Tag: Books


The Crazy Rituals of Creative People

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin started his day with an “air bath” – which means he sat around naked? And that Thomas Wolfe wrote while standing up in the kitchen, utilizing the top of the refrigerator as his desk, fondling his “male configurations”? Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on enough tablets to meet ten times the recommended daily dosage of Corydrane (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin). The painter Georgia O’Keefe rose early to drink tea alone in bed and watch the sun rise before entering her studio. And the writer Honore de......

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Empathy as a Business Model

Innovation, innovation, innovation. It’s all we hear today, as we’re flooded with interviews and talks from academic, business and tech-pop culture gurus. Ken Tuchman’s e-book The Technology of Us cuts through the morass. It’s a collection of smart essays by some of the most interesting leaders across a wide range of domains. Every piece is full of insights and intuitions on how technological innovation is humanizing our individual lives, our relationships and the connections between businesses and people. Star Wars director George Lucas, Fitbit designer Gadi Amit, Stanford Center on Longevity founder......

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On the Lookout for Harper Lee's Follow-up Novel

It’s been more than 50 years since the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee’s only novel, until now. In a surprise announcement, a “new” work by Lee (about Scout Finch as an adult, and her aging father, Atticus) will be published by HarperCollins this July. Lee hasn’t been suffering from a half-century long writer’s block; nor, apparently, was the 88-year-old author holding out on us. The novel, Go Set A Watchman, was only recently discovered by Lee’s lawyer. The author – living with the debilitating effects of a 2007......

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Misty Copeland Dances to Stardom

Do you know who Misty Copeland is? In case you don’t follow ballet: Copeland is the only African-American soloist with the legendary American Ballet Theatre (ABT). She currently has the lead in ABT’s The Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Let me put in perspective how rare an accomplishment this is. When Copeland joined the ABT 14 years ago, at age 18, she was the only African-American female in a company of 80 dancers. It remained this way for eleven years. In 2007, she became the first Black female soloist in......

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Why It's So Hard to See the Real Bill Cosby

I wrote this review of Michael Whitaker’s 500+ page definitive biography of Bill Cosby, Cosby: His Life and Times, a week before the eruption of sexual assault and abuse charges against Cosby. I held back posting it on TWD because, like Whitaker, I consciously chose not to mention in my review the longstanding charges of Cosby’s sexual predatory behavior. Last week Whitaker tweeted, “I was wrong to not deal with the sexual assault charges against Cosby and pursue them more aggressively.” Listening to the close to 20 women who have come forward......

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The Spiritual Journey of Living with Serious Illness

Toni Bernhard’s new book, How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers was recommended to me by one of my congregants who cares for a chronically ill loved one. She described Bernhard’s book as “How to be sick well” – how to achieve emotional and spiritual wellness even when one’s body remains sick. Acclaimed Jewish-Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein in her introduction to the book wrote, “This book is written for people who are ill and aren’t going to get better, and also for their caregivers, people......

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Recommended Reading - Faith and the Digital Age

Need a new stack of books for your bedside table? Brad and Irwin share their reading list and insights gleaned from within the pages. Let us know your thoughts on the books if you’ve read them (or leave book recommendations) in the comments below.   1. The Soul of the World Bob Dylan sang, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” English philosopher and writer Roger Scruton’s wise and beautifully written The Soul of the World (Princeton University Press) makes the......

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An Edgy, Funny, 'Great' Novel

Why do we worry about getting a parking space, more than we worry about the fragility of life? Why, on cars, are gas tanks located on different sides? Would any one of us be strong enough to survive a catastrophe? Is it better to dig into our every thought and emotion to discover ourselves – or to just be happy not knowing everything? Why, as soon as we complain about our life, does someone inevitably say, “Hey, imagine if you were living in Rwanda”…? Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a......

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Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Sam Harris, one of America’s greatest skeptics and critics of religion, has just written a fascinating book – Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Are you one of the growing number of Americans (as I am if I am really honest) who increasingly finds organized religion unsatisfying, yet at the same time, you want to seriously talk about questions of meaning and existential hopes and fears? Are you a person who knows that the transformative experiences of self-transcendence, oneness, surrender, bliss, grace, unconditional love, are not only real but critical......

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The Spirit's Irrepressible Impulse

In the words of Bob Dylan, “It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” English philosopher Roger Scruton’s wise and beautifully written The Soul of the World makes the case that, despite the brashness of the New Atheists and the increase of “Nones” (those with no religious affiliation) there is a “fundamentally religious impulse” – what we call “the sacred” – that is irrepressible. Scruton explains faith as an “attitude of openness to meanings” (experienced in love, art, nature and morality) that......

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