By Rachel Park

This is my “shelfie” aka what I’ve been reading (or re-reading) the past few weeks, both for school and for fun.

  1. On Revolution by Hannah Arendt
    Hannah Arendt will always be, in my opinion, one of the coolest, most bad-ass women ever in the history of philosophy and just in general.
  2. L’État honteux by Sony Labou Tansi
    I’m writing my thesis on this novel so I may be totally biased, but he is a really wonderful and underrated writer. It’s a bit difficult because there is no English translation of this book, or of most of his other works, so it is limiting in that you have to know French to read it. But if you ever needed motivation to learn French, here it is.
  3. Freedom Time by Gary Wilder
    This was published very recently, in January 2015, and it’s a nice reminder of how there is always new scholarship and studies out there and that we don’t necessarily have to stick with just the canonical works, or that things have to be published for an “x” number of years before we can consider them “seriously”.
  4. The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee
    The Korean language, in my opinion, does not translate very well into English which makes it very difficult for non-native speakers to access any Korean literature. What little texts that have been translated are usually missing this intangible “something” that really makes it beautiful. I love Chang-Rae Lee because all his works are written in English, but he also writes about the experience of being Korean, whether it is as an immigrant, a first generation Korean-American, a mixed-race person, and more. His writing style is absolutely beautiful and I love that he is making a part of Korean culture accessible to the mainstream in some way.
  5. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
    I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read this book (seven? eight?)
  6. The Book of Salt by Monique Truong

    Time for me had always been measured in terms of the rising sun, its setting sister, and the dependable cycle of the moon. but at sea, I learned that time can also be measured in terms of water, in terms of the distance traveled while drifting on it. When measured in this way, nearer and farther are the path of time’s movement, not continuously forward along a fast straight line. When measured in this way, time loops and curlicues, and at any given moment it can spiral me away and then bring me rushing home again

    That was a quote from the book. I don’t think I can write anything more that can justify or prove how achingly beautiful the writing is.

  7. The complete collection of Aimé Césaire’s poetry