Book Review: The Tao of Pooh


The Tao of Pooh
by Benjamin Hoff

“Wisdom, Happiness, and Courage are not waiting somewhere out beyond sight at the end of a straight line; they’re part of a continuous cycle that begins right here. They’re not only the ending, but the beginning as well.”

Sometimes I go to read a book and I simply can not get myself to finish. I start it. I meander through pages, struggling to focus. I get distracted, I put it down. I try again a few times, and eventually I end up leaving it sitting somewhere unfinished until something prompts me to read a different book and I let that one go. I used to carry around a small amount of shame for this habit – feeling the weight of the “SHOULD.” I should finish this book because I started it.

I’ve come to believe that there are some books that are meant for a certain season of our lives and that if we’re not connecting with a book, if it’s simply a book for our pleasure, we can come back to it again another time. That’s what happened with this book. It had a little extra weight to it because my sister gave it to me as a gift many years ago. And I couldn’t connect with it. But I happened to picked it up during the Trump/Biden election week in November 2020, and I found it hard to put down. The peace it was inviting; the reminders of simple, honest living, were exactly what I needed, when I needed it a lot.

If people were Superior to Animals, they’d take better care of the world

Here’s my goodreads review:

I’m many years past when I was given this book, and didn’t read it. As occasional unread books have, it haunted me as an unopened gift that I couldn’t get myself to read, and eventually I gave it away. Even not in my possession any longer, I carried it with me, with shame, this unread book, this unopened gift.

Finally, it found me again in a used book store, and I read it on precisely the day I could read it, and it was precisely the book I needed to read on the day I read it. And now I am ever so grateful for the invitation of the Uncarved Block and the hope of Nothing.

Thank you, Benjamin Hoff, for simplifying some of life’s truths through the lens of Taoism with the filter of Winnie the Pooh and friends. It has helped my heart already. Looking forward to the Te of Piglet.

Local friends: This one is in my library, available to borrow.

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