Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Book reviews

The Tao of PoohThe Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great book for people wanting to know about Taoism or just fans of Winnie the Pooh.

Hoff uses Pooh to describe the essence of Taoism, the Uncarved Block.  It is written as a conversation between himself and the characters of th Hundred Acre Wood with occasional excerpts from the book and other sources.

Pooh, the bear with very little brain is the simple Uncarved Block, so simple that he manages to accomplish much without really trying.  Piglet is timid.  Rabbit is the "Bisy Backson" who rushes around and doesn't accomplish much of anything.  Eeyore is the pessimist and Owl is the Confucionist phiolosopher, saying a lot without saying much of anything.

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Il Trovatore (Black Dog Opera Library)Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked this up last year in the bargain books section of a local bookstore.  Tonight, my husband and I sat down to listen to the opera.  The book comes with a wonderful recording on 2 CDs which is broken down track by track in the second half of the book with the libretto in Italian and English and performance notes. 

The first part of the book gives some background on Verdi and the history of the opera and also the background of the performers in the recording.  Also, there is a synopsis of the opera act by act which I used to let my husband know what was going on.

Great book.  If I can find more operas in this series, I will get them.

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