Non Fiction Reading Challenge

So, I have been working in a library for over four months now. Oh, it seems like so much longer. I mean that as a positive. I feel that I have picked up enough information recently to last me a good year, I think.

My point being is that I am constantly walking through the stacks. Going to talk to this person or get that thing or whatever. I inevitably grab some book as I walk through or see something that I need to read and have been stacking books on my desk with the intent to read them but never seeming to get to them.

If this continued, I would have a small library on my desk and no time whatsoever to read them. So, I have decided to enact a challenge on my self to read 7 nonfiction books from my “randomly grabbed off the shelf” pile and, I don’t know, learn something?

I listed my choices below and gave a brief description of what they are about and why I grabbed it in the first place.

  1. The Colony by John Tayman: I grabbed this one a while back from the nonfiction section right by our back-office doors. Grabbed it because it was in the section with all these crazy books about early epidemics in North America (plague, scarlet fever etc.) and the name seemed to stand out. Anyway it is about the leper colony started in Hawaii during the late 1800s that lasted to the mid 1900s. Seemed interesting and who doesn’t want to read about disfiguring diseases?
  2. Gandhi’s Passion: The life and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi by Stanley Wolpart: Gandhi is just fucking awesome. I had to read more about him after I rewatched the 1982 movie with Ben Kingley. The whole non-violence thing seems so lame until you realize that it took decades for it to change anything….most of which he spent in jail….willingly. Just awesome. Also he was one of the first pantheists (he cut and pasted what he wanted from each religion to mold his home religion of Hinduism). I call this pragmatism but whatever, still cool.
  3. The Way of Kendo and Kenjitsu: Soul of the Samurai by Darrell Max Craig: OK, I ordered this one. I really want to learn and I think my new zen will be pummeling Darrin (or getting pummeled by him).
  4. Gonzo: The life of Hunter S. Tompson, an oral biography by Jann S. Werner and Corey Seyman: Basically…an oral biography of HST will be pure golden awesome dipped in caramel.
  5. A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essnetial Readings from West to East edited by Donald S. Lopez: First off, I am a buddhist so this is usual reading for me. Secondly, its Jack Karouac, Philip Kapleau both Suzukis and a host of other scholars that I have been wanting to read for a while.
  6. God is Dead: Secularization in the West by Steve Bruce: Written by an atheist South Dakotan so I got curious and it seems to be more of a book on statistics rather than atheists ranting and raving about how bad religion is.
  7. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The dirty life and times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon: AAAAAAAWWWOOOOOOOO!!!! Zevon is pure liquid cool and is probably the most magnificant bastard to ever grace this hallowed ground. Seriously the guy was a genius and an alcoholic, sexaholic and OCD to boot. His life has got to be interesting. And its an oral history like the HST book.

As I get through these I will cross them out as I read them and probably write abit on them. I think this is a good challenge for anyone to do if you feel that you need to learn or read something new. Try it out, just walk through a library and grab what gets your attention. How else would I have found “How to Dress Like a Pope for all Occassions”?