I am at 137 books now. 12 days to go, 13 books to my goal of 150 books this year. I pin my hope on this read-a-thon to help me reach it!
Befitting the apocalyptic theme, here is my pile of TBRs for the read-a-thon.
Bodies From the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii
(Just started reading this. Gruesome. Honestly, if the world is really ending, I am glad I am living in Florida with no volcano nearby!!)
Last Chapter and Worse is a Far Side Collection including the last six months of the cartoon’s syndication, plus 13 new cartooms drawn by Gary Larson after his retirement. I was quite glad to find it last week at the annual library book sale, as I love Far Side, and it has been a while since I read any. The title totally fits this RAT and will provide a nice break between longer reads.
Metro Survive: A two-volume manga about a group of people trapped underneath a collapsed building during a Tokyo earthquake.
I realize, at this point, that GoryDetails supplied many of the titles on this list.
The Sutra of a Boddhisattva’s Eight Realizations* is one of my favorite Buddhist sutras. This is a commentary written by Master Cheng Yen, from the Tzu Chi Foundation. She is like the Mother Teresa of the Buddhism, setting up schools, hospitals, media, and even a marrow donor bank in Asia. (most bone marrow data banks are maintained in the west, and a patient of Asian decadent had slim chance of finding a match. Her bank has been able to find matches between China and Taiwan and saved many lives.) The organization is, like Red Cross, big on disaster relief, sending groups to Haiti, Japan, and wherever help is needed.
I was browsing my shelf, noticed this book, and remembered the beginning of the sutra (I could still recite the first couple of realizations but not far beyond that):
The First Realization:
All the world is impermanent.
The earth is fragile and perilous.
The four great elements in here, suffering emptiness.
In the five skandhas there is no self.
All that arise, change, and perish,
Are illusive, unreal, and without a master.
which very much resonant with the end of the world theme. In the Buddhist view, the world will end soon or later. In fact, it has ended and reborn countless time before we are here.
So, here I am, with a nice pile of apocalyptic books. I hope there won’t be an earthquake to topple it over, a storm to blow it down, a flood to wash it away. I hope that the world will not end before I finish reading them.
* You can find a translation of the full sutra: