First, I’m breaking this post into two parts. This first part is called:
Read Terrible Books
You should read terrible books.
What does it mean for a book to be terrible?
A terrible book is a difficult book. A terrible book is revealing. Long. Terrifying. Mature. Paced. Urgent. Meditative. Well-researched.
You’re on your own when you read a terrible book. It’s hard to find comrades to enlist in your quest because everyone else seems to be reading books like The Secret.
Which brings me to,
The Denial of Death: A Terrible Book You Should Definitely Read
A good book can either place its subject up on the highest pedestal for all to admire, or demolish a subject down to its subatomic particles, leaving the task of reconstruction up to future generations.
The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker is that second kind of book. It’s a 275-page complaint about the limitations of psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic jargon (transference, anality, castration, Oedipus) plays a cardinal role in Becker’s revealing to the daring reader that the pursuit of happiness in the life of an animal conscious of its own anus is no laughing matter.
Terrible, and highly recommended.