Given the popularity of our week-long What We're Reading series, we've decided to make it a weekly column. Just think of this as your non-committal book club with The FADER and some of your favorite bands. For this installment, Stefanie Franciotti of Sleep∞Over gives us her top picks.
Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul by Jane Roberts: Jane Roberts is a medium who claims to be able to channel and communicate with an entity called Seth. With the help of her husband, she was able to compile a series of audio, film and notes detailing these sessions. Regardless of one's personal belief in the validity of the paranormal, Seth Speaks provides a wonderful outlook on how our thoughts manifest into what we perceive as reality and goes on to challenge the nature of reality itself.
Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E. F. Schumacher: Schumacher is an economist who has the balls to call out what other modern economists have trouble reckoning with themselves: That the measured "standard of living" in accordance with our egregious annual consumption is not a viable, healthy nor realistic standard of success. He asserts a consciousness to human needs that traditional economists tend to ignore—that bigger isn't necessarily better, and that one can maximize well being without over consumption.
The Metamorphoses by Ovid (translated by Allen Mandelbaum): The Metamorphoses is a great read because it basically spans all of the most memorable Greek myths, weaving each tale seamlessly together with a single epic poem. I love this work primarily for its subject matter; Ovid's spastic fluidity rings extremely modern to my ADD, internet-addled brain. It's truly fast paced and light, but that could be due to the overarching archetypal figures that I feel so instinctively familiar with when I read this.
Strike Sparks: Selected Poems by Sharon Olds: Strike Sparks is a collection of the best of Sharon Olds' poetry. Olds has this blunt grasp of language that has always been very appealing to me. Her poetry cuts through all of the flowery bullshit and gets straight to the visceral, bloody humanity of her life. Always extremely confessional, her work focuses on experiences with her children and her sex life; she handles each in this very direct way and has the ability to extend and connect her experience with the universal. Everything is fair game for Olds, and that sort of abandonment of the personal is what cranks my gears.
My Father Snoring
Deep in the night, I would hear it through the wall—
my father snoring, the great, dark
clotted mucus rising in his nose and
falling, like coils of seaweed a wave
brings in and takes back. The clogged roar
filled the house. Even down in the kitchen,
in the drawers, the knives and forks hummed with that
distant throbbing. But in my room
next to theirs, it was so loud
I could feel myself inside his body,
lifted on the knotted rope of his life
and lowered again, into the narrow
dark well, its amber walls
slick around my torso, the smell of bourbon
rich as sputum. He lay like a felled
beast all night and sounded his thick
buried stoppered call, like a cry for
help. And no one ever came:
there were none of his kind around there anywhere.