#1 Mr. Thundermug, by Cornelius Medvei, 112 pages: The
short saga of a baboon who speaks perfect English, this fast read
is hilarious, touching, and says something about the standards by
which we humans judge the rest of the living world.

#2 Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and
, by David Lynch, 192 pages: For the Lynch
aficionado, the idea of climbing into the famed surrealist’s head
should be tempting and daunting. He offers his thoughts on life,
film, and transcendental meditation to make for a good, quick read.
(But no — he doesn’t explain what Mulholland Dr. was about.)

#3 The Buddha and the Terrorist, by Satish Kumar, 144
pages: The story of when the Buddha met a man who abused an entire
village, and how — through compassion and forgiveness — he reformed
the villain and taught the town to love him. Easily the best
narrative explanation of Buddhism in recent years.

#4 Sound Bites: Eating on Tour with Franz Ferdinand, by
Alex Kapranos, 144 pages: A travelogue through the planet’s
numerous restaurants and dining peculiarities delivered by the
frontman for pop sensation Franz Ferdinand, this is stunningly
vibrant and informative reading. It even makes haggis sound


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