Read Time and Materials sitting on a faded denim couch with an egg salad sandwich by a second-story window on a cool and overcast day in September. Because Robert Hass would like that picture. That’s life. Recognize that cheating at the Tarot cards is just part to the process. “It’s easy for us to feel that our lives are a dream-/ As this is, in a way, a dream: the flailing rain,/ The birds, the soaked red backpack of the child,/ Her tendrils of wet hair, the windshield wipers,/ This voice trying to speak across the centuries.” Haas knows that the life of four hundred million years ago can speak across those centuries to be seen washed up on the beaches of Michigan and the Ukraine. If you too believe that finding the meaning of life can mean sitting in front of a rock in the Mexican desert; if you question why 90 percent of casualties in all wars during the last fifth of the twentieth century have been civilians, then read this book. Read this book to figure out what happens after Goethe, and all about the Iowa winters you might miss along the way.