Books: 2024

A running list of books I’ve read in 2024:

  • Octavia E. Butler: The Last Interview
    • “The problem is that we’re really good at responding to crises, but we’re really bad at long-term planning, especially when it requires that we stop doing something that we really enjoy doing, like burning fossil fuels. Probably we will muddle through for a while, but sooner or later we’ll push the environment too far. We’ll do something that we won’t be able to recover from.” (2000)
    • “I have advice in just a few words. The first is to read… The second is to write, every day, whether you like it or not. Screw inspiration. The third is to forget about talent, whether or not you have any. Because it doesn’t really matter.”
    • “The future is not some mystical magical place. The future is moment to moment. Thirty years ago we didn’t have the computers we do now, but we’re still doing the same things.” (1999)
  • Ling Ma: Severance
    • “It was a trance. It was lke burrowing underground, and the deeper I burrowed the warmer it became, and the more the nothing feeling subsumed me, snuffing out any worries and anxieties. It is the feeling I like best about working.”
    • “When I was a kid, I named this feeling Fuzhou Nighttime Feeling. It is not a cohesive thing, this feeling, it reaches out and bludgeons everything. It is excitement tinged by despair. It is despair heightened by glee. It is partly sexual in nature, though it precedes sexual knowledge. If Fuzhou Nighttime Feeling were a sound, it would be early/mid-nineties R&B. If it were a flavor, it would be the ice-cold Pepsi we drink as we turn down tiny alleyways where little kids defecate wildly. It is the feeling of drowning in a big hot open gutter, of crawling inside an undressed, unstanched wound that has never been cauterized.”
    • “And even if we didn’t get around to it on that day, our free day, maybe it was enough to just feel the possibility that we could if we wanted to, which is another way of saying that we wanted to feel young, though many of us were that if nothing else.”
    • “To live in a city is to take part in and to propagate its impossible systems. To wake up. To go to work in the morning. It is also to take pleasure in those systems because, otherwise, who could repeat the same routines, year-in, year-out?”

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