’m not sure why I’ve always felt somewhat threatened to read Anna Karenina (perhaps the length) but thus far it really has been a pleasurable and gripping read.
The beginning of the book offered a brief introduction to the novel as well as Tolstoy and it was interested to read how displeased Tolstoy was with all of his works and how being an artist was never enough.