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What (secular) books...

Old 04-23-2007, 06:48 PM
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What (secular) books...

Do you have any books which you turn to for comfort or reassurance? Things which help to clarify the situation for you? These could be recovery-specific, or not. What is it you like best about it/them? What would you improve or change?
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:54 PM
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Leo Tolstoy

Russian author, essayist and philosopher wrote the epic novel War and Peace (1865-69)

I had to read some of his works in my college courses. His works on philosophy had me thinking... WOW! Leo gets it. He understands.
Just seeing that there are some who are world known for their philosophy and understand life just like those of us who have lived through such things as recovery sure lifted my spirit towards the hope for mankind.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:15 PM
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Do you read War and Peace as a comfort book? I could see as the comparison between the suffering through war and the suffering through addiction could be helpful.

My main book is Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan. I like that he lays things out in an orderly fashion- it makes me think that at least *something* (well, many things) do make sense. It gives me a broader picture. I also watch and re-watch Cosmos for much the same reason- but it has the added bonus of making me feel very small (in a positive way). My other books are political theory books.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:23 PM
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Tolstoy's works that talk of how the lower classes of people suffered but still manage to get through life. (not low class but social class) As I was reading and seeing how his writing seemed to compare to a path towards recovery, I shouted out as I was reading...Wow, this guy gets it.
I would need go through my books to find titles of his works. First I would need find the book *LOL*
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:28 PM
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I just bought "The Demon-Haunted World" a couple of weeks ago. Have not had time to start reading it though. Maybe I will tonight
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:32 PM
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It's probably his most accessible one.

Best- I appreciate Tolstoy as a fiction writer perhaps more than as a social commentator- while I think the people did "get along", I think there's more to life than that. Their survival was crucial to their later actually living, if you get me here (I think you do). Let me know when you find the title- I should refresh my Tolstoy.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by andshewas View Post

Best- I appreciate Tolstoy as a fiction writer perhaps more than as a social commentator-
That was the rub for me. I had never read Tolstoy till that point and I had an attitude... Oh great, I need to read some other hot air commentator. I was shocked to see the depth of his understanding. He became #1 on my list of books I need read once out of school when I have time to read *LOL*
I will make the search for those books be my number one.. to do.. on the next rainy day.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:36 AM
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I have loved reading Utopias.
Plato's Republic is my favorite. Especially the section that digresses called the "Allegory of the Cave. "
There's Thomas Moore's Utopia.
Gillman's Herland.
Another, called Erehwon, (which is nowhere spelled backwards!) I cannot remember the author right now.

There are so many more that I cannot think of now. I often thought of doing a research project on them; comparing the issues of the day through time; and seeking to see what, if any, progress has been made in our search for the perfect world.

But, I love utopias because they speak of the issues of the day in which they were written. That gives me insight into the issues that I deal with daily too. So, even those written thousands of years ago speak to me today, and yes, provide a hope and a comfort that we CAN make things better.

Shalom!
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:17 AM
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Two books that I often turn to for comfort and reassurance: "The Book" by Alan Watts and "A Joseph Campbell Companion".

One reminds me that my ego is an illusion. The other informs to live from my own center.
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:34 AM
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The Man Who Heard Voices Or, How M. Night Shyamalan Risked His Career on a Fairy Tale. By Michael Bamberge. It is about M. Night Shyamalan making the movie The Lady in the Water. I think the movie is crap, and not a fan of his, but the book discusses the emotional ups and downs of a man while he makes his artistic dream come true. It gives me hope someday my dreams of success can occur.
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by zencat View Post
Two books that I often turn to for comfort and reassurance: "The Book" by Alan Watts and "A Joseph Campbell Companion".

One reminds me that my ego is an illusion. The other informs to live from my own center.
Hi zencat, that is an interesting quote, I just realized that they refer to two separate books. The only thing I can think of to add to this is a short story by Marguerite Yourcenar in a book called "Two Lives and a Dream." The story is called Nathaniel, and he is a pauper in the 19th century recounting his life. He tells about various jobs he has, and his travels, around work, his one love, etc, and then at the end he gets sick and goes off into the woods and lays down to die. He has total peace and acceptance that 'this was my life, I did what I came to do, and now it is done'. Even though the end is sad, and his is a very mundane, ordinary life, it left me with a feeling of such peace, that the true meaning of life is just to live, regardless of the circumstances, and Nathaniel lived well and met his fate with peace.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:12 AM
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J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

I turn to this book for comfort. As an alcoholic who drinks to escape reality I find that I can read books such as this and "escape" for a little while with out all the bad side effects.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:51 AM
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Any future-history type book. I just need to have someone share with me that they also have a strong belief in a future for our society. Sometimes, I get tired of all the dark and whining stuff.

Haven't read a good one in a long time. Maybe writers are giving up on the idea of it.
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BigSis View Post
Any future-history type book. I just need to have someone share with me that they also have a strong belief in a future for our society. Sometimes, I get tired of all the dark and whining stuff.

Haven't read a good one in a long time. Maybe writers are giving up on the idea of it.
I find a lot of positive in non-fiction myself. There are many books that one can read from a postive point of view. I think it is, to some extent, on how you read it. I just finished All The Presidents Men again. I saw two young men, working the Metro desk, who went out and made a difference. The fact it was Watergate was almost a back story. The main point was the difference these two men made with so much against them.
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:08 PM
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Permanent Midnight is a good book.

I like Playboy for the articles.
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:08 PM
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I'm a big reader of 'escapist' type fiction - sci-fi and fantasy especially. Sometimes I wonder if that isn't a little bit of an addiction in and of itself. Tolkien is the man, though.

I just finished Shantaram by Gregory Davies Roberts. That was really good, kind of a novelized autobiography, and relevant, as the man was a recovered heroin addict.

Playboy has always had excellent writers.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:07 PM
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One book i've listened to for spirituality is "Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind."
I cannot tell you how much i've gained from this book.
It is secular. There is no big sky buddies who will save you if you only prostrate.
It just talks about how change occurs constantly, and how we can find peace as we understand that fact. And how we cannot attach to our current understand of life, because it won't enable us to grow. Yet we need some approach to life. So our approaches need to be flexible.
I listen to it on tape. Peter Coyote narrates, and he does a fabulous job.

I also liked "Drinking: A Love Story".
Also, Pema Chodron writes very well.
These are Zen approaches, without the other-world.
I'm a spiritual person, in that i truly care about others, and feel the pain within myself and when others feel pain. And i don't want to contribute to that pain.
But i don't believe in 'karma', or any other force that evens things up when a person does wrong. I haven't seen evidence of that.

"The Demon Haunted World" is also great.
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Old 06-21-2007, 04:38 AM
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Dharma Punx is good.
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