Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our weekly What We’re Reading column as your non-committal book club with The FADER and some of your favorite bands. For this installment, d'Eon whose new album EP is out June 5th, gives us his must-read picks.
The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea: I have definitely read this book more than any other. It is 800 pages of hallucinations involving conspiracies, the Illuminati, the Discordians, drugs, libertarianism and anarchism, surrealism, sex, mythology and the occult. There are so many different characters and narratives through which the narrative abruptly switches and cycles. Whenever I read this book, I feel like I am living in the world that it creates. No other novel can make me feel like the things happening in the book also happened in the real world. It takes place predominantly in the ’60s, and it really convinces you that this is the way things actually occurred in the real world in that time period. The Illuminatus Trilogy is an alternate history of the 20th century that imagines a world where all conceivable conspiracy theories and myths are true.
The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov: Foundation is about a galactic empire that eventually falls and becomes a republic, and the social ramifications of political events in outer space. It is my favourite science fiction, despite the fact that the writing is a little old-timey, the span of time that the book covers is so massive that it almost gives a sense of vertigo to look at how political events play out over tens of thousands of years. It really makes me think of the huge scope of history and how events from thousands of years ago still affect things that happen today. Aside from all the interesting political and social stuff, it`s just a really cool classic science fiction trilogy with really interesting planets and settings and looks at the vastness of the milky way as a connected community of planetary nations.
Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce: I think I just wanted to prove something to myself by reading this book. I ended up getting through the whole thing, and I remember finishing it and letting out an "UGH" and throwing the book across the room. Despite the fact that every word is dense with multiple meanings and the book itself is pretty much unintelligible for anyone who doesn't speak every single language in the world, it's power is in the fact that it's so dense. As a regular reader I can recognize certain puns and plays on words that span so many different languages, but I can only understand 1% of what is going on. Every character has so many names and there are so many levels of linguistic abstraction that the appeal is not really in the story but in the impressiveness of the book as a work of art.
National Geographic Picture Atlas of Our Universe by Roy A. Gallant: I used to flip through this book every day when I was a kid, thinking about the possibilities of space travel and all the different characteristics of the planets in our solar system, and what was beyond our solar system or our galaxy. I loved the cross-sections of the planets and what chemicals they were all made of, and what mythological figures each of the planets were named after. I think a lot of people loved this book as a kid and even when I see it today, it gives me my imagination back.