White Noise by Don DeLillo. The first thing that comes to mind after reading this book is Post-Modern Nihilism. This is one of those books that gets you thinking about how little sense life makes. In other words, it helps you realize how crazy things have gotten over the year. Yet at the same time, it shows you that people have always felt that way. In a way, it seems like the world doesn’t make sense now, and maybe that is something new, but the truth is, it has always been this way. People have always thought the world didn’t make sense and was getting worse.
Watchmen Alan Moore Review. The most famous line from the Watchmen is ‘Who watches the watchers?’ In this video, I talk about that idea and a few others. Are Superheros super, or are they just like us? Was the Watchmen the start of a movement or a sign of the times? If anything, it seems like the world has started to wonder, can we trust those people who have power?
The Gods Themselves is one of Isaac Asimov’s greatest books, he won the Hugo and Nebula awards for this book. What’s important about this book is that it questions some of the things we take for granted. For example, when we create new technology, can we turn back, even when it is necessary?
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is one of those books that will make you look at the world in a different light. It will change the way you think about the way you live life and inspire you to live another way. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it, no only is it inspirational, but it is also highly entertaining.
I recently read Margret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, it is all about dystopia, propaganda, context and control. It was a great read and these are my thoughts about the important ideas.
I recently read ‘The Reason You’re Alive’ by Matthew Quick, it was a great quick read, and this video is about what I found interesting about the book. One thing that stands out, is that it is really good at giving you the perspective of someone you’ve likely never taken seriously.
On April 10, 1815, Mount Tambora erupted, and this was the beginning of The Year Without Summer. It filled the sky with ash and other destructive things. As a result, there was a year without summer, basically, summer never came. This was mostly a result of the sun being blocked by the aftermath of the eruption. But many other things happened, which made life for many people across the globe much more complicated.
The Year Without Summer by Rachel Lebowitz explores that idea and brings in stories and references from other similar catastrophes. When the unexpected happens, people don’t know where to turn. And in the end, they end up turning into people they didn’t expect to be.
How I found The Year Without Summer
I found this book randomly but was very curious about the topic. Honestly, the book is a mix of mediums. If you are looking for a historical account, you aren’t going to find it here. That said, this book is a great dive into the issues and a long-forgotten past. If anything, it has me thinking about today, and what I should be doing to prepare for the future.
In a lot of ways, if you look at what is happening all around the world, it doesn’t seem that far off to fear something like The Year Without Summer. Recent news has flooding in China, fierce wind storms in America and a pandemic affecting everyone all around the world.
If you are looking for an interesting and experimental look at events from our collective past. Than The Year Without Summer is a great quick worthwhile read.
You can find the book on Amazon (non-affiliate link). If you are curious about how the world can change really quick, this is the kind of book your should be taking a look at. We often forget how quickly things can change, as life seems to stay the same, but if you were to take 2020 as an example, its very clear that life can change fast.
‘No Longer Human’ by Osamu Dazai is the second best selling Japanese novel of all time, it is also considered Dazai’s masterpiece. These factors are enough to make this book worth reading. This said there is a lot more to this book than international accord.
It starts with the introduction describing three different pictures of a boy. The boy changes a lot with each picture, it’s hard to believe he is the same person. These pictures set the stage for the book that follows.
The Basics of No Longer Human Osamu Dazai
The book is only four chapters and is about a boy named Oba. In the beginning, we learn he is a smart child. We also learn that he was abused by a maid in his home.
As he gets older he learns he shouldn’t say anything and always accept what is given to him. Rather than appear smart, he decides it will be easier to be a comedian. He does this because he thinks it will cause him less trouble.
At one point, a classmate notices that Obe falls on purpose, and is only pretending to be incapable. Because of this, Obe decides he must befriend the boy so his secret can be kept.
We learn Obe likes to draw and it is his dream to do drawings. He never shows his work to anyone but his only friend.
Time passes and he grows older. He goes to university in Tokyo. There he meets and befriends an art student. This new friend introduces him to all sorts of things he hasn’t done or seen before. He picks up drinking and his school suffers.
From this point on he becomes an alcoholic. He later meets a woman who helps him get a job as a drawer for a magazine. He finds some success, but his drinking becomes a problem again, and his life starts to fall apart.
From then on many bad things happen to him. The pinnacle of which, he tries to kill himself unsuccessfully.
Perception vs Reality
At the end of the book, we learn that the story is a collection of journals that were given to the author. He received them from a barkeeper who had received them from an anonymous source.
The barkeeper talks about Oba and thinks he is the source of the journals. She also says that he wasn’t at all like he described. In fact, he was the opposite, a very kind and friendly man.
This ending is what makes the book amazing. It changes your whole perspective of what actually happens in the story.
