Words like a warm body in your bed June 22 2015

A Winter Booklist by Shannon May Powell.

ISLAND / ALDOUS HUXLEY 
Written as the utopian counterpart to his more infamous novel Brave New World, in Island Huxley paints a picture of a civilization that has escaped the spurs of capitalism. Huxley was simultaneously a man of science, literature, anthropology, poetry, psychology, philosophy, tribalism, shamanism, an inventor and a futurist, a realist and an optimist at his best. All of these weapons of thought are used to construct a fictional story that deals with love, death and god with all the tenderness and finesse of a true virtuoso.

THE NOVEL OF THE FUTURE / ANAIS NIN
This title speaks for itself. Known commonly for her erotic literature, Anais Nin conveys an equally sensuous feel of her vision for the novel of the future. Discussing the importance of poetry, symbolism and what Jung first coined as ‘proceeding from the dream outwards.’ As one of the reigning queens of both the surrealist and feminist movements in America, Nin weaves a lyrical and intelligent tapestry of the written word and its opulent future.

FREEDOM FROM THE KNOWN / J.M.KRISHNAMURTI
Krishnamurti is a spiritual gangster. His teachings are by no means gentle but they will push your thought patterns outside boundaries and into the abyss. Prepare yourself for a shattering liberation, no less. My good friend, Dr. Robert Miller, who lectures in philosophy and Buddhism, recommended this novel to me. His literary palate has taken me on the tastiest, most humorous and enlightening journeys thus far.

LETTERS TO A YOUNG POET / RAINER MARIE RILKE
I could wax on about my love of this German poet ad infinitum. Without giving too much away, there is a quote in this novel that gives me full-body shivers. If this does not entice you then nothing I say will…“Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live them, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” 

FRANNY & ZOOEY / J.D.SALINGER
The characters in Salinger’s novels are so alive it is as though they are speaking through him, using the author as a channel, a mere mouthpiece. Salinger believed they were real, so much so that it almost drove him to insanity. Infused with all the subtle trimmings of Eastern philosophy; a melting pot of humor and transience, Salinger (or should I say Franny and Zooey) create a lurid narrative that centers around the complex and mystifying relationship of two siblings within the elitist Glasshouse family.

TROPIC OF CAPRICORN / HENRY MILLER
A juicy introduction to Miller’s blood-lust and frenzied consumption of life in all of its beauty and debasement. Capricorn is where I began my pilgrimage through what Miller affectionately titled his Land of Fuck. Part nymphomaniac, part mystic, and above all, mere mortal, Miller will have you in the gutter starring at the stars.