another segment in my slowly-growing book love series; janna was rad enough to let me take her photo in her favourite coffee shop. i had a great afternoon hanging out with her and chatting over coffee.
and in her own words, why she chose these books:
Dungeon World: This is the core rule book for an indie tabletop Role Playing Game I bought off Kickstarter last August. It’s a game that aimed to bridge old-school dungeon crawler games with modern mechanics, and, reading it, I feel it was quite successful. It’s one of my favourite books right now because it inspires me. Almost every page in it sparked an idea. I haven’t felt so overwhelmed with creativity in ages. It has been a phenomenal story springboard for me and I’m actively channeling it into writing fiction and planning game worlds.
The High Window (Raymond Chandler): American Noir detective fiction from the 30s and 40s is probably my favourite fiction genre. Raymond Chandler is one of the top names in it and wrote a series around a private detective named Philip Marlowe. The High Window is the third book in the series and is one of my favourites because it’s one where you actually learn a lot about what it is that motivates Marlowe to lead the life he does, but also what cripples him from participating in a “normal” life. It’s particularly fun because he never actually TELLS you anything, the reader is actively puzzling it out based on Marlowe’s actions, many of which he simply does but refuses to justify or explain, even to himself (it is a first person narration). I love books that are also puzzles.
The Plague (Albert Camus): I have not actually read this book yet. I started it the morning this photo was taken. And it is that, the newness and mystery of this book, that qualifies it as a favourite. There’s very little I love more than a mystery bound between two covers.
Make Room! Make Room! (Harry Harrison): Make Room! Make Room! is a dystopian thought experiment on overpopulation written in the 1970s with an underlying argument in favour of birth control and sex education. The first time I read this book I was completely awed by it. It is everything I have ever wanted to write. It’s bleak and hopeless, and the characters are pathetic and sad but hopeful and proactive, and in the end life is just this indifferent juggernaut that steamrolls everything and reminds the reader of both the resilience of the individual, their adaptability, and the complete meaninglessness of anything they could possibly do.
Catch 22 (Joseph Heller): One of the most absurd and disturbing books I’ve ever read. It’s about some fighter pilots stationed in Italy during WWII who are all steadily being driven insane by the absurdity of the war and the army. It very steadily pushes from hilarious to horrifying, to the point where, by the time I hit the 2/3 mark and the story really starts going to hell, I would often have to put the book down just to keep from throwing up. Spectacularly powerful story, especially if you are like me and love war fiction or non-fiction.