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Justin M. Stoddard

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September 1, 2005 — 6:02 pm

I’ve finally got around to updating the books I’ve been reading this year. So far, I’m pretty happy with my selections. As you can probably tell, I started out the year immersed in archetypical/Jungian psychology. Though the theories of archetypes and how they affect us are rather simple, I find it fascinating. Upon my recent trip to Portland (and hence an obligatory visit to Powells Book Store), Eric suggested that I should look into Thomas Szasz and his treatises on mental illness/psychology. I have no doubt that I will at some point. For now, I’m content on just exploring.

I’ll be writing more about psychology in the upcoming weeks. And I’ll continue to read what I can get my hands on. As a matter of fact, I’ve just added a few books by Abraham Maslow and B.F. Skinner to my Amazon Wish List.

This is the first year where I just allow myself to read at leisure, without worrying myself about what I’m going to read in advance (a common Obsessive Compulsive trait of mine). I’ve found the experience most liberating. I delved a bit into Paramedic medicine (which, truthfully, would be my all time dream job; if money were no object). I also got around to reading Dante’s Inferno and Purgatory. Someday soon I’ll get around to Paradise.

Camille Paglia’s “Break, Blow, Burn” was a pleasant diversion for me. I’ve always enjoyed her writing and it’s fun to see some of my favorite poetry put into a new light. She did a fine job with William Carlos Williams, for example.

I was also very happy with the hilariously sublime “The King” by Donald Barthelme (my second Barthelme book). King Arthur in World War Two…fantastic.

Nicholson Baker’s “The Fermata” was also a real treat. Though taken aback by the sexual content (not in a prudish way, I just wasn’t expecting it), I had a great time reading it.

I think the best discovery made thus far has to be Philip Jose Farmer’s “To Your Scattered Bodies Go”. I can’t believe it took me so long to find this book, or for it to find me, as it were. What a find! The second book in the Riverworld series, “The Fabulous Riverboat” was not as good, though it did hold my attention.

I have a huge stack of books sitting by my side right now just waiting to be read. Who knows what discoveries I’ll make in the coming months. I’m beginning to discover that reading a good book is much like drinking a long sought after glass of cool water on a hot Summer day. Oh, what a feeling.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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