Friday, January 23, 2009


"The inventor of their heaven empties into it all the nations of the earth, in one common jumble. All are on an equality absolute, no one of them ranking another; they have to be "brothers"; they have to mix together, pray together, harp together, hosannah together - whites, n*****rs, Jews, everybody - there's no distinction. Here in the earth all nations hate each other, and every one of them hates the Jew. Yet evey pious person adores that heaven and wants to get into it. He really does. And when he is in a holy rapture he thinks that if he were only there he would take all the populace to his heart, and hug, and hug, and hug!"
--Mark Twain on delusion

"The law of nature, as quite plainly expressed in its construction, is this: There shall be no limit put upon your intercourse with the other sex sexually, at any time of life. The law of God, as quite plainly expressed in man's construction, is this: During your entire life you shall be under inflexible limits and restrictions, sexually...Now if you or any other really intelligent person were arranging the fairnesses and justices between man and woman, you would give the man a one-fiftieth interest in one woman, and the woman a harem."
--Mark Twain on human sexuality

Here are 15 books I loved reading in 2008, with my favourite 6 in bold:

1. Leaf Storm and Other Stories, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - incredible prose and imagery, bountiful imagination.

2. A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson - a science textbook for laypeople full of the history of discovery, and all the unsung geniuses who had the glory snatched from them by future generations finally ready for their work.

3. Skinny Legs and All, Tom Robbins - very imaginative, unusual, bubbling stacatto prose of the spiritual adventure of inanimate objects and brain-dead people.

4. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Housseini - very simply written, all about the story, and the people of Afghanistan.

5. A Language Older Than Words, by Derrick Jensen - it rambles over a lot of ground, but stays true to its viscious, though heavily provoked, attack on our culture.

6. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison - crazy, crazy journey into the dark heart of the racial majority's prejudices, and a man of the racialized minority struggling to be seen for what he is.

7. Civilization and Its Part in My Downfall, by Paul Quarrington - hilarious story of a movie stuntman.

8. We Were Not the Savages, by Daniel Paul - important re-telling of Nova Scotia history by a descendant of the 'losers', the ones we tried to assimilate and/or annihilate.

9. The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas and All Other Labour Companions, by Penny Simkin - highly recommended to anyone who knows anyone who will be giving birth soon. Practical, balanced, by far the best of several books I read on the subject.

10. Ramblin' Man: the Life and Times of Woody Guthrie, by Ed Cray - Not just the story of a man, but of a movement, a time in history, a country.

11. The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein - Only read this because I was interviewing her for an article. Read in one mind-bending weekend. It's a brilliant theory, brilliantly argued, that brings together many strands we already know.

12. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, by Charles C. Mann - Archeology and anthropology have come a long way, and what we thought was history is new again. This book shows why.

13. Cibou, by Susan Young de Biagi - Great story by a Nova Scotian writer of worlds, and worldviews, colliding with calamitous results. Simply but powerfully told.

14. Grimus, by Salman Rushdie - Magic realism at its best; Rushdie just piles on layers of imagery until your mind is high as a kite and ready to dream.

15. Down to the Dirt, by Joel Thomas Hynes - Gritty story of a young man's fascinating and disturbing, all too realistic, self-destruction.


The Invisible Man, huh?

I thought it was a back number, but certainly pertinent today.

No more futively stealing power from Con-Edison.

Hey, Barrak now has the power!
Bill Bryson's Short History of Nearly everything is a good read.

I'm reading Mark twain's quote on sexuality. You know, I think his idea might work!
i ought to read the leaf storm book since i've enjoyed other books by marquez.

ought to also read a thousand splendid suns since i read the kite runner which i've enjoyed ..

but i tell you what really impresses me ..
the fact that you've read the birth partner ..
dang! my husband wouldn't come close to books like that .. lol ..
benji-thanks so very much for this list! I have always wanted to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez-now I am definitely going to if my damn connection stays I would like to come back and take a look at some of your writing-I so admire anyone who has tried to write anything themselves! best to you as always!
The King Of Space had the audio book of 'A Short History...' which we ate up over the course of our travels. I loved it.
Ivan: haha! times have changed. but not completely. o how we still categorize and exploit.

Crushed: i'm willing to give it a go, but my wife says I'm harem enough for her. go figger.

Foam: no way i was going into that experience ill-informed. it was a lot less scary after reading up on it. i'm an information junkie tho.

Devin: pleaes do. you can organize my stylings by clicking preferred tags. there's a whole novella on here somewhere.

Toast: books on tape, tapes on book, gotta love that stuff. in fact books on cd is where i'm having the most success publishing my fictions for some reason. maybe i should be a playwrite(rman).
Hey Foam, where'd your blog go?!
Foam: nevermind, found it. forget that i can't follow that ... link very far.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?