I just finished reading Shadow Princess, the third book in Sundaresan’s series about the women of Mughal India. Unlike the Feast of Roses (which should be preceded in reading by the Twentieth Wife), this one stands on its own.
It begins with the death of Mumtaz Mahal, the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built, and ends with her husband’s death. In between, the life of their eldest daughter, Jahanara, is told with love and historical accuracy. Part history, part travelogue, and part fiction, Sundaresan weaves the smells, sights, and sounds of India into the human stories of larger-than-life historical characters.
When I read Sundaresan’s novels, I feel the heat on my skin, the cool breeze wafting through marble halls, and smell the cool smell of apples or the warm scent of naan. She writes a fairytale world of jewels and elephants, wars and stone monuments—but it’s not a fairytale. The best part about getting lost in this world is that it’s real.
Inlaid into this world, like precious jewels into a marble slab, are the women of the imperial zenana (the Persian word for a harem). Clad in wisps of silk and heavy jewels of all kinds, they move history with a soft word and a strong will. Women in Mughal India (according to the history I’ve learned from Sundaresan’s books) were not allowed in public; but women in the imperial zenana, who had the ear of the most powerful men in the empire—the emperor himself and his sons—had the power to have their presence felt beyond the walls of the zenana. Sundaresan’s series is about these amazing historical women and the changes they made to their country.
Jahanara, after her mother’s death, finds herself at the head of her father’s zenana. He had other wives, true, and one ought to have taken Mumtaz Mahal’s place. But because of his love for both Mumtaz and Jahanara, it is his daughter who becomes the most powerful woman in the greatest empire in the world. And she is equal to the task. Though she is seen by few men in her life (besides the eunuchs who are her servants and guards), her presence is felt by nobleman and commoner alike. To find out in just what kinds of ways, you’ll have to read for yourself.
Throughout the book, which is chiefly her story, are little chapters on the building of the Taj Mahal. From its birth in the imagination of Jahanara’s father (and in the shape of the tomb built by the star of the other two novels, Mehrunnisa, Jahanara’s great aunt), as the site is leveled in preparation, as it slowly begins to rise, gleaming white, from the ground, to its completion.
The relationships the women have are why I read these books. At a time when women had little to no power, Jahanara (in Shadow Princess) and Mehrunnisa (in the Twentieth Wife and the Feast of Roses) stand out as intelligent women who use their power to get things done. The men in their lives—fathers, husbands, lovers, and sons—have great love and respect for them because they defy convention, rather than in spite of that fact. Here are women (women!) who are their intellectual equals (sometimes betters), a welcome rarity. These are not coddled women who live only for the feel of silk on their skin and the weight of jewels in their hands, but real people who participate actively in the politics of their country.
It’s a great read and a great ride. It makes me want to travel to India, to buy a copy for every woman I know, and to act to change my world for the better. These are not books filled with happily-ever-afters; they are books filled with the real humanity of their characters—the joys and sadnesses alike. Perhaps that is what attracts me the most: these books tell the Truth without having to sugarcoat it.
Obligatory fine print: cmp.ly/1 and cmp.ly/2 (because legally, I can’t distinguish between them): Indu sent me a copy of the book through her publisher with the express request that I review it but without any request about what the contents of that review might be. Also, cmp.ly/5: John and I have Amazon affiliate links up. If you choose to buy the book through Amazon, we’ll get a small amount of cash.
This was cross-posted from my account at GoodReads, where I gave it two stars (of five). I would like to note that I did not read the whole book—I got through the fifth chapter before it was due at the library (and I couldn’t renew it because someone else had a hold on it). I do intend to read the rest of it, although I don’t have a pressing desire to do so since, from the tone of the first few chapters, it does not seem like a whole lot of additional information might be presented in what remains.
I have fixed the links in the post to link to Amazon (in case you haven’t a GoodReads account), but other than that, this is exactly how it looks at GoodReads:
Berlinski’s book is, from its title, a rebuttal to Richard Dawkins’ the God Delusion. It is, however, more often a rebuttal of Sam Harris’ Letter to a Christian Nation specifically and broadly to all atheist works. Having read neither, I will take as a given that both Dawkins and Harris say what Berlinski says they say. However, given how inconsistent his own internal arguments are, I wonder.
