02007-12-02 | Reading | 3 comments

The Skull Mantra (Inspector Shan Tao Yun)
Don’t remember how I found the above-linked book, but it’s a good one. Been hooked on it for days. Tibet, Kham, the landscape I wandered a little over a year ago. A Chinese member of a Tibetan prison gang building roads is also a former police inspector and is asked to solve a murder. Great book.

Link to the author’s web site.

From an interview with the author:

…my major irritation in life is the way the entertainment and media industries have dumbed down entertainment, reading, and even intellectual debate in this country. They seem committed to shortening our attention spans, lowering the education level of programming, and eliminating literary content from all they do. It’s troublesome for writers, of course, but also very discouraging for the future of our children. There are only about eight million people in this country who regularly buy books (a far lower percentage than, for example, in England), and the number is declining. We need to ask ourselves why, and what it says about our society.


  1. Luz

    Thanks! I think I just found another Christmas gift to mark off my list!

  2. Joe Mozdzen

    You found out about it from me (grin). I too worry about this. One piece of evidence is myspace. I look at many profiles from teenagers and 20-somethings and in their “favorites” section, they will list 100 bands they love, and 50 of their favorite movies, but inevitably, they will list one of three basic responses under “Books.” They will list two books they read in HS for class (Catcher in the Rye is almost always one of them); or they will say “I don’t read” or they will type, “What’s a book?” This breaks my heart.

  3. ottmar

    @Joe: That’s right! I remember now. Fantastic series of books. Thanks for turning me on to them! Saw a bumper-sticker today that said: “Reading is Sexy” – not sure whether that will increase the number of readers…


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