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Astoundingly, the letter is FROM him to HER, trying to make her feel better.

Plutarch’s is to his wife after learning that their two year old daughter had died.

He has a great line that I think applies to anyone who has tried to comfort someone who is grieving.

It had its own version of the Lower East Side (seen LA Confidential? It’s a theme in Greek and Roman literature–some say meant more for publication than actual consolation–but that doesn’t make them any less powerful.

Seneca’s best is his essay to his mother, written after two of his children died and he had been sent into exile.

It makes me feel like I’m the dude who brought up Inception to me at a party last week. But this book is so good I’m going to make an exception–and let Tucker Max do the work for me.

His text to me about it: “Have you read Ender’s Game? It’s very much about our lives–how we have to save the world, because the adults aren’t coming to help us. I just finished and bought the sequel.” Books About Los Angeles I watched the underground documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself this month and it put me on an LA kick.


A few people have asked for an archive of all the books I’ve recommended in my Reading List Email over the past two years. Weirdness aside, this is a deeply philosophical and introspective book about our relationship to violence and our obedience to power and position.

A dedicated friend and fan put it all together for me (and for you.) Enjoy, and if you’re not signed up for it yet, you can What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Malantes I was in Chaucer’s Bookstore in Santa Barbara and one of the employees recommended this book. The other great books in this vein, My War Gone By, I Miss It So and War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, cover the same topics but they are not written by soldiers.

In terms of books about the history of the city, A History of Forgetting is spectacular. The people who live there fundamentally do not understand their own heritage and thus they allowed it to be wrecked, often in the name of “improvement.” On Grief I reread Plutarch’s Consolation to his Wife and Seneca’s trilogy of Consolations.

(City of Quartz is good too.) In terms of more modern fiction, Less than Zero and Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis (and of course, what is basically the non-fiction version: The Price of Experience by Randall Sullivan). It’s just as old as San Francisco, but where did it go wrong? It can go unsaid why I felt the need to consult these works.

In terms of noir (books), I liked Double Indemnity and The Long Goodbye.Also, read LA Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America’s Most Seductive City, which is non-fiction but still great. ” It wasn’t simply some diabolical plot to destroy a city (sorry, Chinatown) but of such plots + apathy.


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