One City

One City


What I Read This Weekend

posted by Ethan Nichtern

Sorry for the recent absence from the blogging world. I’m back and so should be all the other One City bloggers. I had a good memorial day weekend, went to the country with my Dad and his dog Leroy, who I sometimes refer to as the “Crackhead Muppet.”

Didn’t do much writing, but did a lot of reading, three books to be exact. Here are my short reviews:

No one belongs here more than you by Miranda July (stories)

I have to say that I keep for some reason wanting not to like Miranda July. She’s the performance artist, filmmaker, and writer who made the movie Me and You and Everyone We Know. Maybe it’s because she’s quirky. Maybe it’s because I’m quirky and don’t like the competition. If someone outquirks you it makes you feel like a glass of flat seltzer. But I liked her movie a lot and I liked this collection of short stories a lot. She’s disarming.

Deep Economy by Bill McKibben

This book is an engaging, well-reasoned, and well-researched work describing exactly what is horribly horribly wrong with privileging growth over sustainability in our economic worldview. McKibben has traveled all over the world and studied all kinds of fields, from agriculture to media. He presents a coherent worldview that is ultimately super-hopeful, if maybe just a bit too Vermonter-centric in his analysis. Not that I’d don’t love Vermont, but you know what I mean. One tangible outcome is that I am taking my usage of local foods up three notches this summer. This has previously been a somewhat neglected area in my Responsible Consumption practice. Union Square Green Market, I’m comin for you!

Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky

Only half-way through this one, but Cassie Mey recommended it as reading for IDP’s activism group meeting, and Cassie Mey herself comes highly recommended, so I picked it up. It traces nonviolence as an idea from the days of Jesus up through modern times. Super interesting so far.
So that’s what I did this weekend. Did you read or see anything of interest? I need a new book now.



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morgannels

posted May 27, 2008 at 8:30 am


On the topic of non-violence, I can’t recommend Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke highly enough.



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Laura

posted May 27, 2008 at 12:55 pm


I’m currently re-reading Daniel Stern’s The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life. I highly recommend this fascinating book. It discusses the concept of a present moment temporally, phenomenologically, functionally, and interpersonally. Although it has the word “psychotherapy” in the title, and he does reference his clinical work, this is not a book about therapy, and it’s certainly not a self-help book. It’s about how our entire being and worldview is constructed and plays out in a subjective present moment. There’s so much here to contemplate. I’m a huge fan.



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GZA

posted May 27, 2008 at 2:06 pm


Interesting – I’ve been meaning to check out Deep Economy. I seem to be the last person to have left Miranda July at the level of “recognize-the-name-and-vaguely-know-who-she-is” but if there is more there than hype than perhaps I’ll have to check it out. Generally my fiction reading is continuing apace, as per my new year’s resolution. Just started The Razor’s Edge, which I’ve been enjoying so far.
Took a break though to revisit Sogyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. My grandmother died on Friday after many sad years of pain and enfeeblement, so with a wake and funeral over the weekend I wanted to engage her situation as much as possible. And despite its sort of dharma-blockbuster status I found it to be really meaty and useful.



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