What We’re Reading: Saint Pepsi on Murakami, Napoleon, and Kanye Forums

For this installment of our bi-weekly noncommittal book club, we asked songwriter and producer Saint Pepsi.

August 11, 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 and artists. For this installment, we asked songwriter and producer Ryan DeRobertis bka Saint Pepsi, whose fizzy, anthemic single "Fiona Coyne" seems to be everywhere this summer.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
It’s been on my reading list for an eternity, but I finally found time to get into it while on tour with the Painted Palms dudes last June. The only Murakami work I’d read before then was Underground, an incredibly captivating compilation of interviews with victims of a sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway. I thought that Kafka was kind of romantic and I really sympathized with the titular character, which might make me an awful person. Kafka’s love affair with the teenage spirit of his boss-slash-supposed-mother was touching to me; I was shipping them.

The Mind of Napoleon by J. Christopher Herold
I’m usually reading a biography because I like to see how people I look up to have fucked up in life, as if their resilience to shortcomings guarantees my own. At 16, I admired Fitzgerald because he went to Princeton. At 20, I admired him because he dropped out. I think you can see a little bit of yourself in anybody as long as you try hard enough. For that reason I’m drawn to egomaniacs. I’m reading a book I found at my job (I work at a library) called The Mind of Napoleon by J. Christopher Herold. It’s essentially a compilation of speeches and excerpts from Napoleon’s letters arranged by topic. In case you didn’t know, Napoleon thought that love was meaningless but science was the future. He was really convinced there was nobody in the world that he loved. That’s the kind of stuff that motivates my writing, I guess. That statement is monumentally cold, but you know he meant it. It’s real.

I lurk Kanyetothe.com a lot. It's probably the only website I regularly frequent, outside the social network sphere. I posted a few times when I was in school but I'm thinking of opening a new account. Forums are fun because people a lot of the time it's just dudes posting top 10 lists, and I can't get enough of those. Especially for movies. I have an annoyingly limited knowledge of films and so whenever I have the time, I try to find a loud guy on the internet trying to sell his favorite movie to me. I'm watching The Big Chill tonight!

From The Collection:

What We're Reading
What We’re Reading: Saint Pepsi on Murakami, Napoleon, and Kanye Forums