Books

The concept of happiness: 5 essential books

by Todd Hebert on March 21, 2013

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The concept of happiness is a subject that endlessly engrosses me and is often the subject of Hipster Monk posts. Humans strive for happiness. People ask: What does it take to live a happy life? Money? Success? Sex? Family? Faith? Is there some secret that no one is telling me? I don’t have the ultimate […]

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Post image for Downsizing your massive book collection: A practical approach

A minimalistic lifestyle, however trendy that may be, has been something I have been committed to for a few years. Ridding myself of unnecessary possessions is a lot easier than I thought it would be. It’s actually quite exiting and addictive. Not a day goes by where I don’t scan my stuff and pick out […]

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Zen and the Art of Happiness

by Todd Hebert on January 11, 2013

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Zen and the Art of Happiness Chris Prentiss Power Press (2006) Chris Prentiss opens Zen and the Art of Happiness by writing, “there is only one way to achieve lasting happiness. That way is simply: be happy.” It’s a great opening that made me eager to read on. Unfortunately, the rest of the slim 145 […]

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Post image for Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking [Booklist]

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking Oliver Burkeman Faber & Faber, inc. (2012) Newsflash: life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. There are a lot of happy, joyful events that happen every day, but there is also a lot of sadness, failure and stress. Is the key to happiness focusing on […]

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Post image for More than Human: Tim Flach’s stunning portraits of animals

Photographer Tim Flach’s newest book is an amazing collection of animal portraits called “More than Human.” The photos of these non-human animals showcase personalities and expressiveness rarely captured in still photography and solidifies the bond we share with all of our planet-mates.

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“New Atheism” for kids

by Todd Hebert on November 29, 2012

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“The faith in God around our globe Is just bad magic, just a joke Rabbis, priests and muftis, too Are “naked apes” like me and you Only, they see floating ghosts And wear quite funny caps and clothes” The excerpt above is from a German children’s book called Wo bitte geht’s zu Gott?, fragte das […]

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Which is the better story? A review of “Life of Pi”

by Todd Hebert on November 26, 2012

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*Potential spoilers contained herein. “Your uncle told me that you have a story that will make me believe in God?” asks the writer to a middle-aged Piscine (Pi, for short) during the opening moments of “Life of Pi.” Damn, that’s a lofty and incredibly futile setup for a film! I’m all ears. Ang Lee’s new […]

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Zen master pets [Booklist]

by Todd Hebert on November 18, 2012

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Guardians of Being Eckhart Tolle & Patrick McDonnell New World Library (2009) Dogs and cats have a divine purpose. Part of that purpose is to help us humans realize the joy of living in the present moment. At least that is the take-home message of Guardians of Being, a book collaboration by spiritual guru Eckhart […]

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Post image for Sexual healing: Jesús Ángel García’s badbadbad [Booklist]

badbadbad Jesús Ángel García New Pulp Press (2011) The future is here, kids. A novel is no longer limited to printed words on paper. We have the technology! In addition to the old-fashioned book, a novel can include rock and roll music, film, and even a youtube playlist. Almost like a Sunday service at your […]

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Worshipping at the Altar of Rock [Booklist]

by Todd Hebert on November 11, 2012

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Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life Steve Almond Random House (2010) Everyone likes music. Some more than others. But for an unfortunate minority, music is life. It ceases to be merely pleasant background noise and invades every aspect of daily existence. It defines the clothes they wear, influences speech and thought patterns, dictates who […]

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Muhammad entering from the rear [Booklist]

by Todd Hebert on November 6, 2012

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Osama Van Halen Michael Muhammad Knight Soft Skull Press (2009) If punk rock songs are short, loud, offensive, and give a big F.U. to the mainstream, then Michael Muhammad Knight’s new novel, Osama Van Halen is very punk rock. The barely there, comic book plot of Osama Van Halen is sketchy at best: Rabeya, a […]

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Post image for Tales from a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing [Booklist]

I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing Kyria Abrahams Touchstone (2010) This is a guest post by Hilary D. La Rivierre. When Hipster Monk asked me to read and review I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed by Kyria Abrahams, my first reaction was “No! I do not want to read the jaded woe-is-me stories […]

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Eating Animals [Booklist]

by Todd Hebert on October 30, 2012

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Eating Animals Jonathan Safran Foer Little, Brown and Company (2009) In Eating Animals, author Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) seeks answers to questions he has about where meat comes from, how the animals are treated, and if he should feed animal flesh to his children. Part memoir, part investigative journalism, the book is framed […]

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Afterlives Beyond Heaven and Hell [Booklist]

by Todd Hebert on October 24, 2012

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What happens when you die? Does your soul rise up to heaven or fall to the pits of hell? Do you go through some sort of reincarnation or transmigration process? Do you simply rot in the ground? Usually the answer to the question of afterlife is based on one’s spiritual belief system, or lack thereof. […]

Post image for Vampire Jehovah’s Witnesses? A conversation with author Dave Hitt

What if a Jehovah’s Witness became a vampire? This is a theme that Dave Hitt explores in Blood Witness, a horror/comedy novel that he is releasing in weekly podcast installments on BloodWitness.com. I interviewed Mr. Hitt about the novel, atheism, and his views on religion. Have you always been an atheist? I was raised as […]

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