“Tiny summary but detailed notes for each. Use the ISBN number to find it from your local library or anywhere else. This page will constantly update as I read more, so bookmark it if you want to check back in a few months.
Last year, I made a list of books for every week of the year. I hardly read anything from the list. I read things like N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy, revisited some of the books of Iain M. Banks Culture series (currently reading Against a Dark Background), and basically, just read whatever I felt like and only looked at the list a few times. I did manage to read the first entry, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha by Daniel M. Ingram, which I found worthwhile.
This year I’m going to try just one book a month.
The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony by Robert Calasso
Chicago by Brian Doyle
Recollections of My Non-Existence by Rebecca Solnit
Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
Against Method by Paul Karl Feyerabend
Building Stories by Chris Ware
The Chandelier by Clarice Lispector
The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Odyssey by Emily Wilson
Ulysses by James Joyce (in conjunction with Stuart’s companion volume)
Paradise Lost by John Milton
Beyond the list, I’ll make room for anything like the Murderbot series by Martha Wells, Ann Leckie, and any of the other usual suspects. Memory’s Legion, the final book in the Expanse series is coming out in March, isn’t it? Knowing me, I’ll want to reread the whole series again next year. Maybe as a fun corrective, I’ll keep a list of books actually read below.
Eating People is Wrong’s commentary made me LOL. But, it was the Chuck Tingle book that convinced me to post this website. I don’t know why I even know who Chuck Tingle is, probably has something to do with the “weird fiction” phase I went through mid-2019, but I’d like to do my part to increase his readership.
“Censorship is alive and well over at Amazon Kindle. Last time it was our scholarly edition of the rare 1881 Victorian gay text Sins of the Cities of the Plain, which they banned for several years. Now they’ve banned the ebook of John Blackburn’s 1972 horror novel Devil Daddy, while refusing to explain why. At Amazon, any book can be blocked from sale at some random employee’s whim, with no right of appeal. Please remember that you have a choice of where to shop, and all our ebooks are available on our site, as well as Nook, Kobo and iTunes.
If you can’t zoom in on the screenshot below, here is the email from Amazon:
“As stated in our content guidelines, we reserve the right to determine what content we consider to be appropriate. This content includes both the cover art image and the content within the book. We’re unable to elaborate further on specific details regarding our content guidelines…”
I should have known. But, this is the first time I’ve heard of Amazon censoring books. When the largest retailer of book refuses to carry particular titles, especially ones that are controversial in some way, it cheapens the public discourse. Devil Daddy may not be to the taste of the average American, but the average American’s taste and community standards is a horrible basis for content guidelines.
“It’s easy to forget that the female writers of Engel’s generation are telling their stories after generations of mothers and grandmothers (and Aunt Ednas whose ‘talent was slicing in half slices of sliced store bread’) said nothing. This was not simply a matter of oppression, it was a deep and violent sense of propriety that her generation, just as violently, was trying to cut out. More than one Engel protagonist speaks of her ‘stiff pudeur’, which sounds like a little pussy wearing a crinoline, dancing with herself in a ballroom. The books are in hand-to-hand combat against that, and ultimately they are a triumph. People like Engel write books not to shock society but to free themselves, to violate some inner constraint that makes the agreed on forms of living unbearable…
…Much of women’s work is what allows life to continue. The rest is like … Windexing the veneer of civilisation every morning to keep it shiny, or cooking Beef Wellington every night for a pig king who would be just as happy eating apple cores. Equitable division of household labour has always had to contend with the fact that no husband on this earth was ever raised by Mary Passmore, hears her voice in his mind when he enters the grocery store or hunkers down to wax the baseboards. The phrase ‘slut’s wool’ isn’t in his vocabulary, or if it is it means something different. Alice Munro said that Engel ‘felt a need to be forthright [with interviewers], to show herself to them as fully human, dirty dishes, empty bottles and all’. But what she was displaying, perhaps, was the same principle of refusal that constituted both her defiance and her sense of humour. A sense of humour can be sad, after all, or sour, or a broad clowning gesture to the chaos behind you.”
-Patricia Lockwood, “Pull off my head.” The London Review of Books. August 12, 2021.
Patricia Lockwood is a God-damned treasure. There’s a good chance that this is the only book review you’ll ever read that’ll make you think, “A love story between a woman and a bear? Sure, why not?” And the writing! “Where is the taser for the reader’s balls?”, indeed!
I love this book. It is one of my favorites in the occult section of my library. It is valuable as a practical and historical tool. The book is an excellent guide for the beginning as well as experienced witch. I have never seen another book that has so many spells. Get this; […]
Sometimes, I see something on WordPress that makes me think strange thoughts. A book of 5,000 spells? If I cast one spell a day, that would take me over 13 years to cast them all. Maybe I should just chose the top 365 spells and do it for a year? What would a year of spellcasting be like? In my mind, I become the sorcerer’s apprentice, except sure in the knowledge that no one is going to save me.