When I gave away my secret recipe last week, I promised you that sound career advice and useful tips on home improvement were to come. Well, since the last couple of entries fully explain your position in the class system, that one’s sorted. The home improvement thing is harder to get around. I’ve given it a lot
of thought. Bookshelves count as furniture, right? There you go.The top ten worst books in my bookshelf:Ursula Johansson: Wheat and Vegetables – A Collection of Vegetarian Recipes from Here and There
This, as you might have guessed, is an anthroposophist cookbook. How do you turn colorful, succulent vegetables into gray, tasteless paste? You boil them, dummy!Bjørn Mjaaland: Investigating II
This is an actual detective manual from the Finnmärscker Police Academy. Don’t ask me how I got hold of it, but it’s scary stuff. To read it is to lose all faith in institutionalized justice once and for all, it’s that stupid. Apparently, marihuana smells like mosquito spirals and homosexuals are usually murdered to conceal a theft. If they can get away with teaching this crap in criminology class, we’re all fucked.
Vidkun Quisling: Russia and We
First published in 1930, this is the only major work from the hand of the man who gave treason a bad name. It’s all about how revolution is a horrible idea when it’s done in the name of equality, but somehow a really healthy one if it’s done in the name of race. This would have been all well and good if it didn’t make for such mind-numbingly dull reading. If you want to be a fascist usurper, that’s fine. At least have the common decency to be charismatic.John Gribbon: In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat – Quantum Physics and Reality
Niels Bohr once said that anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it. This is the book that will help you avoid that shock altogether. From the prologue (provocatively titled Nothing is Real
) right through to the anticlimactic culmination, it is utterly incomprehensible. Complete with impossible-to-understand graphs and illustrations.James Joyce: The Dead
This is a short story in paperback. On the cover it has an eerie picture of Joyce staring into space. Five or six years ago I found this little book sitting in an envelope in my mailbox, out of the blue, no return address. To this day I don’t know who sent it, and I probably never will. Was it meant as a threat? An offering from a secret admiress? A prank? A curse? Whatever it was, it didn’t work. The title may be spooky, but the story is, well, kinda lame.Siri Hustvedt: The Enchantment of Lily Dahl
As boring as Paul Auster’s poetry, which says a lot.Jay Gluck: Zen Combat – The Ancient Samurai Warriors’ Key to Body and Mind Control
Make every finger a dagger, every fist a mace! What secret power hidden within the Japanese martial arts gives a frail, 85-year-old man the strength to butcher a full-grown bull - barehanded? You need this book to find out. It’s not just another how-to book, but a practical guide that builds your mental and physical state to a point of optimum… Wait a minute. Gluck – isn’t that a Jewish name?Pauline Réage: The Story of O
So a woman wrote this. Who would have guessed? Well, maybe the endless, painstakingly detailed descriptions of the characters’ elaborate outfits are a tip-off. This sizzling tale of forbidden desire also contains meticulous depictions of architecture and gardening on the outskirts of Paris. Gardening, as it turns out, is crucial to achieve complete sexual submission in a woman. Classic erotica, my ass.
Robert Anton Wilson: The Illuminati Papers
I can’t begin to explain just how bored I am with that merry old trickster and his jumbled pseudo-philosophy. I don’t even know where this book came from, or why I keep moving it with me from place to place. I get an instant headache just leafing through it. What’s this synchronicity thing he goes on and on about? The article about quantum physics is just plain crazy. Oh, look, there’s that same picture of James Joyce. Odd.Ernest Hemingway: Fiesta (Il sole sorgerà ancora)
My main grievance with this one is that it’s in Italian, a language I don’t understand. It just sits there on the shelf, mocking me as I walk by. You can’t read me, it seems to whisper. Of course I can’t be sure since it’s whispering in Italian.
Labels: Literature, Photography