Berlinski starts by assuaging the fear of his atheist readers. He is not a theist! He proclaims, he is rather, “a secular Jew”. From that description one might assume that he is of Jewish heritage and descent but does not believe in a (specifically Jewish) deity. However, this quickly is disproved as, through his arguments, Berlinski states that a deity must necessarily exist.
Contrary to most debates in internet fora, Berlinski’s arguments start with ad Hitlerum arguments, broken up briefly by ad hominem attacks. Beginning with calling Harris (and his ilk, by association) a terrorist, he continues by calling them anti-Semites.
The first chapter asserts that science is a god, like any other, whose adherents refuse to admit to the existence of other deities. As evidence for this, he sites the fact that Dawkins/Harris are scientists. If this is the case, it is surely news to Harris, a philosopher.
Continuing this argument into the second chapter, Berlinski asserts that science was the cause of the Holocaust. Once again, this must surely be news to many Germans and Historians alike. Citing the fact that the world is still a horrible place (and listing the number of deaths caused by wars in the 20th century), Berlinski concludes that a deity must exist. (The argument goes something like this: since atheism is wrong, &c.) One wonders just what kind of “secular Jew” it is who argues for but does not worship a deity—perhaps there is no hell for him to go to for his lack of faith. We heretics have no such luxury.
In the third chapter, he delves into physics, a subject about which I understand admittedly little, but about which he seems to understand even less. Somewhere in there is a flying horse, but I was left unsure whether its existence was proven or disproven by neutrinos with fingers.
He continues in such baffling manner, creating “atheistic” arguments for him to refute with both theology and physics. By the end, the reader is left wondering if Berlinski believes in anything at all, a failing he notes in atheistic arguments. It seems to me that Berlinski is, in fact, an atheist. He is simply not a militant atheist, an epithet he despises and wishes so much to distance himself from that he talks himself into a theistic/atheistic corner, wanting to have it both ways, and calling all atheists who speak up fundamentalists with no grasp of logic, history, or physics.
All in all, Berlinski comes across as someone I’d love to have to dinner and who really does have some wonderful arguments against the evils of fundamentalism—be it religious or atheistic. However, his disgust of atheistic fundamentalism manifests in bizarre and, yes, entertaining ways. The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions is a great book to hone an atheist’s analytical skills.
1. One book that made you laugh: I, Lucifer, by Glen Duncan. DH and I read this to each other on one of our many road trips. Totally light reading, with no redeeming social value (as my father might say), but still a fun ride.
2. One book that made you cry: Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. I was going to use this for #4 but the truth is, I cry every time I read it to the end. I cry when he visits Valentine at the lake and she convinces him to return to school. I cry when he passes his final “exam”. I cry when he realizes what he’s done. I cry when Earth does not welcome him back—when his friends gather around him to protect him from the adulation and the horror of his fellow man.
3. One book that you loved as a child: Fables & Fairy Tales, by Leo Tolstoy. I love this book. I love the way fables (and fairy tales) influence a culture. It was quite instructive to me to read them, even though I didn’t know what culture they came from. The more later learned about Russia, the more sense they made.
4. One book you’ve read more than once: Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder. I discovered this book in high school—a friend of mine simply could not believe that I hadn’t read it and insisted that I find a copy (in English, a fair feat) and read it. It’s a wonderful introduction to philosophy in an accessible manner (even if they’re already diving hard-core into Kant and Nietzsche, I would recommend—and lend—this to CatGirl and GameBoy).
5. One book you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it: Tell Me Lies, by Jennifer Crusie. By the time I realized it was a romance novel, I was too far into it to put it down. Now I reread it on occasion because it still cracks me up. I had imagined that romance novels would be far more explicit, but this concentrated on the personality of the guy and, while he’s not my type, that made all the difference. (I imagine…it’s the only romance novel I’ve ever read…I swear.)
6. One book you hated: Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. My professor told me to read it in high school while the rest of the class finished reading (whatever we had been assigned) and to tell him what I thought. I told him that I liked the story, “and a good author could have done a lot with it.” I’ve never been able to bring myself to reread it, but now I feel bad about that, since I think it was one of his favs.
