Review Copies of Buddha for Beginners
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We are looking for reviewers to take a look at Stephen T. Asma's Buddha for Beginners. We recently joined the Early Reviewer program and will have several titles available in the February batch. However, since Buddha for Beginners was released in January and is on the shelves now, we would like to get it into the hands of reviewers before the end of February. We have included a description below. Also, keep an eye out for two titles that will be available in the February batch, The Dalai Lama's Little Book of Inner Peace by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and The Kuan Yin Chronicles: The Myths and Prophecies of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion by Martin Palmer and Jay Ramsay.
Originally published by Writers and Readers in 1998, Buddha for Beginners is an iconoclastic, illustrated tour de force through the life of the Buddha. Dr. Stephen Asma has created both an accurate exploration of his life and teachings and a wholly entertaining introduction to the philosophy of Buddhism.
Most Westerners are familiar with the meditation practices of Buddhism and the many clichés pop culture has supplied for it. But few understand the Buddha’s philosophical teachings. By putting the teachings (dharma) in their proper context, Dr. Asma unravels some of Buddhism’s trickier metaphysical knots. This theological tutorial is presented with humorous illustrations and a witty sensibility that entertains readers as it educates. Constructed like a graphic novel, Dr. Asma cuts through the New Age nonsense that is often mistaken for Buddhism in a manner that is both perceptive and passionate. Buddha for Beginners excels in engaging the reader without alienating the true principles of Buddhism and does so to encourage the type of enlightenment that may only be found through the teachings of Buddha.
Stephen T. Asma, PhD, is a professor of philosophy at Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of several books, including The Gods Drink Whiskey and Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Finally an early review book I'd be enthusiastic to read!
(I suppose I need to join the Early Reviewer program.)
If you've read the hundreds of posts on the Early Reviewer discussion thread, there is a dilemma/debate on the process by which reviewers get chosen, via the undisclosed algorithm. Many books have ended up going to readers whose libraries are stacked with many many topical books they've never read (for example, many small libraries, church libraries, other, use librarything to inventory/catalog their library holdings, I won't go into how this can be leveraged etc), this and other situations lead to folks getting advanced copies for which reviews never show up.
So if you want to reach a targeted set of focused reviewers who will do some viral marketing of the book in their communities, write reviews, etc. then going outside the 'numbers game' of Early Readers is a better idea, IMHO.
I have not read this book, from your reviews it sounds like Asma is taking a broad approach and aiming at younger or novice crowds.
Some time ago I read his "The Gods Drink Whiskey" which focused on his time spent living and teaching in Cambodia. He really works a lot of stuff in it; travelogue, buddhist history, and south east Asian politics are just some. I learned so much from reading it I can't help but recommend it.
One thing that also sticks in my mind (i don't have a copy with me to refresh with) was his description/interpretation and critique of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dali Lama. From what I remember he was a bit harsh in this regard.
Has anyone else read this?