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, Chelsea Wolfe talks about some of her recent faves.
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence: This book has haunted me since I finished reading it. It takes me a long time to get through his books sometimes, but I’m always sad to see them end. D.H. Lawrence brings complexity and color to stories of simple coal-mining families and their surroundings. This excerpt from Sons and Lovers has inspired a few songs:
His blood beat up.
“It makes me think of the wild men of the woods, how terrified they would be when they got breast to breast with the open space.”
“Do you think they were?” she asked.
“I wonder which was more frightened among old tribes–those bursting out of their darkness of woods upon all the space of light, or those from the open tiptoeing into the forests.”
The evening was deepening over the earth. Already the valley was full of shadow. One tiny square of light stood opposite at Crossleigh Bank Farm. Brightness was swimming on the tops of the hills. Miriam came up slowly, her face in her big, loose bunch of flowers, walking ankle-deep through the scattered froth of the cowslips. Beyond her the trees were coming into shape, all shadow.
“Shall we go?” she asked.
And the three turned away. They were all silent. Going down the path they could see the light of home right across, and on the ridge of the hill a thin dark outline with little lights, where the colliery village touched the sky.
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins: I am currently reading this one. Scents rule me; they’re my second love next to music, so this book speaks to me in that way, and it also spans a vast amount of time and philosophy in a unique and interesting way.
The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil: This idea of the singularity, this sort of future meld of human and technology, seems inevitable and is kind of glorious while also sort of doom-laden. I don’t have a desire to live forever, but I am intrigued with his ideas about intelligence.
Of Walking in Ice by Werner Herzog: Of Walking in Ice was recently given to me as a gift and is next on my list to read. I adore his films and I’m sure I’ll read this book with his voice in my head. I’ve snuck in and read a few pages here and there. From that perspective it seems unclear whether it’s real or a dream: “A column of wounded people is carried by on stretchers, but they are so fearfully disfigured that the population is forbidden to look at them. Nurses accompany them, holding up bags filled with intravenous fluids, and all of the wounded are joined to one another systematically forming a chain. The fluid flows from one body to the next one, and so on. One man in the middle of the procession dies while being transported, and one of the Cambodian nurses sleeps through this. Upon discovery she is scolded because the fluid cannot pass through the dead person to the next wounded one, so the whole row after him is drying out.” (from pg. 23-24)