2010 reading vol 1

Hmm. Why not do these during the year?

Genius of the Beast – A Radical Re-vision of Capitalism by Howard Bloom.

His usual sort of energetic polymath brilliance explaining the roots of the Western system in biology, cosmology, etc. A hell of a ride, intelligent, erudite, and fascinating; yet while I felt his heart was in the right place and the conclusions are useful, I disagreed with a lot of the development of his thinking. He has written a book he felt was needed rather than a book which expresses the limits of his current thought, and I doubt it will have the impact he is hoping for. On the whole disappointing compared to The Lucifer Principle or Global Brain, both of which are fairly essential reads.

Reave the Just by Stephen Donaldson.

A short story collection of mostly reasonably lengthy fantasy stories by the author of the Gap series (awesome) and the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. They are all pretty solid, but “The Killing Stroke”, in particular, was amazing. As was “The Woman Who Loved Pigs.” Probably exactly what I needed in the sense of short-form fantasy that is mature and not bound by genre convention.

Vagabonding: an uncommon guide to the art of long term world travel. – Rolf Potts.
Kind of what you would expect. A mix of attitude entrainment and practical tips. Light but useful.

The Round; and other cold hard facts – JMG Le Clezio
Randomly picked up a short story collection by the recent Nobel winner. He is pretty good, if tending bleak. “Villa Aurora” was really beautiful.

The Death of Artemio Cruz – Carlos Fuentes.
In Latin American literature, Fuentes holds the status of Joyce or Hemingway in the West. He is pretty amazing. Told in a mix of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, as the title character lies on his deathbed flashing over his life, which is a window on a century of Mexican history. Immense, varied and magnificent.

Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Tahir Shah

Dude goes to India to study under a magician – illusionist – who in the superstitious culture of India have a really different standing, revered as Godmen. Describes his training (nuts) and then his odyssey travelling around India seeking out other godmen, magicians, seers and weirdos. Pretty stunningly weird and wonderful travel account of an India most people will never encounter. The insight into Indian culture, and the life of its cities, is brilliant. And it is pretty funny, too. Shah is becoming my favourite travel writer, in the sense that his journeys are ones I would like to take.

Also skimmed a whole bunch of stuff as research for the Illuminati performance rituals.

Weirdly I feel like I have been doing heaps and not reading this year…. hmmm.

One Response to “2010 reading vol 1”

  1.   michael
    February 10th, 2010 | 7:08 pm

    Heh, I’ve started reading one book. 😀

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.