Books are not what they used to be.

Been posting a few items about books here.  Very casual. Hardly posted a thing this year, and see post on Evernote below re that. Feel some motivation coming on.

The motivation is to post book covers and snippets because I am loving my ebooks – have for years.  I don’t really want the paper books anymore.  But I miss the affordance of the stacks of books lying around unread.  They are now just a line of links on a screen and sometimes I can’t even recall why I have the book sample or who recommended it.  There are so many samples, just a list! So I’ll post unread books here, awaiting reviews.

Once paper books are read they can go on a shelf somewhere.  Even the pile in the garage.  I can look at them when I tidy up, and think, oh yes I remember that.

OK, so there is a purpose for the blog, to notice what I have in my ebook library in some sort of meaningful way.  So out with Evernote for books – and onto the blog with them.  Expect more flimsy post with cover pictures.

I will update posts too, I often do that here, they need edits and additions as they go up very rough.

I tried Goodreads for this purpose, however for some reason I am more attracted to my own blog, at least first. Social media can come later, if at all.

~

There is already plenty here in the blog to stir reminiscences.  There are references to books back to 1999.  As I went back to look I found a dead link to this item

Malcolm Gladwell on Blockbusters and books.  Collaborative filtering!

web.archive.org/web/20000301085403/http://www.gladwell.com/1999_10_04_a_sleeper.htm

Just six authors–John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, and Danielle Steel–account for sixty-three of the books on the list. In a world more dependent on collaborative filtering, Grisham, Clancy, King, and Steel would still sell a lot of books. But you’d expect to see many more books like “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”–many more new writers–make their way onto the best- seller list. And the gap between the very best selling books and those in the middle would narrow. Collaborative filtering, Hagel says, “favors the smaller, the more talented, more quality products that may have a hard time getting visibility because they are not particularly good at marketing.”

It seems he was wrong though.

Must revisit, interesting. What has happened 15 years later to those lists?

Joseph Boyden — The Orenda

I’m gripped at about 20% into the book.

This Item puts me off a bit, though it also provides extra food for thought.

So far I think the author presents the world a world animated with the spirit of life in a sympathetic way and the Catholic view to the contrary is almost mocked, thus so far so good.

Amazon

the orenda

Enjoyed the CBC video about writing the novel, here:

Screenshot

Later – upon finishing the book — Thursday, 18 December 2014

It was horrendously violent – and it is hard to believe that such cruelty is possible. However I don’t agree with the article linked to above that is biased towards the priests or the against the Iroquois.

I finished it a few days ago and the book is still with me, it had an impact, not just the violence, but the characters, and particularly the sense of the soul of things and people – the orenda – that gives the book its title.

The Peripheral – William Gibson

I just heard there was a new William Gibson book out, and pre ordered it on Amazon

In the meantime I’ve enjoyed this interview in The Guardian by Ned Beauman here are the last two paragraphs:

I understood perfectly well before reading The Peripheral that our planet is beginning to roll down a very steep slope. And yet there was something terrifying about finding it here, perhaps because I’ve been absorbed in Gibson for most of my lifetime. His previous dystopias, with their overflowing slums, feel jolly by comparison; here, even Gibson’s hackers and mercenaries and television personalities are bereaved by climate change. It’s as if Gibson’s work is a city, and I have lived in that city since I was a teenager, and now that city is being drowned before my eyes. Before I left, Gibson admitted that his own story “surprised me with its grim matter-of-factness. I wasn’t fully aware of the implications, at the start. Though in my personal model of writing fiction, one never really is.”

All the same, this shouldn’t discourage anyone from reading The Peripheral, which is not, in fact, a remotely grim book. First of all, books that are as frantic with imagination as Gibson’s books, as frantic with the appetite to see what happens to us next, cannot be grim; second, Gibson’s famous weakness for happy endings has not been entirely suppressed here; and third, the details of our fate are mostly confined to that one scene towards the end, when Netherton, our descendant, explains what happened before he was born. As we read it, we ought to be like Flynne, who sits under the oak in her front yard and listens without hysterics as she hears the story of a world in which “everything, however deeply fucked in general, was lit increasingly by the new.”

