Dubliners by James Joyce | Book Report

It seems that every Irish person I've met possesses the gift of gab. Perhaps it's their endearingly playful accent, with the ending of every phrase punctuated by an inviting rise in tone, or the way in which even their most simple recollections are orated like epic tales. In poetry, song, and novel, they are a nation of storytellers and mystics. And being that I've always been intrigued by Irish culture, in which I have some ancestry, I have been meaning to read more from its own writers, both past and present.

To begin, I dusted off James Joyce's Dubliners and dove right in.

Read More

In My Own Way by Alan Watts | Book Report

Watts' way of storytelling and philosophizing is hilarious and smart. He discusses noetic ideas in a lighthearted way that invites everyone, from all walks of life, to feel welcomed into a conversation. His playful inquisitiveness allowed me to sift through some major existential questions from a posture like that of a curious child rather than a serious intellect.

In reading this autobiography, it's clear that Watts' life was driven by relentless introspection paired with an indulgent quest after the essence of existence – he was an Anglican priest, a professor, a prolific writer and lecturer on Zen Buddhism, and a self-proclaimed shaman – yet as he recalled the many characters who played major roles in his own formation – many of whom were famous artists, writers, and philosophers, like Aldous Huxley, Krishnamurti, and Carl Jung – I was reminded that the journey into love and an expansive understanding of existence is always informed by our relationship with others.

Read More