Suggestion Saturday: November 16, 2013

Here is this week’s list of blog posts and other tidbits from my favourite corners of the web.

Confessions of a Funeral Director. Imagine pallbearers accidentally dropping a casket in the middle of an ice storm. What happens next is something you’ll have to read for yourself.

God and Death Play Cards While They Wait for an Old Man to Die. There’s more going on in this painting that meets the eye. Can you spot what’s really happening?

Two Different Ways to Be a Good Person. I don’t think life is quite this simple, but do see value in teasing out the difference between thinking you’re a good person and seeing yourself someone who occasionally/regularly/often does good things.

Buddha Spirit via WilSenior. This article is about the connection between therapy, Buddhist meditation, and awakening your compassion for yourself as well as other people. I have a very tough time getting my mind to shut down when I occasionally try to meditate, but maybe I should give it another shot.

One Man’s Epic Quest to Visit Every Former Slave Dwelling in the United States. Historical reenactments aren’t just for wars. I would have never guessed that some slave quarters are still standing, much less that at least some of them are structurally sound enough to sleep in for a night or two. This is the kind of history that piques my interest. It’s easy to reconstruct how extremely wealthy and powerful people lived, but I find it much more interesting to learn about the lives of individuals who lived and died without those privileges. I think you can tell far more about any society from how it treats it’s most vulnerable members than in how caters to the top 1%.

10 Things You Should Never Say to Yourself via DearAnnMarie. I tend to be a little suspicious of the self-help market in general, but this is wonderful advice.

From The Hand That Feeds You:

After working at the farmers’ market, I’ve come to love fresh local food—and hate the people who buy it.

Every Saturday before dawn, I traveled from deep within Brooklyn to the northern tip of Manhattan to welcome a truck fresh from the fertile Hudson Valley loaded with fist-sized beets, shaggy bunches of kale, quarts of yogurt, loaves of organic spelt breads, and almost all the staples of a pesticide-free fridge.

Last week my friend Heather recommended the author Connie Willis to me. The first book of hers I read is Fire Watch, a fantastic collection of scifi/fantasy short stories. Most of them are hard science fiction, a subgenre that I haven’t spent as much time reading as I have other types of speculative fiction.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who prefers character-driven plots. The scifi elements of this book are interesting, but the characters are what kept me reading. Each one is sketched out in such great detail that it felt as if they were moving through full-length stories instead of the much shorter works they actually occupied.

What have you been reading?

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