What We’re Reading: Nothing on Albert Camus, Tour Diaries and Bleak Russian Literature

For this edition of our bi-weekly “book club,” we enlisted Philadelphia shoegazers Nothing.

August 25, 2014

Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our bi-weekly What We’re Reading column as your non-committal book club with FADER and some of your favorite bands, artists and tastemakers. For this installment, we asked Philadelphia four-piece, Nothing. For more on the band, read our GEN F profile about their brand of shoegaze, which hits like a brick.

The Fall by Albert Camus

DOMENIC PALERMO: This has been the most difficult Camus read for me, but by the end my favorite. He uses more complex ways to express his usual narrative, suggesting that everyone is responsible for everything that goes wrong and that innocence in humans is a thing that simply does not exist. The main character struggles with this as he begins his own "fall of man" after witnessing a woman's suicide into a cold river. His fear of putting himself in danger stops him from helping, which subsequently puts his previously excellent character in question. He suddenly realizes every good thing he had ever done was only a ploy to suppress all the wrong that was hidden underneath, that everything he had ever done was for personal gain. No one will ever know who anyone really is. 

Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way by Charles Bukowski

BRANDON SETTA: I had my Bukowski stage like everyone. I somehow never opened this one, though. Theres a stain on the cover from where I used to set my beer at my old apartment. It's pretty okay. 

First Love by Ivan Turgenev

KYLE KIMBALL: Turgenev's First Love is a classically Russian short tale. The young protagonist, Vladimir Petrovich, becomes infatuated with a slightly older princess that moves into the house next to his. Petrovich soon finds himself competing with many other suitors who are all trying to win over the affection of the princes. Although she has feelings for Petrovich, she enjoys toying with him and all the other suitors. Ultimately, Petrovich finds out his father is secretly having a relationship with the princess. He is completely crushed but never confronts his father. Petrovich and his family move away. Just before he's about to reconnect with the princess, years later, she dies suddenly. Truly crushing. It's not as well crafted as Turgenev's masterpiece, Fathers and Sons, but I recommend this book to any fan of bleak Russian literature.

TOUR SUCKS: Breakdowns, Break-Ups & Bellyaches by Various

NICK BASSETT: I'm reading this book called Tour Sucks. It's basically a bunch of stories told from different bands about touring and all the shitty stuff that happens to them. 

What We’re Reading: Nothing on Albert Camus, Tour Diaries and Bleak Russian Literature