:::this is the way the world ends:::

The Brief History, NVC, and other crap.

I finished a Brief History of the Dead. I won’t say too much, as I understand that Toby is reading it. I will say that I appreciated how the blind man became an important character, as I thought he was one of the more complex.

On a humorous note, I’m curious why Shotts, upon cracking open the Harry Potter books receives a, well played ol’ bean; whereas after reading the NVC book, I got…

I also wanted to say that, although much fun was made of the Prius running out of gas on the way to MN, I am glad to see Peters have acted out on their needs to feel as though they are taking steps to alleviate environmental detriment.

I did find the NVC book extremely helpful, especially in my family and home life. Though, I didn’t like the way the book was designed and set up like a mass appeal self-help book, I found some of the ideas challenging and helpful, and I will do my best to put some of them to practice.

I intend to re-visit discussion about this book, but I just got word that the deadline for my illustrations has been moved up a month.


  1. Shotts

    Ned, very glad you seemed to enjoy The Brief History of the Dead. So consider this a Well played, Old Bean, from me. I have personally found The Brief History of the Dead a more rewarding reading experience than Harry Potter, so far, and just as compelling if not more so in terms of wanting to turn the pages.

    I haven’t read Non-Violent Communication but probably should, from what you say here, and what Peters has said. Sounds like it has a lot in it that’s applicable and useful.

    I too applaud the Peters purchasing a Prius. I hope it helps offset the fact that they have to drive a distance to and from Salina for work every day, and sometimes with two cars. And if there are more people with hybrid vehicles, hopefully that will only continue to push others to think about fuel efficiency or find alternative means of transportation, especially in Kansas where there is virtually no public transit system.

  2. Tobias


  3. J.E.


    I haven’t gotten to a Brief History of the Dead yet, but I did finally order Out Stealing Horses from Book People here in Austin. Unfortunately for me they sold out faster than they expected and so hadn’t ordered a new shipment of the books yet, so I couldn’t buy it today. Sounds promising for the book, though, if it’s selling faster than book stores expect it to.

  4. J.E.

    Er, sorry. That wasn’t J.E. but Liz making that comment (and this one).

  5. Shotts

    Great to hear from you, Liz. on this. And I’m glad to see THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD on the “Now Reading” section on the blog sidebar. I hope you, Liz, and/or J.E. will enjoy it.

    And Liz, I’m thrilled to hear you are after OUT STEALING HORSES. Per Petterson unexpectedly won the IMPAC Dublin Award, the largest international fiction prize for a single book in the world, a few weeks ago–over finalists Salman Rushdie, Cormac McCarthy, Jonathan Safran Foer, Julian Barnes, and J.M. Coetzee. Pretty amazing. That, and then OUT STEALING HORSES was reviewed on the front page of the New York Times Book Review about three weeks ago, and then was reviewed well in The New Yorker and now all over the place. That has spiked demand for the book, and Graywolf is already in a fourth printing of the book, so there have been delays here and there, particularly for smaller bookstores unfortunately, to get the new printings out and shipped. But this should be remedied in the next few days, if it hasn’t been already.

    In any case, thanks for ordering the book and for being interested in it. I hope you’ll like it–it’s austere in interesting ways, appropriate for the Norwegian character and landscape, but, for me, packs a lot of emotional weight. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it, when you get to it. As much as I enjoyed THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD, I certainly find OUT STEALING HORSES ultimately more exciting, more my kind of book, I guess…

  6. Tobias

    Shotts, could you give us a link to any of the reviews of Out Stealing Horses? I’d love to read these (probably after I have read it) and would love to see what your cream of the crop of reviews is.

    I looked for Out Stealing Horses from quite a few bookstores here in town, and none had it available. I ended up reserving it at Rainy Day Books (a great bookstore here in KC) a couple of months ago, and they haven’t called me telling me they have copies in. I’m glad to see the demand for it, too. And I don’t mind waiting to get my hands on it…as it gives me a chance to finish up Brief History of the Dead. Admittedly, I’ve been busy with house projects, so I’ve had to put Brief History aside for a while. I look forward to disussing both books further when most of our rank have read them!

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