Read in January:
- Free Food for Millionaires (Min Jin Lee)
- Samurai and Ninja: The Real Story Behind the Japanese Warrior Myth that Shatters the Bushido Mystique (Antony Cummins)
- Sarmada (Fadi Azzam)
- The Portable Veblen (Elizabeth Mckenzie)
- The Unquiet Dead (Ausma Zehanat Khan)
- Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within (Kim Addonizio)
- Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed (Laura Heyenga (ed.))
The fiction this month didn’t do a lot to impress me (Free Food For Millionaires is very good but stumbles in the home stretch), but both Ordinary Genius and Art Made From Books are wonderful. I have a separate post coming on Ordinary Genius; short version, it’s about writing poetry but is extremely applicable to writing anything.
Art Made From Books is from a museum gift shop, and more of a photo collection of, well, art made from books than an in-depth analysis of same, but it got me thinking a lot about the form and function of books beyond the story on the pages. I might go visit some library sales and used bookstores in search of some books that are no longer useful as texts (out-of-date reference books, etc) and see about making some art from them myself. I’ve been feeling a strong urge to make visual art lately, and indulging that is always good for my brain to cross-pollinate creative energy.
- Family Lexicon (Natalia Ginzburg)
- Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Sven Beckert)
- How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (Bart. D. Ehrman)
I’m not sure if I’ll finish Empire of Cotton; it’s very good, but very dense, and the analysis of cotton as where both war capitalism and industrial capitalism flourished is a bit hard to work through right now, with the world being as it is. Still, I may surprise myself.
How Jesus Became God is gym reading that might vault out of that category into must-finish reading, because it’s such an interesting topic.