Book Reviews

Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening

compassionate listeningMy friend Andrea Cohen has written a lovely and useful book, Practicing the Art of Compassionate Listening" in which she reflects on the power of the heart: "The heart contains approximately 40,000 neural cells - the kind we used to think existed only in the brain.

Native Son

It is clear almost from the beginning that Bigger Thomas is doomed, trapped in a downward spiral that will lead to arrest, prison, or death, driven by despair, frustration, poverty, and incomprehension.

Flaubert's Parrot

Julian Barnes astounds. Just what sort of book is this, anyway? A literary biography of 19th century French novelist, radical, and intellectual impresario Gustave Flaubert? A meditation on the uses and misuses of language? A novel of obsession, denial, irritation, and underhanded connivery? A thriller complete with disguises, sleuthing, mysterious meetings, and unknowing targets?

If He Hollers Let Him Go

In the decades just prior to the eruption of the American civil rights movement in the late '50s, Chester Himes was one of the most significant African-American authors -- although today he is less well known than several of his contemporaries.

Engaging Emergence

One of the most important books I read this year was by Peggy Holman: Engaging Emergence; Turning Upheaval into Opportunity. As Peggy says in her blog, emergence is a process "through which order arises from chaos as the existing order is disrupted, differences appear, and a new coherence coalesces.

Victor Frankl - Finding Meaning and Purpose

When I was eighteen years old in the spring of 1968, in a book store on the square in Racine, Wisconsin, I found a little book titled Man’s Search for Meaning, by philosopher and psychotherapist Victor Frankl. The author survived Auschwitz during the Second World War. He emerged from the death camp having lost everything that mattered to him. His beloved wife was dead, his family was dead, almost all of his friends or acquaintances were dead or dying.

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