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You Don't Have to Be Buddhist to Know Nothing: An Illustrious Collection of Thoughts on Naught Hardcover – October 27, 2009


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You Don't Have to Be Buddhist to Know Nothing: An Illustrious Collection of Thoughts on Naught + The Atheist's Bible: An Illustrious Collection of Irreverent Thoughts
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 333 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591027578
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591027577
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This little book, conceived and edited by my longtime friend and collaborator Joan Konner will surprise you with absolutely Nothing. Read it and -- Nothing happens. Nothing is the joy of it." --Bill Moyers' Best Books of 2009

"This is a book about Nothing. It is full of Nothing and I have learned more about Nothing from this book than I could have imagined--or could not have." --Edward Albee, playwright

"Travel in mid-air, discover naught! Joan Konner brings us delightful little nothings packed in a vacuum: we now have the world's nothingness at our feet." --Philippe Petit, high wire artist

"A choice selection from language's higher vineyards, that almost makes you comfortable with the unthinkable." -- --Robert Kaplan, author of The Nothing That Is, and co-founder, with his wife Ellen, of The Math Circle.

"This is a book about Nothing. It is full of Nothing and I have learned more about Nothing from this book than I could have imagined--or could not have." --Edward Albee, playwright

"Travel in mid-air, discover naught! Joan Konner brings us delightful little nothings packed in a vacuum: we now have the world's nothingness at our feet." --Philippe Petit, high wire artist

"A choice selection from language's higher vineyards, that almost makes you comfortable with the unthinkable." -- --Robert Kaplan, author of The Nothing That Is, and co-founder, with his wife Ellen, of The Math Circle.

"This is a book about Nothing. It is full of Nothing and I have learned more about Nothing from this book than I could have imagined--or could not have." --Edward Albee, playwright

"Travel in mid-air, discover naught! Joan Konner brings us delightful little nothings packed in a vacuum: we now have the world's nothingness at our feet." --Philippe Petit, high wire artist

"A choice selection from language's higher vineyards, that almost makes you comfortable with the unthinkable." ----Robert Kaplan, author of The Nothing That Is, and co-founder, with his wife Ellen, of The Math Circle.

About the Author

Joan Konner conceived and edited The Atheist’s Bible, which became a national bestseller in 2007. She is Dean Emerita and Professor Emerita of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, as well as the former publisher and currently an honorary co-chair of the Columbia Journalism Review. This is her second book.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
What a brilliant fun idea for a book.
Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'
The book, which can be read as a whole or in snippets, offers a refreshing take on the world, when we are normally focused on Something.
R. Cha
This "sound-byte library" book is one of those innovative gems.
David Crumm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Cha on November 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Joan Konner has curated an enlightening and often entertaining collection of quotes on the idea of Nothing. From Samuel Beckett to physicist Richard Feynman, You Don't Have to Be Buddhist to Know Nothing offers various perspectives on the idea of nothing, voids, and absence. The book, which can be read as a whole or in snippets, offers a refreshing take on the world, when we are normally focused on Something.

Here is one of the quote I really enjoyed:

In a certain way, "thought" means nothing.

-- Jacques Derrida
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on January 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Nothing is more than nothingness. "You Don't Have to be Buddhist to Know Nothing: An Illustrious Collection of Thoughts on Naught" is a discussion of the concept of nothing, tracing the history of nothing, as many minds come together and discuss nothing. As these assorted individuals come into a collection compiled by Joan Konner expertly, "You Don't Have to Buddhist to Know Nothing" is nothing more than utterly fascinating, and highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tim Johnson on September 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The personal journey and well-selected euphemisms lead to thought and to non-thought. Just perfect to enjoy and share with those that will read and smile or those that have lived too much in their head.
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Format: Hardcover
As kids, Shel Silverstein taught us that Where the Sidewalk Ends 30th Anniversary Edition: Poems and Drawings is a place of puzzlement and great creativity. The "end" of what we know is the beginning of the creative. Dr. Joan Konner is one of America's foremost journalists. Dean Emerita of Columbia Journalism school and a longtime Bill Moyers producer, she's among the many creative people trying to cast new forms for the 21st Century. This "sound-byte library" book is one of those innovative gems.

If you enjoy Buddhist Koans (logic puzzles designed to bust the mind free of our normal daily patterns of thinking), then you'll enjoy her 300-page collection of bits and pieces on Nothing from a whole host of thinkers.

Among the hundreds of references here are thoughts by Douglas Adams (of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fame), Fyodor Dostoevsky, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Woody Guthrie, Pope John XXIII, theologian Paul Tillich, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bill Waterson (of "Calvin and Hobbes" fame), Elie Wiesel and W.B. Yeats.

This is a wonderful little (it's a pocket-sized hardback) guidebook to these incredibly anxiety-producing times in which we live! When we think we've reached a point where familiar old forms are falling away--and we see a yawning void of Nothing ahead? Well, that's where the fun truly begins, Joan argues.

"Nothing is where knowing stops. And starts!" she writes in her introduction. "What Nothing should not be is a Dead End of thinking. Nothing is the other half of Being, of the paradox we call reality. Irrational? Naturally."

That's the adult version of where Shel Silverstein took us as kids. With Joan in your pocket, you'll feel honored to be standing at that precipice with giants.
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