23 Following


1Q84 - Haruki Murakami Had too many loose ends/was a bit all-over-the-place. was enjoyable, but certainly not one of his best works. my two favorites are still Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Hard-Biiled Wonderland.
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things - William McDonough, Michael Braungart A lot of environmental books/movies leave me feeling hopeless and terrified (a la McKibben's Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, the movie The Future of Food, etc.) - but this book provided a high-level overview of how to implement the necessary infrastructural changes to allow society to proceed in a sustainable, non-destructive way.

It deals with the topics of how goods are manufactured both from the perspective of how we expect them to be made (a cradle-to-grave mentality, if they even last that long) and how the manufacturers cater to a population satisfied with disposable goods. It addresses energy infrastructure, and the sometimes dubious methods involved in producing energy for a developed/developing world.

It uses relate-able examples that simplify the task of visualizing such a world.

And the most important thing, for me, was simply that it is so hopeful, without being naively optimistic. It provides for a groundwork for implementing these ideas in a manner that's economically feasible, a requirement in today's increasingly capitalist present-centric (with an increasingly blind eye towards the future) world.

I urge anyone who has any sort of curiosity in these matters to read the book. It's not long, nor a tough read (unlike
The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays which had me pausing after every few paragraphs to digest it!) One could even approach it as a whimsical sci-fi book, a portrayal of a not-TOO-different world in which we're not slowly burying ourselves in a rapidly heating world towards a government-sponsored oblivion. Whimsy indeed - we need not all live in yurts to survive the next century.
Suicide - Édouard Levé Thought this was a great read. Was a refreshing perspective on suicide, which is a loaded and taboo subject, and so makes for difficult serious discussion thereof. Reminded me a bit of The Stranger for its narrative quality, and perhaps a little easier to digest. Am going to look into some of Levé's other works - specifically his photography.
The Swan Thieves - Elizabeth Kostova Even slower than her first book, but very good... else I wouldn't be 500 pages in, not knowing EXACTLY what's going on, but still eagerly reading. She's a great author, although I'm pretty sure I liked the Historian more.