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The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff: The timing of this read was intentional. Mired in the chaos of NaNoWriMo, I knew I would need something that was not only calming, but nonfiction. There are those who prefer to read fiction to inspire or comfort them while in the midst of a major writing project, but I knew that it would be distracting – I’d either get caught up in the storyline (and forget where I was going with mine) or the writing style would serve as a constant reminder of what tripe I was producing. A gentle philosophy book starring a Bear of Little Brain seemed to be just what I was looking for.

And in that respect, it was. However, I was not so impressed with the ideas presented in this book. It seemed to spend too much time explaining why Confucianism (which it consistently referred to as “Confusion”), Knowledge, and Cleverness were not the correct paths in life. I disagree; I believe that everything has its proper place. Perhaps we put too much emphasis on the latter two, but shunning them completely is not the answer. Things do not magically fall into place by doing Nothing all the time. Trust me, I’ve tried it. It’s relaxing, to be sure, until things start falling apart and suddenly you have to become a “Busy Backson” to catch up.

This was not a bad book, to be sure, and I am open to the possibility that I missed the point entirely. It was light and fun and in fact quite Clever. Its biggest benefit, however, was to instill in me a desire to read the A. A. Milne tales that inspired Hoff to write this book in the first place.

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