Sunday, February 20, 2011

What I'm Reading

I posted a reading list for 2011 back in January.  I had hoped at that point to set-out a reading track for this year.  I was taking a chance that reality would treat me with the same static indifference as I treat it.  As it turns out, I should've listened to my better instincts that more pressing issues in my life would change the coarse of my reading this year; my gawkish auto-didacticism enjoyed the pulse of my good intentions, but inevitably collided with reality.  The result is a write-off of the old list, and a new list that is smaller, unfixed, and deals more precisely with where my mind is focused right now.

Rather than list any projected books, I will simply give space to the ones I am currently reading.

Undefended Love is an exploration of the human being, and how a person can be whole.  Many people are weighed-down by the pressure of wanting and needing to give and receive love; they want to have an unguarded, vulnerable and safe relationship.  Few people understand how such a relationship can be achieved.  Psychology, anthropology, transactional analysis, real-life anecdotes, all these areas mix and mingle together to bring about a book that elegantly sets forth a manifesto for personal wholeness, and relational intimacy at the deepest levels.

Roadtrip Nation.  I picked this book up at the local Liquidation World (now re-dubbed 'LW').  Initially, the book was more of an interest to my wife; she's interested in other people's successes and how they achieved what they did.  Since I've become disaffected with my own employment and have been sussing-out creative ways to self-employ, I thought I'd have a boo at this book.  The premise is simple: drive around the country and interview successful people about how they got to where they are.  The content is inspirational.  And if you like a casual, passionate look at the qualities of successful people, this book is perfect.

We The Living was Ayn Rand's first full-length novel, and is a tragic romance that depicts the bitter struggles of the individual against the state in Soviet Russia.  Rand's later novels (Anthem, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged) more directly explore her philosophy of Objectivism, but We The Living sets a background for why Rand was so abjectly against statism, and philosophies that purposefully manipulate and oppress people's inherent dignity and autonomy.  Like the other Russian authors I've read--and thoroughly enjoyed--Rand brings a sweep of practical majesty, and uncompromising strength to her narration; I've been left shocked and raw many times throughout this novel, so far.

I will update this post in the next few days when I'm done Roadtrip Nation and We The Living.  From there, I'll be starting another Ayn Rand novel, and pushing my way into a volume on some counter-cultural understandings of child-rearing.

Until then, stay well, and play hard!

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