Five Book Friday
by Ally G., March 10, 2023 9:48 AM
Calling all education enthusiasts, sapiophiles, and inquiring minds! Before you are a succinct selection of some of the sweetest fruits on the tree of knowledge. (PSA: there will be no Beowulf, state capitals, or theorems included on this list; if you are thirsting for that information, these books will not quench you).
The Chalice and the Blade
by Riane Eisler
Way back in the Dark Ages of 1987, cultural anthropologist Riane Eisler penned what may be "the most significant work published in all our lifetimes," (LA Weekly) about the origins of patriarchy. Tracing the timeline of evolution, Eisler compares the ancient goddess-worshipping 'partnership societies' with modern 'dominator societies' that are male-centered.
by Mark Fisher
Rest in Peace, Mark Fisher. One of the 21st centuries most indelible philosophers, Fisher spent the entirety of his life promoting an alternative mindset to late capitalism. His most important work, Capitalist Realism, is a sobering yet enlightening chronicle of the fall of the welfare state into the jaws of a Reagan/Thatcher individualist model by using anecdotes from popular music, movies, and movements. Fisher is one of contemporary society's few great intellectuals.
Food of the Gods
by Terence McKenna
For the more radical reader, ethnobotanist Terence McKenna's Food of the Gods is a sweeping, hallucinogenic journey. He begins with the expansion of the Homo erectus mind, linking human evolution up to the modern politics of Western drugs, specifically coffee, tea, sugar, tobacco, and spices. McKenna is one of the eminent scholars of the 70s, and although some of his personal anecdotes are outdated, his underlying thesis of spiritual, harmonious connection and respect for the natural world is critically relevant today.
Ways of Being
by James Bridle
James Bridle is a contemporary artist and technology sociologist. Their book, Ways of Being, is a visionary exploration of the vast range of intelligence: human, plant, animal, and artificial. We live in the supposed 'peak' of technological modernity, but thousands of years of evolutionary perfection exists right in front of our eyes. Bridle consults literature, philosophy, art, and science to uncover the extraordinary, unseen intelligence of the natural world.
by Satya Doyle Byock
Portland-based Jungian therapist Satya Doyle Byock has penned a poignant and accessible arc of what it means to be in ‘quarterlife.’ Compiling insight from patients in her practice with her background in Jungian psychotheory, Byock highlights the two primary types of people in their ‘quarterlife,’ at 16–36 years old. The vast majority of people in “quarterlife” align with ‘meaning types’ or ‘stability types,’ and Byock emphasizes that there is no right way to 'do life,' so we don't need to fear making the wrong choices for ourselves.
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Expand your mind even further, with this extra credit title:
by Mark Greif
Cultural critic and co-founder of social commentary journal n+1, Mark Greif summarizes a kaleidoscope of concepts in this collection of essays. "He covers the significance of exercise, our relationship with food, the meaning of hip-hop music, Radiohead, the figure of the hipster, society’s sexualization of children, and war" (the Guardian). A truly enlightening and mind-expanding take on the merit of contemporary culture, politics, and communication.