7. One book that scared you: Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. I don’t know how old one is supposed to be for this book, but I think I was really young when I read it. I still think of it and get that fear in my chest—when I’m speeding down a freeway so fast I can’t read billboards, or when I am confronted with a fire station and must interact with it.
8. One book that bored you: the Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov. Another high school book. I felt that we spent too much time on it and I really didn’t understand what it was supposed to symbolize.
9. One book that made you happy: the Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love & High Adventure, by William Goldman. One of my favorite books of all time, one that I can pick up, flip open, & just start reading at any point & reenjoy the whole thing. It makes me happy every time I reread it.
10. One book that made you miserable: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (who just recently died—I have to admit that when I read it, I thought he was already dead). It took me more time to read this than it took me to read Anna K..
11. One book that you weren’t brave enough to read: the Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien. My father read the first three (including the Hobbit) to me but I started falling asleep when he got into the Fellowship books. He never finished the second one & I never had any desire to start the third. I know, I’m going to lose major geek cred for that…
12. One book character you’ve fallen in love with: I guess Paul Atreides from Dune, et al., by Frank Herbert. (Does that restore my geek cred?) Although I kinda just wanted to be his sister, Alia. She was badass!
13. The last book you read: Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer. I have nothing else to say :-p
Here. Including what atheists yell during sex, canoeing on a lake of fire for all eternity, the dangers of topiary, why we should have more atheists in the military, atheist storm troopers, the separation of church and town, the Gospel of Cadbury, and the Dead Faith Scrolls.
(the second Dawkins vid is a duplicate)
If you enjoyed the last one (the Word), check this out.
Apologies for all the SF book reviews–in my mad sprint to the end of the month finish line, I’m trying to cram in as many books as I can in an attempt to get close to my New Year’s Resolution. This end of the month clump of reviews is partly the result of my inability to read only one book at a time. If you’re not interested in SF reads, then skip over these–I promise they won’t get in the way of my regularly scheduled ramblings on religion and atheism.
I know John Scalzi more for his brilliant writing at his popular personal blog, Whatever. On topics ranging from the Academy Awards to the coming zombie apocalypse, the man is incapable of uttering inanity. His SF writing is pretty good, too. He’s been crowned the heir to Bob Heinlein, and while this may be a bit much, his writing is every bit as approachable and engaging.
The Last Colony is the final installment in the Old Man’s War trilogy, which also includes The Ghost Brigades (which has my favorite Scalzi character, Jared Dirac, and is by far the most satisfying read). The stories take place in a galaxy where humankind has made it to the stars, only to find that there are a lot of other alien races already out there. Many of them are ready to kill us. Scalzi adds some refreshing new twists to the well-worn concept of the genetically-enhanced super soldier and explores them and their impact on the characters in detail.
The Last Colony pits a little human farming colony against 412 alien races, and Scalzi does a good job of putting the heroes into impossible predicaments and then getting them out believably. I have a few little nitpicks about his writing–after several books, his characters begin to sound alike, and he has the habit of being a little over the top when his characters find out something critical to the plot that they’re not going to share with the reader right away. As a reader, this technique shouldn’t kick me out of the story, however momentarily. These are minor beefs, and I know that when I pick up a Scalzi novel that I’m going to enter a little science fiction bubble and that won’t want to leave for long while. Above all, the man spins a great, no-nonsense yarn.
Carl Marsalis is a Variant Thirteen–the result of a near future project to genetically engineered abnormally strong and quick and hyper-aggressive soldiers. His kind are feared as humanoid monsters, and most are kept in camps or exiled to colonies on Mars. Marsalis has been hired to help track down a virtually untrackable renegade thirteen who is on a vicious killing spree.
There’s a Blade Runner feel to the world inhabited by the Thirteens–the U.S. is no longer dominant (in fact, it’s split into the coastal Pacific Rim states, a New England allied with Europe and the UN, and the internal “Jesus Land”) and corporations wield power comparable to the most powerful national and international governments. Technological advances have not done much to improve the social circumstances of this world. The balance of power has shifted, but the proportion of haves to have-nots has not changed, and prejudices persist, if with different targets.
What keeps Morgan’s Thirteen from falling into the “I’ve read this before” disposal are the believability of his world and his characters and his deep exploration of race, genetics, politics, religion and tech. Occasionally Morgan spends a little too much time in preachy explication, but for the most part, the richness of detail makes this seem like a world we could be inhabiting all too soon.
