If I loved…[x]…I should read…[y]…

I’d love to see your book recommendations, based on some of my faves! (It was also my birthday last week so I will treasure any replies you’d like to gift me :slight_smile: )

First, here’s a (partial) list of books I love:

  • Cosmicomics (Italo Calvino) — wonderful magical weird cosmic sci-fi stories
  • Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre (Keith Johnstone) — great insights on improvisation and teaching
  • The Library at Night (Alberto Manguel) — collection of essays about the many forms and roles of the library
  • Autonauts of the Cosmoroute (Carol Dunlop and Julio Cortázar) — strange and lovely absurdist travelogue
  • Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (James Lovelock) — fun introduction to the idea of earth as cybernetic superorganism
  • bolo’bolo (P.M.) — proposal for a whole societal structure of radical autonomous communities (with a whole invented terminology to describe it)
  • Le Ton Beau De Marot (Douglas Hofstadter) — exploring the art of translation through the lens of a specific 16th century French poem (and dozens of its translations)
  • Moby Dick (Herman Melville) — so grandiose; such whales
  • Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Annie Dillard) — phenomenally observant and lyrical nature writing
  • Time and the Art of Living (Robert Grudin) — unique collection of multi-lens meditations on how we experience time
  • Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest (Hanif Abdurraqib) — amazing and personal hybrid of memoir and music criticism
  • Deschooling Society (Ivan Illich) — classic and still relevant manifesto for radically restructuring educational institutions
  • His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman) — top notch inventive fantasy for all ages
  • This Little Art (Kate Briggs) — a translator introspects on the art and craft of translation, to fascinating results
  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Jane Jacobs) — incisive classic on what makes great cities work

Here’s what I’d love from you, if you have a few minutes:

  1. If you’re familiar with one of the above books (whether you’ve read it, or have it in your antilibrary) and any must-reads come to mind based on this book, please share (along with, optionally, a few words on why)
  2. If you’d like to share a few of your own favorites, we can continue the game; I’ll see if any come to mind… Can also share both yours & mine in a future newsletter. Thanks!
1 Like

Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth is in my antilibraries! I forgot about it but now that I see it here I remembered it sounded super interesting. I love science + futuristic books. the Gaia theory sounds like a cool idea but also just sounds like the guy is talking about ecology.

I recently read “How To Do Nothing” by Jenny Odell and it was amazing. Made me think hard about what productivity really is and it led me to read “Against Creativity” by Oli Mould. I’ve also been stuck reading “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen. It’s a historical fiction about a communist Vietnamese spy who takes refuge in LA.

1 Like

Haha yeah that’s pretty much it :smiley: Kind of a fun type of book, talking about an ordinary topic but w/ some kind of weird approach / unique lens.

Nice, haven’t read either of these but they look great!