Monthly Archives: September 2016

That Ain’t Funny

The Hollars, a film by John Krasinski and James Strouse.  With Margo Martindale, Sharlto Copley, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick.  * The phrase I use for my title is one my son often repeated when he was four and five years old.  We had just moved to a working class Durham neighborhood that abutted a textile … Continue reading That Ain’t Funny

Who Are Your People?

The Sympathizer a novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Grove Press.   385 pp.  $16.00 This novel won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and is a remarkable work of art—I’m stunned at the way this younger novelist projects himself back into this tumultuous time—but I’m more interested in it as a human document than as … Continue reading Who Are Your People?

Greatest Zen Book Ever

Opening the Hand of Thought: Foundations of Zen Buddhist Practice.  By Kosho Uchiyama, Translated and Edited by Tom Wright, Jisho Warner, and Shohaku Okumura.  Wisdom Publications.  205 pp.  $16.95. Factoids that I’ve picked up about Kosho Uchiyama through years of being obsessed with him:  He was an expert at origami, as his father had been, … Continue reading Greatest Zen Book Ever

Where the Boys Are

Wo Es War, Soll Ich Werden, the Restored Original Text by Guy Davenport. The Finial Press in Champaign, Illinois.  $525.00 Once before on this website I reviewed a book that I was sure none of my readers would ever see, an obscure Buddhist text that had been out of print forever and that I was … Continue reading Where the Boys Are

Banks Robbing Men

Hell or High Water, a film by David MacKenzie, written by Taylor Sheridan.  With Jeff Bridges, Gil Birmingham, Chris Pine, Ben Foster. ***** Sometimes people take a genre movie, which has elements that many movies have, and take it to a whole new level.  Sometimes that movie is overlooked for that very reason.   Hell or … Continue reading Banks Robbing Men

Train to Nowhere

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  Doubleday.  306 pp.  $26.95 This is one of the most wrenching and difficult books I’ve ever read.  It’s a work of art, and its sheer artistry gives pleasure.  At the same time, I didn’t look forward to reading it every night. People will say the subject is slavery, or … Continue reading Train to Nowhere