No intro! NOTHING HAS HAPPENED SINCE LAST NIGHT, JEEZ.
Has A Book Changed Your Life?
(Obligatory reminder to subscribe to my once-monthly newsletter here, which rounds up everything I wrote in the preceding month, grants access to a curated members-only Spotify playlist, and includes a piece of exclusive bonus collectible content I will NEVER repost anywhere else, ever!)
AS IS MY CUSTOM AND ALSO AN ELEMENT OF MY ANXIETY DISORDER, I have been unable to Choose Just One. You may sue my ass at your leisure.
- The Way Of Kings: Book One Of The Stormlight Archive – Brandon Sanderson
I did a whole review of this one! Because for years it was my Favorite Book and is still my Favorite Book (Genre Fiction). Without going into what-all it’s about, the reason it changed my life is that it was the first work, especially of fantasy, I’d ever seen where every main character has at least one mental or emotional illness or disorder, which became much more important to me once I was forced to get a handle on my own mental health by my fucking mind dissolving one horrible summer.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think I completely agree with exactly where it lands on the topic, which is roughly “the broken parts of us don’t just not-stop us from being heroic, they’re why we can be heroic”; I think mentally ill people should actually be allowed to just have a super-chill time and not be defined by their illnesses, but also I’m not one of twelve people chosen to found a new order of divinely-empowered Knights Radiant and defeat the living embodiment of hatred, entropy, and oblivion, so, y’know, see the settled case-law of Strokes v. Folks.
- The Areas of My Expertise – John Hodgman
It is…impossible to overstate how fundamental this book is to my entire personality. Ever notice how a lot of what I say sounds like it came from an encyclopedia full of lies? This is that encyclopedia and is what inspired me to start making the world a stranger place. It’s the first in a three-volume reference work that covers such topics as:
-The lost history of the Hoboes and the selection of their bearded baby-king
-Assorted omens and portents, and what they mean for your stocks and your snakes
-The secret influence of the Mole-Men on Thomas Jefferson, U.S. policy, and Enlightenment philosophy
-Gambling: Sport Of The Asthmatic Man
-How Theodore Roosevelt had a son named Kermit (THAT SHOWED HIM)
-The hidden history of Hohoq, also called Ar, the secret, airborne 51st State, which is inhabited by–as if you hadn’t guessed yet–Thunderbirds.
-The roving, sentient pack of feral hounds known only as DOGSTORM.
As the man said, ‘Truth may be stranger than fiction, but nothing is as strange as lies, or as true.”, and that’s a philosophy I live by every day, even when my professors and employers ask me not to.
I WOULD DO MORE, but I am sleepy, and also most of my afternoon was taken up by trying to wrangle a bunch of giant garbage into one of the colossal bins my town installs in various neighborhoods once a year so people can get rid of all their broken bedframes and the old grodulated ottoman that our terrible cats ruined. It’s like Christmas! Except for getting rid of crap that’s too big to throw away in the regular style! IT WAS AMAZING, I GOT TO USE ALL FOUR FUNDAMENTAL MACHINES TO GET A BROKEN OLD TV OVER THE SEVEN-FOOT-HIGH LIP OF THE THING!