Book Review: This Taste of Flesh & Bones

Mr. Russell has clearly studied some of the leading lights of Eastern and Western existential thought. This Taste of Flesh and Bones, his deeply researched, and well thought out book on life’s most fundamental question, ‘who am I?’ is not an easy to read treatise, but it delivers an answer to the question.

We are the result of the universal energy otherwise referred to by we humans as love. The author is cautious in his use of the term ‘god’, using several names for an entity that governs the movement of the stars, and of all of us. Brahman, Elohim, Jehovah, or simply the Universe, all names used to indicate the primary source of energy.

Russell reminds readers that appearances do not equal reality; that we may perceive something to be durable, and solid, and real, nothing truly is substantive. That taken to the molecular level, all is energy, and since energy is neither created nor destroyed, not only will we be around forever in some form, but we already have been.

Similar to Milan Kundera’s ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being.’ this book examines fundamental questions.This Taste of Flesh and Bones: Enlightenment and Endless Possibilities

Book Review: Thrive

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and WonderThrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Here we have a book that might put you to sleep. This is never a good book recommendation, just ask any author. In this case, however, Ms Huffington’s fine book Thrive aims to do just that, to call attention to our sleep-deprived lives, and help us get back to a semblance of sanity. The author cites her own ‘final straw’ moment in April of 2007 when her frenetic lifestyle caught up with her, causing her to injure herself inadvertently, and sending her a wakeup call that caused her to slow down, and for our benefit to write this book. In 4 chapters: Wellbeing, Wisdom, Wonder, and Giving, Huffington tells us why we need to take better care of ourselves, partly because, as she says, ‘our obituaries discuss how we lived our lives, they never mention our successes.’ With relevant references, she tells why we need self-care now more than ever. ‘We’re told to secure our own mask first,’ she writes, ‘before caring for others.’ The book is filled with such advice, especially as it pertains to sleep, or our collective lack of it. For those of us feeling, as Huffington says, ‘whittled and sandpapered down’ by the pace of their lives, Thrive offers a calming respite. It might put you to sleep, and that’s a very good thing. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder

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Book Review: An Officer, Not a Gentleman

Here we have a wee spangly book written by a bang up lass piloting her Tornado roundabout old Blighty, while happier than little miss happy. It’s true what the wag said some time ago: We truly are two people separated by a common language. Ms Hickson’s fine little book is more than just the dog’s nuts, it’s a well crafted memoir detailing her perilous rise in aviation to become the first ‘fast-jet’ pilot in the RAF.

An Officer, Not a Gentleman is a gripping read, as Hickson takes us through the various levels of her qualification, and grading, and flight proficiency, and training, all while being under perhaps more scrutiny than her male colleagues.

But she comes through without being a numpty, or cocking it up too badly, and does indeed qualify to command the Tornado, Britain’s top of the line attack jet, and then she proves her mettle in combat out of Kuwait.

I make light of the British-isms, but there were times, admittedly, that this yank had a bit of a melon-twister trying to interpret her lingo. Neeps? Tatties? Faffing? Bulling your boots? Hubbly-Bubbly? Under the cosh? I flew for a living for many years, but I admit to being lost at times, not in the dark over the battle zone when it was nail-biting, squeaky-bum time, but in figuring out what the phrases meant.

It was all good fun, and it is a great read. I was a bit mystified that alcohol still seemed to hold its central place in aviation ranks, and that girlie pics still adorned walls of flyboy barracks, but the story is told from a twenty-years ago perspective, so perhaps that’s changed. In any case, this book will not disappoint, so chocks away!