I listened to this as an audiobook, and Morgan’s movie-like storytelling and the excellent voice acting got me (relatively painlessly) through a month of exercise–including my first seven mile run in nearly two years.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a little slow coming out of the starting gates. My calculations tell me that I should have completed 7.2 texts thus far. I’ll catch up, I promise.
The Tourmaline may be partly to blame. Paul Park is refreshingly creative, defying all sorts of standard fantasy tropes, but necessitating careful, deliberate reading. This would be fine if I had all year to read these books, but I’m on a schedule, man! (This is why Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell may have to wait for my retirement before I read it). Curse you, Mr. Park, for your dream-logic scenes and unpredictable plot! I can read four formulaic Grisham novels in the time it takes to unravel one of your complex works!
The Tourmaline is the sequel to A Princess of Roumania, and follows the adventures of Miranda Popescu, her friends, and her enemies (Paul Park’s villains are sometimes deeper and more compelling than the protagonists) in the real Europe. Our world is an elaborate, imaginative construct, destroyed when its magical history is thrown on a fire, transporting Miranda and her two friends into a world in which England was torn apart by a natural disaster, Rome is in ruins, and an ancient Greek pantheon competes with the religion of King Jesus and Queen Mary Magdelene (the cross is still the symbol of Jesus, for he crucified the vanquished Roman generals). Miranda and her two friends struggle not only with the trials of this new world, but with the tension between their old New Jersey identities and their “real” Roumanian identities. For example, Miranda’s friend Andromeda, who once shopped at Victoria’s Secret, is also the Roumanian male general, Sasha Proshenko (and somehow also a were-dog).
I’ll be honest–I’m used to more approachable fantasy, and I definitely wouldn’t these to someone who wanted to escape into the world of Dragonlance. That said, I read fantasy to discover new worlds, and in the Roumania series, Paul Park has created an amazing new milieu to explore.
Note: Please recommend other titles in the comments!
I decided to make a list that was a sort of refreshing alternative to the recent bestsellers. I have several reasons for this. First of all, Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens and Pullman are getting so much media attention that you don’t need me to tell you about them. I worry that other magnificent authors are suffering from something akin to the Harry Potter eclipsing phenomenon. Secondly, I wanted to compile a list that wouldn’t chase away closet doubters and struggling theists. I’m not one for preaching to the choir–they’re already converted. These are books that have the potential to provide comfort and challenge to theists and skeptics alike. Finally, I wanted to collect in one place some of the works that were influential in my own upward spiral into skepticism.
John Horgan was a senior writer for Scientific American, and in this book he embarks on a trip that encompasses everything from his personal experiments with the concoctions of Amazonian shamans to well-funded scientific studies on the brains of meditating monks. Rational Mysticism is a fascinating exploration of altered states, mystical experiences, and the biology of epiphany.
I read this for a Modern Atheism course I took at UCI–the class had a boisterous mix of believers and skeptics and was the most bloody fun I had in any single college class. It’s essentially a short greatest hits compilation of the writings of skeptical philosophers and writers from Hume to Nietzsche, Voltaire to Schopenhauer. This book breaks their writings in to appetizing bites and makes their writings very accessible to non-philosophers like me. It also provides enough challenging questions to fuel hours of debate with minimal intervention from mediating professors.
Jennifer Michael Hecht is one of my heroes for writing this book. She turns standard approaches to the history of thought all topsy-turvy and creates this sweeping narrative of doubt. The cast of characters includes Job, Socrates, Buddha, Jesus, Freud and women like Hypatia, Emily Dickinson and Margaret Sanger.
Some of the greatest skeptics are firmly ensconced in their religions, and J. D. Crossan is as Irish and Catholic as he is ballsy in the his pursuit of the truth. I recommend Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography because I come from a Christian background and this helped me to completely humanize Jesus. There are hundreds of comparable Jesus biographies, as well as brilliant and accessible studies that focus on founders of other faiths, including Mohammed, Buddha, and Moses.
There are many books that look at religions in comparison with each other. Reading these were often humbling experiences for me, as I learned that my own religion of origin was not as unique in its claims as I thought. Women, Family, and Utopia compares the celibate Shakers, the polygamous Mormons and the strangely structured “free love” community at Oneida in the 19th century. Religion scholars are churning out thousands of such titles each year.
