Thursday, December 5, 2013

Monthly Reads: November 2013

This month was a bit weird reading-wise. I really only read during the first half of the month. I've been so busy the past couple weeks that I haven't made much time for it! I still managed to get five books in, though, and I finished the Hawking book that I had been reading for ages. Here are some of them:

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I liked the way this book was written-- how you get full access to the narrators thoughts and emotions. How she thinks through multiple scenarios for why things could have gone the way they did with certain people, then realizes she got distracted and gets back on point. This book really made me feel like I needed to hole up in my apartment and create things, even if they were very good. This isn't really what the book is about in terms of the main plot, but it is a running theme throughout. This book pretty clearly dismisses human cloning as a possibility for medical ethics, by giving you such concrete stories of how human these characters are. (Kind of a 'duh' for me, but.. Anyway). It was sad, yes, but it was supposed to be. Maybe I'll get around to watching the movie one of these days. 

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Dear Sugar,

Reading this book was like being lovingly acknowledged with a warm hug, and then getting shot in the gut with a giant brick. Repeatedly.

I will take your advice to heart. I will not surrender all my joy for an idea I used to have about myself that is no longer true. I will write like a motherfucker, even if only for myself. I will walk into the darkest woods without a stick. I will be a warrior for love.


Getting There

Black Holes and Baby Universes by Stephen Hawking
I love that this collection of essays ranges from personal to scientific. The interview was the perfect way to end the book. Hawking's personality comes through in these essays, even the ones you think might be a bit more dense. In fact, a couple of the essays that explain the physics more are downright beautiful. 

"As a black hole gives off particles and radiation, it will lose mass. This will cause the black hole to get smaller and to send out particles more rapidly. Eventually, it will get down to zero mass and will disappear completely. What will happen then to the objects, including possible space ships, that have fallen into the black hole? According to some recent research of mine, the answer is that they will go off into a little baby universe of their own."

An apt description of my life, if I've ever read one. 

The Wu-Tang Manual by The RZA
This was a really interesting read and I didn't expect it to go as quickly as it did. You can only read so much on the internet about it.. it is really something else to get RZA's first hand account of the history of Wu-Tang and what makes them so great. In a way, reading this directly affirmed a lot of what I had felt in the music throughout the years. I had no idea just how much martial arts movies permeated everything they did from such a young age (and it led me to ask more questions about race& culture dynamics that were not at all addressed). I had no idea about the numerology behind everything, which was kind of a trip to read about. Learned a lot from this book. RZA really speaks his truth.


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