Book Corner: Dharma Punx

Dude, I haven’t written a book blog in weeks! It’s actually hard for me to, though, because I don’t read one book at a time. I start more books than I finish. I think I’m reading 7 right now. No joke.

My most recent book-accomplishment is Dharma Punx, a memoir written by Noah Levine. As you may know, I’ve been tangentially interested in Buddhism and meditation for a long time, but so far have mostly stuck to work by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk who’s written a grip of books. Very accessible stuff. I picked up Dharma Punx because I was interested in how a dude could go from a street junkie-punk to a Buddhist teacher with a Masters in Psychology. The premise is that both Buddhists and those involved with the traditional “punk” scene recognize that there is suffering and injustice, and the dharma punx sort of meld those beliefs into a peaceful practice… and they go to shows. And get tattoos. And go on retreats.

I’m always completely shocked when I read about kids getting into drugs before they’ve even hit double-digits, age-wise, but such was the case for Noah. He spent years battling addiction and getting into trouble before he started taking advice from his father, a well-regarded Buddist author named Stephen Levine. What I like about the book is that it isn’t so cut and dry–there isn’t a clearly defined rock bottom, and there is no perfectly steady upward incline from there. His transition is shaky and not without doubt or dissapointment. It’s not a book that leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling after you turn the last page, but it’s a good lesson in a try, and try again sort of way. It’s pretty straightforward and isn’t absent a good amount of obscenities, so if you’re looking for poetic storytelling, go elsewhere.

More information on Dharma Punx is available on their official website.

Other stuff:

I saw the movie The Reader last week (total bawl-fest, thanks) and it made me want to… well, read out loud. So, I started doing just that this week. Granted, I’m reading to myself, but it still feels good for my brain. This is the book I’m working on:

It’s very descriptive and leaves me with nice imagery trotting through my mind before I drift off to sleep.

Booky links:

Be my friend on goodreads! I’m breesays on there, too.

Did you guys like my little Prom Memoir? If I made a little book of stories in that sort of vein, would you read it/buy it? I just noticed the other day that my blogging anniversary is May 14th. On that date, I will have been an online blogger for 8 years!!! I started as a total emo kid on LJ and now I get paid to write. Amazing. Maybe I’ll do a contest.. hmm…

What music do you guys listen to while you read? I listen to The Like, Explosions in The Sky, Portishead, Stars–stuff that’s kind of moody and melodic but doesn’t distract me from my reading experience.