Books I love
Here’s a list books I have enjoyed, still enjoy and think about on a regular basis.
Eastern Body Western Mind by Anodea Judith
This list is in no particular order, but this book is #1. EBWM is a synthesis of psychotherapy and chakras/ yoga. Chances are if we’ve talked on a deep level about life then I’ve brought this book up, its forever in my code. Even if you’re not concerned about your “mental health”, your physical health or your connection with others I’m sure theres something you’d discover about yourself by reading EBWM. It’s very thorough in breaking down the mind-body connection and how it correlates through chakras which then manifests in how you function in daily life. I’d especially recommend this to anyone who’s on a path of recovery from traumatic life events. If you can hang with the mind-body healing techniques this book will take you further and deeper into yourself than any drug, and you will have practical knowledge and not a weird, diluted version of reality. In my opinion that’s all drugs are really good for - self knowledge - rather than an escape from reality, but you should read this book over taking drugs if that’s your goal. EBWM is like a map for human well-being. Also, I havnt’t read this book cover to cover, but I’ve read each chapter and continue this way whenever I feel I need work in a specific area. The yoga teacher I watch on youtube calls this frame of work biopsychology. I can’t think of a better way to describe it.
Underworld by Don Delillo
I think about this novel a lot and when I’m looking for a bit of writing inspiration I’ll flip to one of the many book marks read a few pages. It spans 50ish years and follows a baseball through many hands, this premise was basically and excuse for Delillo float through American history and do what he does best - adding a mystical (as in poetic) flavor to a post modern lens. There’s characters ranging from a young black kid in the 1950’s, a pilot in the Vietnam war, a woman who paints bomber planes in the American desert, a graffiti writer, Lenny Bruce, a rocket engineer, and the main protagonist - a street guy from the Bronx who lives an upper middle class life as a high level garbage disposal engineer.
Miles: The Autobiography By Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe
The man is a legend. I listened to this audiobook a few years ago and the narrator did a really good job replicating his raspy voice. Very cool to hear about his upbringing and how he got his start playing the trumpet, then moving to NYC and playing with Charlie Parker. Miles tells a story about Charlie getting his dick sucked in the back of a taxi while eating chicken wings and talking to Miles at the same time, like it was normal. There’s a lot of great jazz folklore surrounding Miles Davis. The descriptions of all the woman Miles fucked are great too, in his own words. Very entertaining and educating.
The Adding Machine By William S. Burroughs
Burrough’s fiction is cool, but in honesty I’ve never finished one of his novels. The novels are enticing and have glimmers of very well written passages, but he really was on some schizo shit. I feel like to read his fiction you gotta do it in one sitting to get the whole work of art. That being said, he was probably one of the most interesting people to ever live and The Adding Machine is a book of essays to attest to that. WSB was like the internet before the internet, he was a sponge of knowledge and was interested or knew about stuff I can’t even crack with the web. The Adding Machine is almost like an encyclopedia for Burroughs, its also got some schzio - fiction sliced in with his non fiction in this so it’s a good intro.
Deliberate Prose By Allen Ginsberg
Another Non fiction from one of the original beatniks. Much prefer this collection of essays to Ginsberg’s poetry at this point. He was really on some gay shit, like too gay, declaring Kerouac “the Buddha of western posy” kinda gay shit, which is so corny that it’s gay. I put respect on Ginsberg’s name. Howl was a big influence on me at a certain point, but not anymore. I think Ginsberg would have done better as a kind of oddball professor post- the OG beat era in the early 1950’s - early 1960’s. He got too wrapped in the counter culture of the 60’s and got pretty cringe fast, became an activist and shit. He could have had a legacy as a kind of outlaw intellectual. Deliberate Prose proves how smart and well studied Ginsberg was.
Collected Poems of Bob Kaufman By Bob Kaufman
Of the beatniks that I’ve read poetry from Bob Kaufman is by far my favorite. He was a real weirdo drug addict and avant garde poet. Also one of the OG beatniks that was actually black and didn’t just wish he was. He’s lesser known in the cannon of beatnik, but he’s the most real imo. A real folk hero kind of figure and street poet, the best kind of poet, I think. Jail Poems and Hollywood stand out in my mind as I write this.
The Happy Birthday of Death By Gregory Corso
The last beatnik I’ll talk about. This poetry book is cool. A lot of Corso’s poems are slow burn word play kind of stuff, but very insightful, like when you have a common sense kind of epiphany. Corso was cool cuz he was a street kid and learned how to write and read in jail. As he got older and kept doing drugs he also got cooler, but fucked up and you feel bad for him. Theres a video on Youtube of Corso reading the Bill of Rights that’s pretty funny.
Flow My Tears The Policeman Said By Philip K Dick
Do Androids Dream and VALIS are the two other PKD novels I’ve read and both are very enjoyable, but this one hit in a deep way. Especially knowing how much of a paranoid schizo PKD was. This story follows a famous talk show host/singer in the future who wakes up one day and no one recognizes him, as if the world has a collective amnesia about his existence. I think it was particularly interesting reading a story where PKD had to empathize with this power hunger elitist protagonist, when PKD himself felt like a spokesmen for the common man.
Factotum By Charles Bukowski
Just a funny ass novel. Easy to read and very funny.
Tao Teh Ching By Lao Tzu
I’m due for a re-read. I used to keep this as a pocket version on me at all times and surprisingly If I had a gun to my head I probably couldn’t pull a quote. That being said it’s a good foundation to look at life. Nice little parables that will get you thinking, or in some cases where it’s better not to - not think, just be.