Sunday, October 12, 2014

5 things: Rainbow reading

“[What books change is] your capacity of feeling. Art opens the heart.”
—Jeanette Winterson, Art Objects

(my actual bookshelf)


Recall the Greek myth of Narcissus—a beautiful youth falls in love with his own reflection, and dies. This is meant as a warning: such are the dangers of recognizing no reality but our own.

It can seem hopelessly old-fashioned these days to read books, but they’re the best salve for humanity I know. Some excellent alternative realities:

1. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
An exquisite meditation on fathers and mothers, discontent and self-scrutiny, hate, grief, and catharsis.

2. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
Intimate, weird, enchanting.

3. Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
Obsession, dissected.

4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
A rapturous telling of the 20th-century American dream.

5. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
On what happens when you defer happiness.