February 18, 2015
Reading slowed dramatically in the second half of last year, or at least my enthusiasm for blogging about it did.
Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm – Stephen Harrod Buhner
Took over a month on this. Easily one of the most extraordinary books I have ever read. Top ten recommendation, all time. Was published in 2014. Buy it now. Will attempt a proper review soon.
Batman: Odyssey – Neal Adams
If you are a comics person, go find this and read it right now. Don’t find anything out about it. Just trust that it is the most bugfuck and deranged piece of Batman ever. There are no words. Astounding. (If you aren’t a comics person, read Sandman or Watchmen or something instead, and become a comics person.)
If you know you won’t read this, read this extremely entertaining summary of the first few issues here.
…here is the best quote from a Neal Adams interview about Odyssey:
Q: Can you give us an overview of the plot?
Adams: I cannot give you an overview of the plot.
The Arabian Nightmare – Robert Irwin
Pretty unclassifiable novel by a historian of Arabian storytelling modes, and obviously influenced by them. Dreamlike and bizarre, labyrinthine and dusky, deeply deeply weird. Fun but eventually perhaps does not combine its wonderful parts into something more.
Fasting – Stephen Harrod Buhner
Book about the physical, psychological and spiritual components and effects of fasting for longer durations. Lucid and concise.
Supergods – Grant Morrison (skim)
Skimmed this. Interestingish history and philosophy of modern era comics, but not what I was looking for.
Jesus’ Son – Denis Johnson
Really good, deceptively simple book of short stories, mostly dealing with down and outs and addicts of various stripes. Would definitely re read. There is something going on here.
The Search for a Moral Compass – Kenan Malik (skim)
Quite an epic undertaking, attempting to look at more or less the development of moral attitudes of the whole world over time. Inevitably does some disservice to particular viewpoints, as no one can have a good enough grip on all of them to comment authoritatively. Still would be worth returning to.
Reality is Broken – Jane McGonigal (skim)
Interesting enough musing on the relation between games and reality.
Zero to One – Peter Thiel
Billionaire founder of Paypal and Palantine, friends with many other billionaire tech founders, gives his take on how to found a successful tech company. Vital reading if that is your interest. Pretty fascinating for its iconoclastic take on capitalism in general, if you are an economics minded person.
Behold the Man – Michael Moorcock
Messed up dude with a bit of a Christ complex gets in a time machine and goes back to the time of Christ and kind of ends up becoming Christ except worse.
Life’s Missing Instruction Manual – Joe Vitale (skim)
Compendium of insights gathered across an interesting guy’s life. Actually seemed pretty decent.
Money: Master The Game – Tony Robbins
Possibly completely essentially; Robbins first book in 20 years. Robbins has amazing access to many of the most successful investors in history, and models their methods and teaches them to you. Incredible resource. Need to get back to it and finish it.
The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes
Won the Booker Prize a few years ago. Really well done short novel mostly about ageing and how our perspective and memory changes.
The Slow Regard of Silent Things – Patrick Rothfuss
Novella. Peculiar, light, and ethereal, much like its only character. Rothfuss explores the reality of a minor but fascinating character from his epic novel series, and comes up with this totally weird, autistic yet hauntingly close to how we all work, thing. Not quite sure what anyone unfamiliar with the series would make of it, but would be very curious to find out. I think it is interesting enough to stand on its own.
Edge of Dark Water – Joe R Lansdale
Sort of like a dark nightmare Huckleberry Finn. After the death of a friend, dustbowl-era american south kids in the wops make a break for their future down the river, pursued by hideous family, corruption and evil. A great voice and realisation of character and setting. Occasionally nasty but never unbearably so.