This is an incredibly moving story of a brilliant young Hasidic Jewish artist who struggles to follow both the truth of his genius and the truths imposed by his religious community.
7. Why Atheism?
Some of my favorite arguments for atheism are calmly, eloquently and simply presented in this compact tome. My favorite is the explanation of justified belief, using an intelligent young child’s convictions of the reality of Santa Claus.
Lovecraft does an excellent job of making one feel like an annoying little gnat in a universe populated by giants–including tentacled, many-fanged gnat-catchers. HPL is an excellent antidote for any kind of hubris.
I include this book because of its emphasis on practice over belief. Let’s face it–without the infrastructure of religious society and the reinforcement of religious ritual, it can be difficult to find the discipline to regularly cultivate compassion, emotional serenity, and a clear mind. Walsh strips much of the religious trappings off of many of the best of religion’s meditative practices and ethical teachings and distills them into this handy manual. It’s full of fun stories and anecdotes meant to inspire and elevate (kind of self-helpish, but I like this sort of thing).
Last, and most certainly not least, is Cosmos by the late Carl Sagan. Much of the science is a little dated, but that’s the point of half of the book–our cosmologies keep transforming, and what was gospel in one age becomes the myths of the next. What persists, however, is the wonder and awe inspired by the natural world. The canopy of stars–billions and billions of them–is a grand enough cathedral.
So, this is my completely arbitrary and incomplete list. Do you have any you’d like to recommend?
#1 of 100, folks! Only 99 more to go. I started with an easy one. I promise to pick up a heavy book by someone with a Russian name or a biography of President Bush to balance out this light escapist fantasy.
This is a perfect book for junior high school boys, which is perhaps why I thoroughly enjoyed it (though my sixth grade daughter loves it and its sequels as well). When Pearson’s daughter asked him about the origins of Peter Pan, he somehow roped Barry into writing a three volume collaborative answer.
It’s not for Barrie purists, as this Peter is a bit more mature than the original and the pre-amputation Captain Hook (then known as Black ‘Stache) is much less foppish and 100% menacing.
That said, the book is a fun piratey frolic that kept me up into the wee hours of the morning.
The trilogy has the Church as the antagonist. Not religious belief in general. If any “message” may be derived, it’s that powerful religious organisation who is above the law and morally degraded (murder is no problem for them) is bad. By being against these books for only religious reasons, you’re basically saying that the Church in the series is acceptable and it’s wrong to condemn such a thing.
God isn’t even in the books. It’s the first angel falsely claiming that he created everything. False gods are bad, right? So shouldn’t it be a good thing that they took him down? Pullman left the question of if there’s a Creator wide open. I don’t think any of the people squawking about the trilogy even bothered to read it.
This is another case of running into someone on the Internet who articulated my feelings better than I could (curse you, Internet! *shakes fist*): 1) it’s not thatPullman is making the case that all religious institutions are corrupt, but that the Magesterium in particular is (Lyra’s beloved Oxford University, after all, is also a religious institution), and 2) I never equated Metatron with God–in fact, he seems remarkably similar to Marcion’s Demiurge.
Point #2 requires a bit of explanation. Marcion was an early Christian Bishop who couldn’t figure out why the God of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was always so grumpy and bloodthirsty and why the God of the New Testament seemed so much better behaved. He decided that there must be an evil creator God to whom the real Christian God delegated all that messy creation work. Borrowing a term from Plato, he called this evil god-like being
Metat, er, the Demiurge. Not conventional theology, I know, but certainly no less extreme than portraying your God as a furry, fanged creature who likes getting scratched behind the ears.
Before I begin this post about the Golden Compass, a refreshingly original fantasy by Philip Pullman and a movie that will be released on December 7th, I have to mention that our very own xJane, with her exclusive Hollywood connections, has already seen and pre/reviewed the movie!
Listen to tone of Bill Donahue (sort of the Jerry Fallwell of American Catholicism) in this anti-Pullman diatribe:
It is important that all Christians, especially those with children or grandchildren, read this booklet ["The Golden Compass: The Agenda Unmasked"]. Anyone who does will be armed with all the ammo they need to convince friends and family members that there is nothing innocent about Pullman’s agenda. Though the movie promises to be fairly non-controversial, it may very well act as an inducement to buy Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials. And remember, his twin goals are to promote atheism and denigrate Christianity. To kids.
