Tag: books

Hector and the Secrets of Love

Back in January, I read a book Hector and the Search for Happiness.  Not long after, I saw the film Blue Valentine (Trailer).  I had grand plans to write about both the book and film at the time.  Certain events were a little too fresh in my head at the time, time passed, and I never wrote about the book or the film.

Hector and the Search for Happiness is part of a now series of books by the French author François Lelord.  Lelord is psychiatrist who did post doctorate work at UCLA and now lives in SE Asia.  In the book, Hector is a psychiatrist who is burnt out and decides to go on a global journey to discover secrets of happiness.  But that’s all I’m going to say about that book for now.

The translation of the second book in the series, Hector and the Secrets of Love came out at the end of May.  The book begins not long after the first one ended.  Hector is happy with his work, his relationships, his love.  He’s even considering getting married.  Then his girlfriend’s boss invites him (and a few other leading psychiatrists) to a resort to ask them about love.  For Hector, there is another task…his girlfriend’s boss wants him to find a friend and colleague that has disappeared while researching love for the pharmaceutical company Hector’s girlfriend works for.

This journey is going to be a lot more complicated than Hector’s first journey, because love, as Hector often says, is complicated.

In the spirit of the first book, over the course of the book, Hector makes numerous observations about Love.  These “seedlings” are the building blocks to the five components of love (and their corresponding five components of heartache).  Below the cut, I’ve put each of the 27 seedlings of love (at least until someone tells me I have to take it down).  I don’t really think I disagree with any of these observations.  As for the components of love and heartache…for that you’ll have to read the book yourself.

Love being such a complicated thing, this book often made me sad while reading it.  But I suppose a journey to discover the secrets of love is also more prone to heartache than a journey to find the secrets of happiness.

So how is my own journey to discover the secrets of love? Well that’s its own journey…one I’m still on…I’ve been in love and lost love…and I’m still discovering how to love (both myself and someone else)…so instead of answering that question in this public space, I’ll leave you with the words of Hector at the end of his journey:

“Love is indeed complicated, difficult, sometimes painful,
but it is also the only time that our dream becomes reality…”


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Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/hector-and-the-secrets-of-love/

Tree of Codes

I’ve had this on order at Amazon for months, but finally noticed in the reviews that Barnes & Noble had it in stock on their website.  In his latest work of fiction, Jonathan Safron Foer has literally cut out a new story from Bruno Schulz’s classic story The Street of Crocodiles (also known as The Cinnamon Shops).

The result is something beautiful…words from pages below peeking up into the current page…giving so many different ways to read each page.  Reading through front to back is quick, as there aren’t many words on each page…and each page is only one-sided.  But this is something I imagine you’d want to read over…seeing the different ways the words come together.

About the book (from Jonathan Safron Foer):

The making of the book (from the publisher):

Tree of Codes (Publisher’s Microsite)

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2011/tree-of-codes/

Books I’ve Read in 2010

In 2009, I finally completed my 52 book challenge.  Not only that, I read twice as many books as in 2008.  For 2010, at the moment at least, I don’t have a specific goal.  I will continue to keep track of my books read as I finish them.

Total pages read: 24,002
Shortest book: 117 pages
Longest book: 838 pages
Fiction: 41
Non-fiction: 28
Cookbook: 10
Poetry: 1

Last book read:

80.  Blue Clay People: Seasons on Africa’s Fragile Edge by William
Powers.  A memoir of his time in Liberia directing aid during the reign
of Charles Taylor in Liberia.  292 pages.  (Finished 31 Dec 10).
Full list below the cut:

Past Lists:
2009 List
2008 List
2007 List

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2010/books-ive-read-in-2010/

2009 Project

My book list for 2009:

Total pages read: 20,396
Shortest book: 77 pages
Longest book: 1014 pages
Non-Fiction: 19
Fiction: 34
Cookbook: 6
Poetry: 3

Last book read:
62.  Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison. 
The older brother of Augustin Burroughs tells his story of growing up
with Asperger’s (though undiagnosed until he was middle aged).  288
pages.  (Finished 31 Dec 09).

Full list below the cut:

Past Lists:
2008 List
2007 List

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2009/2009-project/

2008 Project List

Here is the list of books I’ve read in 2008.  My goal is to finish 52 books (the equivalent of a book a week).

