I recently purchased The Art of Happiness (by the Dalai Lama) at a tiny local used bookstore after watching an older man have an unemployment-related breakdown at the cash register because the manager would not give him a job application. It's a pretty insightful book-length conversation between His Holiness and a Western psychologist (though the psychologist is a little over the top in his lionization of the mystical lama).
Sticking with the Tibetan Buddhist theme, I also picked up No Time to Lose by Pema Chodron at the local library. The older lady working the checkout counter's eyes lit up when she saw this book in my pile. "You should come to the Shambala Center," she said. "We have FREE meditation for an hour every weeknight."
Yeah, isn't meditation supposed to be free?
The Chodron book isn't quite as compelling as The Art of Happiness, but it's a more analytical text.
I enjoy reading fiction from small presses, so this month I'm taking in Midnight Picnic by Nick Antosca (Word Riot Press) and Hymn California by Adam Gnade. Antosca's book was written entirely at night and therefore it's fitting that it sorta gives me nightmares; Gnade's work is Kerouacian and pretty fun to read.
My girlfriend recently gave me a copy of Ondaatje's The English Patient, so that's the next fiction coming up. I'm also looking forward to Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles by Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes.
-Matt Borondy, editor-in-chief