Please get the word out.
Now, I have to admit that I’m a bit offended by old Mr. Donahue. Just a bit. He makes atheism sound like such a wicked thing. I’ll fancy that it’s his agenda to promote Christianity and denigrate atheism. Maybe even to kids.
(The regular maligning of skeptics was one of the great joys of being a half in, half out of the closet doubter attending an LDS church and reading the Book of Mormon–in which atheists are struck mute and trampled by angry mobs.)
So Catholics are now pulling the books from school library shelves and are urged to boycott Scholastic, which co-produced the movie. This worries me a bit because Scholastic’s sales were really hurt by Christian boycotting of another popular series.
This anti-Golden Compass fervor has caught on beyond the Catholic fold, spread by frightened Baptists, Mormons, and the occasional Episcopalian. I don’t quite get this–my children are bombarded with Christian stuff every day. We happily talk about works by authors of various denominations, including Presbyterian (JK Rowling), Anglican (CS Lewis), and Catholic (JRR Tolkien). (Is going by initials a sign that you’ve made it as a popular children’s author?) You don’t see me running to the American public secular school library, demanding that they remove The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from their shelves cause CS Lewis was trying to shamelessly promote Christianity. And to defenseless kids, by God!
I’ll have to admit that I really enjoyed The Golden Compass, the book. It’s set in a richly imagined fantasy world without a single elf or dragon and the characters are believable and even the villains are as complex as they are menacing. Lyra Bellaqua is a feisty young heroine worthy of our undying devotion. I wish I could say the same great things about the next two volumes, but Pullman set raised the bar so high on the first one that I think he slammed his head into it (or sailed completely under it) on successive attempts.
So, partly to spite Old Mr. Donahue, and partly because I love The Golden Compass so (as a reader of fantasy, and not as an atheist), I’m going to encourage you all to see it (my kids were already going to go, regardless of my say in the matter). We’ll probably go to a theater in the Irvine or Newport Beach area on the opening night. Anyone want to join us?
Please get the word out.
While visiting my in-laws most recently, my step-mother-in-law had occasion to be horrified that I’d not read the “His Dark Materials” series by Philip Pullman. “Could I borrow your copies?” I asked. She became, if possible, even more horrified. “No,” she replied, “I read them too often.” Later that day, I had a set of my own.
The first in the series, the Golden Compass is set to be butchered by Hollywood this xmas season. Having read the whole series now, I have no desire to see it (although after finishing the first book, I did want to). I read the first one while in Seattle, finishing it just in time to get off the plane, drive home, and pick up the second: the Subtle Knife. The second book is nowhere near as good as either the first or the third, and probably just serves to set up the events in the third book, but I was bringing it to work, it was so good. I’d sit on my break with my cell phone on my knee so I knew when I could clock back in, and devour it, chapters at a time. One of my bosses caught me reading it and we began to enthuse at each other about how great it was! Both he and I had gotten the feeling early on that Pullman was going to throw us a Christian agenda (not even a thinly veiled one) but later weren’t so sure. Now that I’ve read the last book, I would have ventured that he’s an atheist. Wikipedia says he’s a Humanist (my husband would be proud), and may have written the books as a direct rebuttal of “the Chronic(what)cles of Narnia”.
The third of the series is the Amber Spyglass and sews up the plot ends perfectly. There are some books I’ve read that, when I finish them, I wish for more, even though I know it’s in vain. But this book leaves no question that the story (myth? allegory?) is complete.
The whole series is epic in length as well as in scope. Metaphysics, “experimental theology”, morality, God, angels, the Church, alternate universes, sex, the mind-body soul connection, love, death, rebirth…you name it. And yet it never feels preachy or crowded. By the end of them, I felt as though I’d been given a glimpse at some Truths that I’d never considered before.
Perhaps soon I’ll do a post about that, but for now, I’m going to bask in the glory of being alive, part of the universe, and loved. More than anything else, I brought out a sense of how important conscious beings are to one another. Many books of fiction have changed or shaped my world-view. This one simply reinforced it. Go out and read them. Now!