Friday, August 11, 2006

Booknote: The Tao of Willie

Title: The Tao of Willie: A Guide to Happiness in Your Heart
Author: Willie Nelson with Turk Pipkin
Publisher Information: Gotham Books, 2006
ISBN: 159240197X
Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: autobiography, spirituality, self-help, humor

This is a nice little book. Willie actually has a nice comforting voice when it comes to his writing; it's like sitting there just listening to him tell stories, philosophize about life, and tell a few jokes. The book is basically a guide; Willie simply talks about the lessons he has learned in his life from his early childhood in Abbott, Texas to today. Some of the things are common sense. For example, he talks about values he learned early in life such as respecting your elders (something he likes now that he is an elder). While the lessons are based on the Tao Te Ching, no knowledge of the Tao is required. Much of the message in the book has to do with getting to know yourself and acting out of love. He also does share his views on topics like marijuana, politics, and the environment, but he is easy-going about it, at least when compared to other writers on similar topics who can be pushy or preachy. Nothing like that here. He just shares his views, and you get to listen. I picked up this book after one of my colleagues during Immersion recommended it. She saw me reading Kinky Friedman's book, and she figured I would like Willie's book as well. Sure enough, it was well worth it, and I would recommend it to anyone. Also, some readers of works by the Dalai Lama may enjoy this book as well. It looks like Willie reads the audio version of the book, so I may at some point "re-read" it in audio.

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