A Cup of Sake Beneath the Cherry Trees — Yoshida Kenkō

This small book is a selection of quotes from Essays in Idleness.

The writer begins the book with this statement:

What strange folly, to beguile the tedious hours like this all day before my ink stone, jotting down at random the idle thoughts that cross my mind …

We are then regaled with a selection of those random thoughts, and quite good thoughts some of them are too.

Although written approx 1330 in Japan, a lot of these thoughts are as relevant today in the wider world as they were back then.   Yes, admittedly, some might be a bit dated and endemic but there are some very timeless thoughts for the modern, wider world to enjoy as well.

There’s also a delightful curmudgeonliness to the thoughts, like you’re listening to your favourite grand parent having a rant about what’s bothering them this week.

I shall certainly get a copy of Essays in Idleness and have a full read of Yoshida Kenkō’s thoughts.

Kenkō’s Page

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Eats, Shoots and Leaves — Lynne Truss

An absolute delight of a book.

Lynne has managed to take a rather dull and tedious subject — that of punctuation — and made it interesting and fun to learn.

Yes, it can come across as nothing but a curmudgeon having a rant, but it’s an intelligent curmudgeon having an amusing rant that is very educational.

We are now in an age where the written word is being used more than any other time in history to communicate; most people barely talk any more, preferring to text, or email, rather than pick up the phone or visit in person.   At no other time in history has the correct meaning and interpretation of the written word been more important, while punctuation, which gives the meaning and interpretation to the written word, is so utterly neglected and misunderstood.

Yes, punctuation is important, and while some of it is art, a lot of it is not:

… is there any art involved in using the apostrophe?   No.   Using the apostrophe correctly is a mere negative proof: it tells the world you are not a thicko.

Whether or not you think your punctuation could use a little housekeeping, this is a fun and interesting book to read and you will learn a few things while reading it: well worth it!

Lynne’s Page

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That Is That — Nirmala

It was free and i thought that there may have been something in it worth reading.

I felt that the first half of the book was quite good and gives the reader some interesting points to consider, but then, about half way through the book, he started babbling on that the universe is governed by some divine omnipotent being that knows what its doing — like WTF!!!

And then the book just goes downhill from there as i will always just switch off once someone starts creating gods to support their spiritual point of view — and attempting to disguise this god in spiritual mumbo jumbo speak just made it worse for me.

It’s like the first half is there to draw you in before springing his divine-being trap upon you, and then spends the last half of the book running around in circles, repeating himself, trying to justify something or other.

Like i say, it was free and you may find something worth while in it, but i certainly wouldn’t suggest paying for it and i won’t be reading anything else by Nirmala as i don’t do god grovelling.

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Nirmala’s Page

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