In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopaedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its author's lifelong meditation on America.
Over the course of his life, Kenneth Rexroth wrote about the Sierra Nevada better than anyone. Progressive in terms of environmental ethics and comparable to the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, Aldo Leopard, Annie Dillard, and Gary Snyder, Rexroth's poetry and prose described the way Californians have always experienced and loved the High Sierra.
Ryokan (1758–1831) is, along with Dogen and Hakuin, one of the three giants of Zen in Japan. But unlike his two renowned colleagues, Ryokan was a societal dropout, living mostly as a hermit and a beggar. He was never head of a monastery or temple. He liked playing with children. He had no dharma heir.
At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey--to walk to Constantinople. "A Time of Gifts" is the rich account of his adventures as far as Hungary, after which "Between the Woods and the Water" continues the story to the Iron Gates that divide the Carpathian and Balkan mountains.
Mitsu Suzuki is the widow of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, the Zen monk who founded the San Francisco Zen Center and helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States. A White Tea Bowl is a selection of her poems, written after her return to Japan in 1993.