Book Club

At each ATP Event we ask our curators to choose a reading list. Here is list of titles picked by Animal Collective. At the festival we will be discussing Siddhartha by Herman Hesse at the Book Club. Those interested in participating should email atpbookclub@gmail.com - we will get back to you with more details once they are confirmed.

 



The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber) - Cao Xueqin (Penguin)

The Story of the Stone (c.1760) is one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature. The first part of the story, The Golden Days, begins the tale of Bao-yu, a gentle young boy who prefers girls to Confucian studies, and his two cousins: Bao-chai, his parents' choice of a wife for him, and the ethereal beauty Dai-yu. Through the changing fortunes of the Jia family, this rich, magical work sets worldly events - love affairs, sibling rivalries, political intrigues, even murder - within the context of the Buddhist understanding that earthly existence is an illusion and karma determines the shape of our lives.

(buy from Penguin)


The Silent World - Jacques Cousteau (National Geographic)

Before becoming the man who introduced us to the wonders of the sea through his beloved television series, Jacques Cousteau was better known as an engineer and the inventor of scuba. He chronicled his early days of underwater adventure in The Silent World — a memoir that was an instant, international bestseller upon its publication in 1954.

(buy from amazon)


Le Voyeur - Alain Robbe-Grillet (Grove Press USA)

Mathias, a timorous, ineffectual traveling salesman, returns to the island of his birth after a long absence. Two days later, a thirteen-year-old girl is found drowned and mutilated. With eerie precision, Robbe-Grillet puts us at the scene of the crime and takes us inside Mathias’s mind, artfully enlisting us as detective hot on the trail of a homocidal maniac. A triumphant display of the techniques of the “new novel,” The Voyeur achieves the impossible feat of keeping us utterly engrossed in the mystery of the child’s murder while systematically raising doubts about whether it really occurred.

(buy from amazon)


Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse (Penguin)

In the shade of a banyan tree, a grizzled ferryman sits listening to the river. Some say he's a sage. He was once a wandering shramana and, briefly, like thousands of others, he followed Gotama the Buddha, enraptured by his sermons. But this man, Siddhartha, was not a follower of any but his own soul. Born the son of a Brahmin, Siddhartha was blessed in appearance, intelligence, and charisma. In order to find meaning in life, he discarded his promising future for the life of a wandering ascetic. Still, true happiness evaded him. Then a life of pleasure and titillation merely eroded away his spiritual gains until he was just like all the other "child people," dragged around by his desires. Like Hermann Hesse's other creations of struggling young men, Siddhartha has a good dose of European angst and stubborn individualism. His final epiphany challenges both the Buddhist and the Hindu ideals of enlightenment. Neither a practitioner nor a devotee, neither meditating nor reciting, Siddhartha comes to blend in with the world, resonating with the rhythms of nature, bending the reader's ear down to hear answers from the river.

(buy from Penguin)


Chita - Lafcadio Hearn (Forgotten Books)

Hearn paints a colorful portrait of life in the marshy Gulf Coast city of New Orleans, focusing on a young girl adopted by a Spanish family.

'...hollow of heaven flames like the interior of a chalice, and waves and clouds are flying in one wild rout of broken gold,--you may see the tawny grasses all covered with something like husks,--wheat-colored husks,--large, flat, and disposed evenly along the lee-side of each swaying stalk, so as to present only their edges to the wind. But, if you approach, those pale husks all break open to display strange splendors of scarlet and seal-brown, with arabesque mottlings in white and black: they change into wondrous living blossoms, which detach themselves before your eyes and rise in air, and flutter away by thousands to settle down farther off, and turn into wheat-colored husks once more ... a whirling flower-drift of sleepy butterflies!'

