Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

in which the author discusses five books he'd read, if time permitted.

1. The "I Ching": A Biography, by Richard J. Smith.
I was in a band with a dude who consulted the I Ching regularly, even when making setlists. This makes me curious about the I Ching, and I was excited to find this book abandoned in the mailroom. But, ironically, I'll probably gift it to my former bandmate before I read it, and thus remain curious and relatively uninformed about the I Ching, which used to be a big part of my life because it was huge part of my bandmate's life. But that's the way the ball bounces, and our band broke up a long time ago anyway.

2. Lizz Free or Die, by Lizz Winstead.
Funnyish essays by the former head writer of The Daily Show. I'd make comparisons to memoirs by Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling, but then worry the rest of the day and half of tomorrow that I was being both a sexist and a reductivist (reductionist?). And I just lost a heated ping-pong match, and don't really have more room for stress in my day. It's already bad enough that I wrote "funnyish" instead of "funny." "Funnyish" is a really snarky construction. It's not even a word, if you think about it. But, then again, I'm not sure that this book is "funny." It is, however, definitely "funnyish."

3. Arab Spring, Libyan Winter, by Vijay Prashad.
If AK Press keeps cranking them out, I'll keep reading them.

4. Emmaus, by Alessandro Baricco, translated by Ann Goldstein.
Dense. European. Translated. McSweeneys. Sign me up.

5. Not Taco Bell Material, by Adam Carolla.
I hesitate to read a memoir by Adam Carolla, who always seemed to resent Dr. Drew on that radio show they shared, but I can just sit around reading obscure McSweeneys and AK Press titles all day.

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  • http://www.yitoons.com/yiblog/ Luis Andrade

    I suggest that if you are really interested in the I Ching you should not skip reading that book. I'm sure your friend will enjoy it a lot but I strongly believe that it should be required reading for anyone new or fairly new to the I Ching. It will cut a lot of BS out of the way on what the classic is and it isn't. People in general tend to fantasize a great deal about the I Ching. Smith's book brings it down to the level of mere mortals.

    Cheers.

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