This was a light reading duration given that most of what I read was contemporary poetry. I got my books at: Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, Illiad Bookshop in North Hollywood, and Everyday Magic in Durham (online only).
In totally, I read 8+ books in the past 3 months.
In the Shadow of Man
by Jane Goodall
It took me a while to get through this book since it’s jam-packed with information. It’s a remarkable piece of non-fiction, and contains a lot of behavioral descriptions that made me continuously reflect on being a human. An important read for self-reflection and widening the scope of our daily toils. This book brings up many questions that don’t get answered. It’s not framed as psychology, but I believe anyone who’s really deep into what they do (Jane Goodall in this case), and no matter what that thing is, is creating space in the world for question-making and human examination. All of this by extension of being an observer and never really being the thing (or beings) observed. Loved it; recommend it.
by Alan Watts
A short-form perspective on the game of life. The following is from his chapter on being a “genuine fake” and the social double-bind game. And honestly, this is a beautiful and cruel summation of corporate life.
The first rule of this game is that it is not a game.
Everyone must play.
You must love us.
You must go on living.
Be yourself, but play a consistent and acceptable role.
Control yourself and be natural.
Try to be sincere.
Highly recommend it; it’s a short and deep read. I’m rooting for more people to acknowledge the complete absurdity of modern life. It’s nicely paired with In the Shadow of Man.
The Book of Lilith
by Barbara Black Koltuv, PhD
A stunning impeccably-researched introduction to the dark goddess/daemon Lilith, Adam’s first wife. As a Christian-dominant country, many, many of us grew up in religious trauma. We’ve been told since we were small children that we’re rotten and we’re bound for a place called Hell. There’s a lot of therapy and de-tangling we’re doing as a generation around this promotion of debilitating fear. We still see many Boomer employees using this tactic in business settings as they refuse to address their own trauma, and it further re-traumatizes the people who do go to therapy.
I highly recommend this book for people who are in a healthy place mentally and healing from religious trauma. Read it with proper support (therapist, specialized groups). This book will put on display the Adam and Eve story (and provide an alternative to the one you probably heard in church) that has terrorized women and subordinated them, creating unequal and harmful relationships between genders. You’ll come away with more confidence in your dynamics.
by Lisa Marie Basile
An introductory book to being a witchy person living in a metropolitan area. It contains ideas like starting a journal and writing down different aspects of your city; taking exploratory walks with no clear goal; working in small spaces (building windowsill altars and cooking with intention); and grounding through visualization and rooting feet to earth (where it’s safe).
Other books I read: Inward and Clarity & Connection by Yung Pueblo, and Home Body and Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I don’t need to review these.