What We’re Reading: SZA

Photographer SZA
July 12, 2013

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 FADER and some of your favorite bands. For this installment, SZA looks at three recent readings.

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
I was lurking on one of my favorite stripper's pages and she posted this passage from a book all highlighted and with hand written footnotes—real bible study style. The passage was about love and the common terrible mistake of loving one selfishly and improperly. She had also been posting excerpts about god and the mortal coil from this book for like a month sprinkled in her timeline. They were so gripping and such a juxtaposition, that finally I just started googling the passages themselves. I had to know what book this is that fixes mess girls, since I'm a mess girl I wanted to be fixed. A New Earth came up, I instantly downloaded the PDF and dug in. Weeks later I'm still un-fixed, but it was a beautiful read. Perhaps she had more luck than I.

The Holy Bible by "who the fuck really knows"
I've attempted to read the Bible from cover to cover at all these random points in my life. Being raised Sunni Muslim, I had already memorized surahs and passages of the Quran, which initially allured me as a child solely because of all the beautiful gold leaf designs on the binding and cover, just as part of my mandatory upbringing but I was never all the way well-versed in the Bible. I think I'm too much of an over-thinker for it though. I always get stuck in Genesis, pissed off and confused about why God pluralizes himself only in that chapter and then I quit. I'm still not past Genesis.

SCUM Manifesto by Valerie Salonas
Once I was reading about how this "crazy" woman shot Andy Warhol. After thinking about what kind of man he was and how unique and complex all of his friends and surroundings were, I thought there had to be more to it! I explored some more and it turns out she was this brilliant mildly schizophrenic homeless woman that literally talked passersby into paying her for conversation. Warhol found her so interesting and bizarre that he developed his own little mild obsession with her. He invited her to all of his parties and filmed her as one of his favorites. So why'd she do it I wondered? Salonas had this deeply aggressive sense of feminism—she believed men were inferior creatures. To celebrate these thoughts she started SCUM: The Society for Cutting Up Men. As part of her devotion to the idea she wrote a passionate, poetic, theological and partially violent manifesto about all of it. When Andy became disinterested in her and her work and wrote her off, she snapped walked into his office and shot him. Instantly I thought this was the flyest shit I ever heard and read the whole thing in three days. Def a recommendation for any woman considering whether she's iller than her man.

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What We're Reading
Posted: July 12, 2013
What We’re Reading: SZA