A chatty, animated American family pilgrimage that effectively conveys the author’s inward search for spiritual meaning.

THE BUDDHA SAT RIGHT HERE

A FAMILY ODYSSEY THROUGH INDIA AND NEPAL

A family journeys through India and Nepal in this debut travelogue/memoir by a Northern California midwife.

With her acupuncturist husband and two daughters, the author decided to take a journey to India and Nepal. This adventure led the Moes clan to discover ancient wisdom as they traveled through the Indian subcontinent. They went to Bodh Gaya, site of Buddha’s enlightenment, Cochin where they embraced the hugging saint, Amma, and ultimately Ladakh, where they attended the Kalachakra Initiation ceremony conducted by the aging Dalai Lama. The author includes stories from Buddhist-Hindu tradition that augment her own experiences. The husband, Adam, a practicing Buddhist who had been to India before the family’s trip, rediscovered some of the places that revealed their secrets to him previously, but the emphasis remains on the author’s discoveries. Prior to their travels, both the author and her husband had derived their spiritual sustenance from Rainbow Gatherings where they met and fell in love. The origins of their quest for identity reside in hippie theology, an American mix of Eastern mysticism and meditation. “Before enlightenment, cornflakes and coffee,” the author writes, “After enlightenment, cornflakes and coffee.” Sometimes the author’s observations seem a tad precious, but most of her descriptions of teeming city streets, vibrant landscapes, open country, and the delightful variety of many types of Indians and Nepalese enliven her locations and her spiritual searching. A pall hangs over the narrative of the family’s travels, however; before they departed, the state of California launched an investigation into the midwife practices of the author, an investigation whose dread significance memoirist Moes hints at as they travel and whose significance and outcome she finally reveals. As they go, the author also shows the strife between the author and her husband, a domestic rift that threatens to tear the family apart even as they proceed on their long and precarious Eastern journey. Includes black-and-white photos of the family and their travels.

A chatty, animated American family pilgrimage that effectively conveys the author’s inward search for spiritual meaning.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63152-561-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

more