Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Analog Books: My Top 5 Favs

There's so much going on right now in my little corner of the world: a public transit strike nearing into it's fifth week, issues regarding my rights as a woman, becoming disconnected from Nature... that tonight as I sip my Guinness, I feel like discussing something non consequential. Just for a minute then it's back to regular programming here at EcoYogini.


I've mentioned before that I am a fan of REAL books, analog books. Ya know- Un-Kindles. Andrew got one for Yulemas from yours truly and I scoffed as he fell in love. 

I even read a book on the Kindle... and despised every moment of it (although I was glad that I didn't actually purchase the analog book- it was crap). It felt awkward, didn't smell like a book and I didn't get to turn to the pages or feel the cover. I felt separated from my book. 

So, in the name of loving Analog Books, here are a few that I have firmly enjoyed these past few months:

1. Hiroshima mon amour: An acclaimed 1959 film, the screenplay written by Marguerite Duras is as beautifully written as I expected. At face value it's quite a stark and commonplace reminder of bombing of Hiroshima through a long conversation and flashbacks between two lovers; a French woman and a Japanese man. Worth every minute of devouring.

2. The Magicians by Lev Grossman: If you love fantasy, if you love Harry Potter (or even if you were kinda annoyed with Harry Potter and his snivelling ways), you will ADORE The Magicians. A tongue and cheek dark humoured account of what would *really* happen if a place like Hogwarts actually existed. Subtle (and not so subtle) nods to Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Adventure Brothers and other fun geek-y stuff you'll recognize. Don't be fooled though, this book is so much more emotionally and philosophically deeper than a quick magical tromp through Hagrid's forest.

3. Widdershins by Charles De Lint: If you like rich literary description and First Nation culture (although Mr De Lint himself isn't First Nations as far as I can tell), this is a treasure. I read this before I read Onion Girl (the first book) and honestly I enjoyed this one better. I love how the ordinary and otherworldly meet and collide. Charles De Lint being Canadian doesn't hurt either :)

4. Dune (and all other Dune novels written by Frank Herbert): Ok, this really marks me, but I have now joined the ranks of nerd-dom. Dune (and subsequent novels) was an amazing read of science fiction. Despite the fact that I was irritated by the obvious woman portrayed as greedy, power hungry witches or just plain psychotic, the story itself was mesmerizing. That and the significant ecological aspect of the series. (Also, I now totally get all the references in this amazingly hilarious Nerds vs Geeks).

5. Kim Harrison's Demon Series: And... no finish off with a good dose of awesome Fantasy fluffiness- Demons and vampires and witches... the way they should be. Yep, if you love non gaga fantasy and good writing (unlike the Sookie Stackhouse series), then you should read Kim Harrison. Unlike Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake and Merry Gentry debauchery, these characters actually stay true to form and have lasting substance (at least for a novel about Demons and Witches). And... her latest book just came out!

There you have it, my recent top 5 books (and a series) for your enjoyment! What are YOUR top 5 books?

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. i can't top five, but i can definitely #1:
    last exit to brooklyn by hubert selby jr.

    it was written in NY vernacular with a huge F.U. to punctuation and most literary rules...and is absolutely a gut-wrenching whirlwind of a book.
    the author is probably more famous for writing requiem for a dream, which is also a killer movie.

    aside from that, i pretty much devour biographies and political/historial/crime/ns-centric books. i haven't read a good book that strays from those categories in ages and intend to buy your #1 pick this week.

    i have to concur with the love of an actual book. i refuse to kindle - spending all day at a computer, to come home to a computer, to read a book on a cold, boring screen just doesn't appeal to me at all!


  2. I just read the Magicians (I think we discussed it on Facebook just as I was about to start). At first, it seemed derivative--that is, until I realized what he was doing: very cleverly messing with the worlds of Harry Potter and Narnia (while keeping things dissimilar enough to avoid copyright troubles). I'm looking forward to the sequel!

  3. I agree. Kindles are weird. I read from the library so if I don't like it, I'm not outta cash, and it's the greenest you can get. Our library has a great online reservation system so I get an email when the book I want is available at the closest library.

    Five great books that impacted me (not going to say top 5 ever as that'd take me a year to do the comparisons, haha):
    * Radical Homemaking (most recent read - amazING)
    * Ecopsychology
    * The Population Bomb
    * Rule of the Bone
    * The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time (a birthday gift that I fell in love with)

  4. I would have to really think about a top 5. The Catcher in the Rye has always been a favorite though!

    No Kindles in this house and I am going to hold out as long as possible, although I lamented that an old book I pulled out today, to read up on my Central African studies, was a very faded yellow. Which I both instantly loved and became upset about.

    Is The Magicians kid-friendly then? I am always looking for new books for my precocious boy.

  5. @Brenna: Nope, the Magicians is definitely at least a teenager (late)+ book. Lots of swearing, people doing sketchy sexual things and some dying involved. he definitely wrote w adults in mind :)


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