The book seems to be about the horrible life of a bad person. In this sense it is depressing, Oba is without a doubt a depressed. But this way of looking at it is dishonest because it doesn’t account for what other people see or know.
What No Longer Human Tells Us About Ourselves
This story shows the difference between what we think of ourselves and what the rest of the world sees. It also shows how our minds can get locked into thoughts and repeat them.
This isn’t to say that people don’t have real problems. But it is something to be aware of. The potential here is that we overthink things and don’t see ourselves for who we are.
It could be that the world thinks we are a great person and our friends and family are happy with who we are. With this perspective, the negativity is only in our heads.
It is not always the case that our problems are this simple. But it is possible that this could explain part of them.
What No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai Rather teaches us, is that rather than being like Obe, we should try to see ourselves as the person that everyone else sees and respects.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath was recommended to me many years ago, but I never thought to pick it up. Truth is, I thought it was famous because the author killed herself. Part of me also thought it was a girl’s book, in the sense that it written for a female audience.
Recently, I was ordering books on Amazon and decided to get this one as well. These days I have an affinity for books about unsavoury and troubled people. So, the tumultuous life of the author and her death made it more interesting.
Troubled people tend to be fascinating. Troubled life isn’t usually as boring as a normal life, which is why they inspire books. The idiosyncrasies of people’s lives are what draws me to books like The Bell Jar.
In the beginning, the book starts out slow and whiny. I get the sense that Plath is using it as an opportunity to get some things off her chest.
Some of the problems she talks about, I can’t relate to. My bias, as a guy, I don’t have the experiences of a woman. Especially the problems Esther seems to have.
The second half of The Bell Jar
The book gets better around the half waypoint. Esther’s real problems start to show, and this is where the book gets interesting. The pace speeds up and I was much more engaged and focused on reading. The second half took half the time it took to read the first half.
Esther’s life is changing from normal too chaotic. The struggles of a student, turn into the struggles of someone with severe depression. At this point, it is much deeper into her life than you’d expect from earlier in the novel.
I won’t go into any more details because it is definitely worth reading. For anyone interested in depression, people, and well-written books.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath Is Amazing
I particularly noticed the quality of the writing. But don’t take that lightly, any published book must be good, so this was a step above many others. Also, at times there is a sense of poetry in the words that shines through.
There is an urgency that comes along with it. This could be the author’s emotion on the page, or the connection I made with the character, either way, it is strong.
This book gave me a perspective on the experiences of women that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. When I say this, I mean it was insightful beyond what I’d expect to get out of a book.
The back cover says, “Celebrated for its darkly funny and razor-sharp portrait of a society which refuses to take women’s aspirations seriously.” When I first saw this I didn’t believe it, but the book has proven me wrong.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath is an amazing book that is well worth reading. I recommend it for the quality of writing and insights into the world of women and depression.
Want a brief summary of Hamlet? In my honest option, Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays. I wrote this very brief summary because it was such an amazing read and I wanted to be able to remember it for later. can’t think of any other stories so tragic.
A Brief Summary of Hamlet:
Hamlet is in love with someone, he tells her so. Next, Hamlet friend’s sees a ghost who looks like Hamlet’s father, the king who recently died. Ophelia’s father tells the new king and queen about Hamlet’s shenanigans with his daughter.
The ghost tells Hamlet that his father was murdered by his brother (Hamlet’s uncle). He was murdered so that the uncle could become king and marry his sister-in-law, Hamlet’s mother.
There Is A Play
The king and queen want to send Hamlet away to another city. At first, Hamlet devises a plan to make a play about a man killing his brother to take his place as king. Consequentially, Hamlet wants his mother and uncle to see them play so he can judge their reactions and see if what the ghost said is true.
Hamlet puts on the show, his uncle (the king) reacts in such a way to suggest Hamlet’s suspicions are true. He later visits his mother in her chambers and hears someone in the closet. Without regard, he kills the man, who happens to be Ophelia’s father. Hamlet apologizes to his mother and drags the man’s body away. Ophelia finds out about her father’s death and kills herself by drowning.
The king guessing what Hamlet is onto his scheme decides to kill Hamlet. Hamlet leaves town and claims he is captured by pirates, but he later returns home. Ophelia’s brother returns from far away and hears about his father’s death. He confronts the king, the king says he is not responsible.
The Tragedy of Hamlet Begins
The king and Ophelia’s brother come up with a plan to kill Hamlet. The plan is a fight to the death. Hamlet doesn’t want any part of their scheme, but the king calls on him twice so he shows up.
The fight begins, Hamlet is winning but Ophelia’s brother has poison on his sword. The king brings in drinks, one is poison. Next, Hamlet kills Ophelia’s brother, his mother drinks the poison and dies. Finally, Hamlet stabs the king who also dies, Hamlets injuries are worse than they seem, so he dies.