2022 Reading Log – Part One

Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il – Michael Malice
Well, this was a fun read. Very much a satire on the insanity that is North Korea. While the last few pages get a lot more serious, the sarcastic approach to the retelling of history of the DPRK was enjoyable and reminiscent of the “Titania McGrath” book. More seriously, this illustrates and uncovers the atrocities happening in North Korea to the North Korean people by the hands of their own government. I feel more people should be aware of this situation.

The Doors of Perception/Heaven and Hell – Aldous Huxley
Two quick essays by one great author. The first a detailed account of his, I believe, first experience of a psychedelic. In this case mescaline. A very interesting and all too real experience in great detail. Such an impact was made with this experience that on his death bed, he requested two injections of LSD. Not as an escape, I’m sure, but as a way to experience death like none other. The latter essay is a collection of thoughts about the potential impact of psychedelics on various forms of religion. These theories continue to develop to this day. It appears he was very much before his time, just as with Brave New World.

The Madness of Crowds – Douglas Murray
I just finished this title, skimming through the last few pages due to lack of interest, and I feel like I was late to this book. Reading this post-COVID19, I feel like things have only gotten more mad in the western world. I feel like the issues explained here were the “breakfast” of what is the norm now. No doubt, this is a good source of information and views I would never have been able to see myself. That said, reading this now seems like poor timing on my part.

The Immortality Key – Brian Muraresku
Another to add to the stack of evidence of the game of telephone history has played on religious and historical texts. Brian digs into some awesome stuff in this one, even venturing into multiple Vatican archives, uncovering some Inquisition coverups towards the end. This was a really fun read. I think if I hadn’t read two of John Marco Allegro’s books, this would have blown my mind.

Ordinary Men – Christopher Browning
Wow… What a dark book, at no fault of the author’s. There is no way to talk about The Holocaust without it being dark. This book focuses on the logs, reports, and court testimony of some of the first instances of mass murder ordered by the Nazi regime. Browning does a fantastic job staying as factual as possible and focused on the information given, avoiding a lot of well deserved judgement in attempt to get to the truth of the situation. After covering the timeline and testimony, providing correlation and discrepancies in the available information, the author dives into some human psychology related to the topic. This is a heavy, but important, read.

The Road to Wigan Pier – George Orwell
The first half of this book is very reminiscent of Down and Out, Orwell’s half fiction tale. The second half feels more like a pro-socialism rant that has gone semi-viral on Twitter. I definitely enjoyed the first half and the detail Orwell goes into the mining industry of the time. The second half, I honestly could have just not read. However, it did make me wonder what Orwell would think of modern society.

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