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Blog // Creativity
May 9, 2022

Books I Read In April 2022

All the books I finished in April 2022.

Here is this past month’s reading, with a mix of poetry, ancient and mediaeval philosophy, nature wiring, mindfulness, and even a comic!

Old Growth by Orion Magazine

Orion Magazine is a beautiful publication, rich with art and photos and fantastic nature writing. Old Growth is a collection of essays and poems that highlights Orion’s best contributions about trees. Mixing history, journalism, memoir, and science, this wonderful edition features writers as diverse as Alison Hawthorne Deming, Michael Pollan, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

The Book of the Body Politic by Christine de Pizan

There were no female thinkers or historical references in my undergraduate degree. Writing during the Hundred Years War, de Pizan outlines a powerful philosophy of education grounded in social responsibility. In our era, when political leadership has taken a turn towards demagoguery and cruel elitism, de Pizan’s ideas about the role of philosophical reflection in shaping our character feel as urgent as ever.

Crystal Planet #3 by Joe Satriani

Sci-fi and superhero themes have been constant inspirations for Joe Satriani’s music. Now he’s reversed that flow to create a five-episode comic that is drenched in time travel, space intrigue, and even intelligent storms. Crystal Planet is a beautiful passion project, pushing the limits of Satriani’s Space Rock vision. Produced with vivid foil-enhanced graphics, it’s a unique and unusual bit of comic art.

Migratory Sound by Sara Lupine Olivares

The poems in this collection are like little linguistic dioramas, rich in detail and evocative in ways that ask us to consider how we observe and listen to nature. These are also stories full of movement, which remind us that boundaries are, in nature, such fluid things. The patterns of travel we see, like the migration of birds, are, perhaps, totally different to creatures that do not see boundaries the way we do.

Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle by Alfarabi (trans Muhsin Mahdi)

Back when I was a know-it-all undergrad studying philosophy, my constant complaint was that our reading lists, full of the predictable Greek, German, British, and American men, were just so, well, “white”. Thankfully, universities today are questioning that tendency. Alfarabi was a towering figure in Islamic philosophy and also a huge influence on political thought in Spain. What surprised me most about his writing was the witty way he wrote about the game of governing. I only wish I’d read this book decades ago.

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz

Wisdom and strength drip from every page of this fierce collection of poems. Diaz challenges the standard picture of American colonialism as well as the simple labels we use to describe people. The result is a rich treatise on holding space for your personal story, for your collective experience, and for the scar that is colonialism, which still shapes us today.

The Practice of Not Thinking by Ryunosuke Koike (trans Eriko Sugita)

We often take up meditation and mindfulness because our brains feel full of thoughts. But the practice seems at first to amplify the problem, making us more aware of our runaway minds. This slender book, from a former Zen monk, addresses this by discussing the way we experience the world and how our habit of assigning emotionally laden ideas to our senses fills our heads with unnecessary thoughts.

Other Books I’ve Read In 2022

Rather than use some other app or service I’ve chosen to collect all my reading here on the blog from now on. You can see my reading lists from other months here.
Books I Read In May 2022
Books I Read In March 2022
Books I Read In February 2022
Books I Read In January 2022

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