“[G. K.] Chesterton was once asked what books he would most like to have with him if he were stranded on a desert island. ‘Thomas’s Guide to Practical Shipbuilding,’ he replied.”

Oops, the Tricycle Blog’s been tagged (a while ago, actually — sorry!) Here goes:

1. Chan Insights and Oversights by Bernard Faure. Haven’t even opened this one but I’ve stared at the spine on my bookshelf for years. One of these days…

2. The Mind Like Fire Unbound by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. This book not only contains great poetry but does an excellent job explaining a lot of deep metaphors that otherwise would be lost in translation.

3. The Faith to Doubt, by Stephen Batchelor. “It is most uncanny that we are able to ask questions; for to question means to acknowledge that we do not know something. But it is more than an acknowledgment: it includes a yearning to confront an unknown and illuminate it through understanding.”

4. Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenberg. A beautiful book, funny, moving, and deep. I plowed through this book like my hair was on fire.

5. Quintessential Dzogchen: Confusion Dawns as Wisdom by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. Reading this book me feel smart and stupid in equal measure. But at least I looked smart reading it.

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