Screenshot NewImage

My review of James Hillman biography – Goodreads

Archetypal Psychology (Uniform Edition of the Writings of James Hillman)Archetypal Psychology by James Hillman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Loved the book, learned so much. Finished up disliking him more. Never liked him, always awed by his genius, and impacted. His attitude to his affair and his relationship with women is not just of its time – it is callous and a-psychological, out of touch and this is so disappointing. It shows a flaw in his professional as well as personal life, not one that I can forgive. I sort of knew this but here it is laid out – blatant. Even though the author seems to be sympathetic, colludes.

So I rate the book 5 for illumination and remove stars for an ultimate disdain for the character.

View all my reviews

My Review of The Golden Notebook – Goodreads

The Golden NotebookThe Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

I’m now about 20% into the book. I like it because have lived some of this life she describes. Middle class intellectuals in some colony. I see other reviewers don’t like hearing the privileged ruminate about their agonies. But we are a select bunch! For everyone one of us who entertain marxist ideals of a change in the system there are hundreds who don’t. It takes a modicum of privilege to even read stuff. So to hear how thes commies and fellow travellers carried on in the fifties is of interest to me. But I can see you had to be there perhaps to get it.

But then I was not there. I’m a generation older. It may not be common knowledge but there was a small wave of Marxist revival in the late sixties and early 70s. I imagine all round the world. It grew out of the vietnam war protests and the countercultural movement. It dawned on some of us liberals that we did not just want Peace. We want the Viet Cong to win. The imperialists needed to be defeated, and they were. It became clear too that national liberation was a viable and worthwhile step in the march of progress. Maybe that was not so clear to Lessing in her time? And the communes and alternative endeavours did not really work, not as a way of changing the system. It may sound crazy but I, along with many thought the “Times were a’ changin”. But really, no. And then China was in a stage before the cultural revolution disasters. It was easy to see there was something to be learned from the communists.

And there was! And then there was not!

Why did she get a Nobel Prise for her work? I think of Obama getting the peace prize – do you have to be a phoney to get it? I don’t think Lessing is a phoney. However she may have been mistaken for someone who is anti communist. It is very different to be a disillusioned to being anti. Jesuit priests apparently do not need to believe in god, they need to be searching for god. I wish there was some sort of world order of people searching for the marxist line of out time. And a Doris Lessing of our time – or at least one for baby boomers. Perhaps Marge Piercy? Is there anyone like her today, filling that niche she filled in 62?

View all my reviews

Evolution of emotional literacy

Kevin Kelly (What does Technology Want? p196) quotes George Lucas:

Evernote Snapshot 20121129 225558

Just maybe that is about to change (Perhaps on December 21?? 🙂

I think we are in a rapid change right now. It will be more visible soon. I think the feminist consciousness, the decline of religion, urbanisation, education are all leading to a shift in consciousness that means there will be ever more psychotherapists.

See also:

Evolution of consciousness

PEP Web – The Origins and History of Consciousness: By Erich Neumann.

Another snippet, scouring the web without actually reading the book! (see last post)

PEP Web – The Origins and History of Consciousness: By Erich Neumann.:

“In his Introduction the author writes: ‘It is the task of this book to show that a series of archetypes is a main constituent of mythology, that they stand in an organic relation to one another, and that their stadial succession determines the growth of consciousness. In the course of its ontogenetic development, the individual ego consciousness has to pass through the same archetypal stages which determined the evolution of consciousness in the life of humanity’ (p. xvi). ‘The individualized conscious man of our era is a late man, whose structure is built on early, pre-individual human stages from which individual consciousness has only detached itself step by step’ (p. xx). Hence, Part I deals with ‘The Mythological Stages in the Evolution of Consciousness’ in three sections: A, ‘The Creation Myth’; B, ‘The Hero Myth’; C, ‘The Transform”

I’m thinking of my 18 month old granddaughter – she is certainly developing her own sense of self. Stages makes sense, but what is the sequence.

The relational paradigm is surely a higher stage, but it includes individuation, and can’t be attained without it.