(buy from amazon)


Les Chants de Maldoror - Comte de Lautreamont (Penguin)

Insolent and defiant, the Chants de Maldoror, by the self-styled Comte de Lautréamont (1846-70), depicts a sinister and sadistic world of unrestrained savagery and brutality. One of the earliest and most astonishing examples of surrealist writing, it follows the experiences of Maldoror, a master of disguises pursued by the police as the incarnation of evil, as he makes his way through a nightmarish realm of angels and gravediggers, hermaphrodites and prostitutes, lunatics and strange children. Delirious, erotic, blasphemous and grandiose by turns, this hallucinatory novel captured the imagination of artists and writers as diverse as Modigliani, Verlaine, André Gide and André Breton; it was hailed by the twentieth-century Surrealist movement as a formative and revelatory masterpiece.

(buy from Penguin)


Mythologies - WB Yeats (Pocket Books)

Mythologies is the definitive edition of W. B. Yeats's folklore and early prose fiction, edited according to Yeats's final textual instructions. Its extensive annotation makes luminous Yeats's 'fibrous darkness', that 'matrix out of which everything has come', by comprehensively dealing with oral and written sources, abandoned and unpublished writings. The documentation is especially designed to acknowledge Yeats's strategies of self-allusion and the special role folkloric prose plays in relation to his poetry, drama, autobiographical writings, speculative prose, essays and letters.

(buy from amazon)


Mycellium Running - Paul Stamets (Ten Speed Press)

Mycelium Running is a manual for the mycological rescue of the planet. That’s right: growing more mushrooms may be the best thing we can do to save the environment, and in this groundbreaking text from mushroom expert Paul Stamets, you’ll find out how.
 
The basic science goes like this: Microscopic cells called “mycelium”--the fruit of which are mushrooms--recycle carbon, nitrogen, and other essential elements as they break down plant and animal debris in the creation of rich new soil. What Stamets has discovered is that we can capitalize on mycelium’s digestive power and target it to decompose toxic wastes and pollutants (mycoremediation), catch and reduce silt from streambeds and pathogens from agricultural watersheds (mycofiltration), control insect populations (mycopesticides), and generally enhance the health of our forests and gardens (mycoforestry and myco-gardening).
 
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find chapters detailing each of these four exciting branches of what Stamets has coined “mycorestoration,” as well as chapters on the medicinal and nutritional properties of mushrooms, inoculation methods, log and stump culture, and species selection for various environmental purposes. Heavily referenced and beautifully illustrated, this book is destined to be a classic reference for bemushroomed generations to come.


(buy from amazon)


The Unnatural History of the Sea - Callum Roberts (Gaia Books Ltd)

Starting with the eighteenth-century voyages of Vitus Bering, Roberts leads the reader through a wealth of maritime history revealing countless examples of overfishing. By quoting everyone from naturalist Georg Steller to western writer and trophy fisherman Zane Gray and swordfish boat captain and author Lynda Greenlaw, he covers a wide range of perspectives from those who know the seas better than most. The overwhelming message is that profitability and sustainability are no longer compatible and hard choices must now be made. Roberts is eloquent and persuasive as he recounts centuries of ill-managed fishery planning, and allows those who have directly experienced dramatic changes in the oceans to speak for themselves. He offers both indictments and solutions in a straight-ahead book illustrated with historical photographs and drawings that should appeal equally to armchair enthusiasts, maritime aficionados, and scientists. Thoughtful, inspiring, devastating, and powerful, Roberts' comprehensive, welcoming, and compelling approach to an urgent subject conveys large problems in a succinct and involving manner. Readers won't be able to put it down.

(buy from amazon)


The Essential Rumi - Jalal al-din Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks) (Penguin)

No translator could do greater justice to the gorgeous simplicity of Rumi's poetry than Coleman Barks has done here. These exquisite renderings of the 13th-century Persian mystic's words into American free verse capture all the "inner searching, the delicacy, and simple groundedness" that characterize Rumi's poetry while remaining faithful to the images, tone, and spiritual message of the originals. Barks's introductions to each of the 27 sections (described as "playful palimpsests spread over Rumi's imagination," and "meant to confuse scholars who would divide Rumi's poetry into the accepted categories") are themselves wonderful achievements of a poetic imagination; searching explanations of unfamiliar concepts and funny stories provide colorful background and frame the selections as no dry historical exegesis could.

(buy from Penguin)