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Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Musings

I'm almost caught up on reviews. My reading, however, has slowed down. I've begun several fiction books that are not very good, and I'm trying to stay with my resolution to abandon books that invite me to make fun of them sotto voce. They will go back to the library unfinished.

On the other hand, I've got a couple of good nonfiction books in progress and an ever-growing list of "want to reads" garnered from miscellaneous blog reviews.

Two more good documentaries to report:

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama is full of lovely scenes from Tibet, some good background on the Dalai Lama's childhood, terrible scenes of the Chinese occupation and the destruction of 6,000 monasteries. Over a million Tibetans have been killed as a result of Chinese policy...pretty stunning. The documentary presents actual footage of the 1949 occupation. The history is only a part of the documentary, but it is fascinating.

The other excellent documentary is The Cats of Mirikitani. Interesting on many levels, this film captures Mirikitani as a homeless street artist, his friendship with Linda Hattendorf (the filmmaker), the effect the events of 9-11 had on Jimmy and other street people, and the transformative power that results from his friendship with Linda. The film documents his life over a five year period.

It is really a marvelous film about homelessness and the available resources; about frustration and pride and dedication to art; about the camps and the residual effects of the Japanese interned in them (Jimmy was born in the U.S., an American citizen); and about friendship and kindness and reunions.

An excellent synopsis of the film here.


  1. I would love to read the Dalai Lama book! My Mother in Law saw him recently at a speaking engagement. If you'd like, please stop by my blog - I just posted a Book Meme you might find fun!

  2. BookWormz - Ten Questions is a documentary film that I got from Netflix to go along with the book On Becoming Enlightened by the Dalai Lama. :( I still haven't even begun the book.

  3. Both those films sound marvelous. I will have to add them to my Netflix queue!

  4. !I'm trying to stay with my resolution to abandon books that invite me to make fun of them sotto voce." --> lol! Sounds like a good resolution :P

    Both documentaries sound fascinating.

  5. Both documentaries sound really good! I really need to watch more of them. About the extent right now is watching the history channel!

  6. Stefanie - They were both great! And both were thought-provoking.

    Nymeth - Last year, I read too many books that were not worth the effort. :) Gonna' do better this year!

    Kailana - Both documentaries were well-done. I can recommend them both without reservation!

  7. I am finally allowing myself to not finish a book. It is so liberating. It would be even easier with library books. I feel if I buy them, I really should read them.

  8. Oh wow, The Cats of Mirikitani sounds fascinating. I've never heard of it.

    And, good for you for not finishing books you weren't enjoying. Hopefully your next reads are much more interesting!

  9. Framed - It is so hard to know whether a book will turn out to be a dud! Some of the books that I returned sounded so good. It zIS easier to abandon a library book, than one you've paid for.

    iliana - Jimmy Mirikitani made homelessness and internment camps real for me. The nice thing is that his life improves!