Total Pages Read: 10,774
Shortest book: 96 pages
Longest book: 928 pages
Fiction: 17
Non-Fiction: 13
Poetry: 1

Last book read:

31.  Drown by Junot Díaz.  Short Stories about a Dominican immigrant family.  224 pages. (Finished 30 Dec 08)

Full list below the cut:

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/2008-project-list/

Sketch 34

Well I seem to be having a string of luck with electronics lately.  On Saturday I came home from running some errands to a dead computer.  It was off, and the little light on the power button was flashing yellow.  Not good.  Anyway, I’ve picked out something to replace it…for the moment at least.  Its a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop at Best Buy for $599.  Of course I need a couple weeks to come up with the funds to purchase it, so it’ll be at least Sept. 5th before I can get it.  At least I’ve got the web at work to check my email and stuff.

I went and saw Hamlet 2 on Sunday after church.  Kind of a ridiculous movie, but then that’s what I was hoping for.  The movie took its own sweet time to get going, but the last half of the movie was pretty funny.

With the lack of a computer at home meaning no DVD watching, I’ll probably be doing a lot more reading over the next couple weeks.  Should help me catch up a little in my quest for 52 books for 2008.

I met one of my friend’s mother and sister over the weekend as well.  That was pretty cool.  We all went out to eat at The Kettle on Friday night and then went over to my friend’s aunt and uncle’s place in Hermosa Beach for a BBQ on Saturday evening.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-34/

The 2008 Project

Last year, my friend Elizabeth and I set out to read a book a week (or the equivalent by the end of the year).  The first half of the year, I was doing pretty good, however, with the move to L.A. things slowed down significantly during the second half of the year.  My final total for 2007 was 30 books. (The list is here).  Elizabeth ended up making it to 52 (Her list is here).

Since I didn’t make it to last years goal, I’m starting anew with my 2008 project.  My goal is to at least improve on last years total, while still striving to attain the book a week goal.

To start of this year’s project the following books are on the nightstand queue:
The Audacity of Hope by Barak Obama
How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers
You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers
Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
Getting Things Done by David Allen (re-read)
What’s Your Poo Telling You? by Josh Richman & Anish Sheth, M.D. (a gift from Elizabeth)
The Secret Lives of Men and Women: A Postsecret Book compiled by Frank Warren

That should get me the first few month’s at least.

I’ve also got a few books in mind that I plan to read this year:
Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Chronicles of Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis (Yes I know its a crime that I’ve not read these yet)
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/the-2008-project/

Books I’ve Read in 2007

Inspired by this list, I’ve decided to keep a list of books I’ve read in 2007.  I’ll more than likely be doing less individual reviews and just updating this list as I finish books.  Anyway…enough of the rambling explanations, on to the list.

Last book finished:

30.  Atonement by Ian McEwan. (Finished 12 Dec 07)


See the Complete List below the cut (its starting to get long):

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/books-ive-read-in-2007/

NYT’s “Best American Fiction of the past 25 years”

The ones I’ve read are in Bold:

Beloved-Toni Morrison
Underworld-Don DeLillo
Blood Meridian-Cormac McCarthy
Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels-John Updike
– Rabbit, Run, Rabbit Redux, Rabbit Is Rich, Rabbit at Rest
American Pastoral-Philip Roth
A Confederacy of Dunces-John Kennedy Toole
Housekeeping-Marilynne Robinson
Winter’s Tale-Mark Helprin
White Noise-Don DeLillo
The Counterlife-Philip Roth
Libra-Don DeLillo
Where I’m Calling From-Raymond Carver
The Things They Carried-Tim O’Brien
Mating-Norman Rush
Jesus’ Son-Denis Johnson
Operation Shylock-Philip Roth
Independence Day-Richard Ford
Sabbath’s Theater-Philip Roth
Border Trilogy-Cormac McCarthy
— All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain
The Human Stain-Philip Roth
The Known World-Edward P. Jones
The Plot Against America-Philip Roth

It seems I have some work to do on this list.  Though at least I did get the top 3. 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2007/nyts-best-american-fiction-of-the-past-25-years/

Love in the Time of Cholera

It took me much longer than I expected to read this book.  I still enjoyed it a bunch, its an interesting take on unrequited love.  I think in the end, it was just my reading habits that changed over the course of the past month that made it take longer to finish the book.  I switched to working part-time at work, so I no longer had a lunch hour to read and I wasn’t reading as much on my commute as I had been.  As a result I really don’t have much to say about the book itself.  It became the thing I read right before bed or when I needed something to occupy my mind that wasn’t my life.  In these roles it succeeded.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/love-in-the-time-of-cholera/