self-knowledge

books i am lusting

It is a fact that I read a lot. I really do have a lust for reading and consuming books. It is also a fact that my favorite season for retreating into books for escape, healing, learning,  and all things revitalization is Fall. My Amazon wishlist of books is currently filled with over five hundred books that have been asking to come home to me. Yes, they beg me daily as I look through the wishlist seeing which one’s cry is the loudest and new releases usually don’t cry loud enough. But this year there are so many great books coming out in September that I am feeling torn. Books that are coming out in September have made their way to the very top of my list; cannot wait to get my hands on these new releases and I haven’t even gotten through my new August read.

I am private about my collection of books but because these because all seem like great reads, I’ve decided to share my Fall reading list with you. It might sound silly but it makes me feel extremely vulnerable to share this list publicly.

I present to you…

Fifteen Books I am Lusting!

List is in the order that I will be reading them.

 

The Erotic

Written by: Lou Andreas-Salomé

Book Description

Lou Andreas-Salomé may seem to be a figure remote from us, one belonging to a pre-1914 Europe, but in many ways, she is our contemporary. She travelled in a highly romantic world as socialite, sociologist, and author. She was part of Georg Simmel’s salon, the most exclusive in Berlin, frequented by elusive poet Stefan Georg, dramatist Paul Ernst, social theorist and polymath Max Weber, and Georg Lukács, among others.

Salomé’s unique contribution to the erotic was that she argued sexual difference ran deeper than economics, and equality—the politics of Marx and the ideals of the French Revolution. For Salomé, to think about women and their erotic nature, you must start with their biological and psychological difference, not their economic situation.

Salomé was an outstanding theorist. Her books on Nietzsche and on Rilke are major studies. The field of psychoanalysis would not have developed in the way it did without Lou Andreas-Salomé. We cannot understand Freud’s “rationalism” or his anti-religious sensibility without Salomé’s writings. This new English translation is an essential text of psychoanalysis, one that shaped the very conception of the field.

Why I want to read it…

Lou Andreas-Salomé is a woman that I consider an icon and that I highly admire because of her intelligence. She was a brave woman that lived and loved as she pleased in a time when this wasn’t acceptable for women to do. While many admire Anaïs Nin, I choose to admire the woman that Anaïs admired and I think she wished she could have been.

If you love  Anaïs Nin then you should become familiar with Lou Andreas-Salomé due to one simple fact:  All-things-Lou Andreas-Salomé > All-things-Anaïs Nin

 

 

Playing Well with Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Navigating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities

Written by: Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams

Book Description

Whether you’re a trembling novice or a jaded expert, there’s always something new to be discovered in the endlessly changing, complex and titillating world of kink. While there are plenty of other books out there that explain how to give a spanking or tie a half-hitch, Playing Well With Others is the first book that explains kink *culture* — the munches, parties, leather bars, conferences, workshops, fetish nights, exploratoriums and all the other gatherings of kinksters that turn BDSM and leather from a bedroom predilection to a lifestyle and a community. You’ll learn to: * Examine your own motivations, needs, wants and desires * Ease your way into established communities * Understand etiquette in different adventurous sex communities * Familiarize yourself with the many types of events available to you * Care for your relationships as you explore new territory * Negotiate for play and aftercare * Go back to the “world at large” without ruffling feathers * …and, of course, answer the all-important question: What do you wear?! The team of Harrington and Williams offers 30-plus years of experience in diverse kink communities: top, bottom and switch; gay, bi and straight; female, male and trans; white and POC. Both former titleholders and international educators, they are an unbeatable pair of “sexual sherpas” with an inimitable voice and a great deal of wisdom. Playing Well With Others is an unprecedented and essential guidebook for anyone who wants to explore or understand the “community” aspect of the kink lifestyle.

Why I want to read it…

I’ve heard Mollena Williams tell a couple of stories at Bawdy Storytelling and she blew me away with her storytelling. As a sex educator I like to stay up on what is written about sexuality by other sex educators, especially if it is a topic that I am digging deeper into in my personal life as well.

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power + grace of: aging

When I was a child my mother almost killed me with her death-ray glare when her and a friend were discussing age and I confirmed that mom was twenty-eight. After her friend left my mother gave me a detailed lecture about why women don’t and shouldn’t reveal their age. She went on to tell me that when women reach a certain age it is best to skim a few years off the top. She wasn’t even thirty yet and she thought that women in their late twenties should be subtracting years? I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t understand it now why women conceal their age.

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our pasts. our future.

To fall in complete love with you I’m going to need you to keep your past and my past out of our future.

I want to enjoy now with you while making the right choices so that we can have a tomorrow to share. Do we have to talk about all the pain, the failures and reveal all the benign skeletons in our closets for this moment to be meaningful? Yes, the past helped us become the people we are today but must we really share every little last detail of what happened to us in the past to build tomorrow? How much of what came before is vital to us now as we build our love’s foundation? What should we leave out of the mix as we prepare this concrete? These are the questions that run through my mind as I ponder the structures I built with those I have loved and love on foundations of absolute honesty. These are the questions that run through my mind as I ponder how I will create a new home for love to prosper in the future.

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secrets + friendship

You don’t want to be the one they tell all their secrets to. You don’t want to be that friend that always gets to hear what they wouldn’t tell others. Through the years,  I have often been the first person to find out about this or that and although I am great at keeping secrets I don’t seem to be great at keeping the friends that tell me their secrets. I’ve learned that being the confidant puts you in danger of becoming the friend that gets dropped when they want to forget what they’ve said, thought or done. When a friend shares with me some deep dark secret I listen, place their secret deep in my memory never to be shared with anyone else then mark the day that I knew that friendship would end eventually. I have always wondered why these people grow apart from me especially when they trusted me so much. Why are friends quick to drop the friends that they confide in even if the friend has never betrayed their trust?

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romantic allure of suicide

Death eventually comes for each and all of us. For some of us it will come peacefully in the night on a night so far into our days that once our family and friends hear of our passing they will comment on what a long life we lived. For others death will be the final gift from a debilitating disease that just wanted to keep on giving. Some will meet death unexpectedly through some unforeseen accident that takes their life before it was time. Death seems to operate on a schedule that he reveals to no one but then again there are those of us that cheat death the pleasure of pulling the life out of us by doing it on our own terms. For some people suicide is the only way out…

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depressed, worried, sad

-but I have to kick these feelings!

I have some crazy shit popping off in my life right now most of which I don’t want to even think about much less write about for others to judge. The one thing that is really bothering me is my father’s health. He has always been a very strong man. He is 71 and proof that black doesn’t crack because he looks much younger. He has always had a pudgy belly but otherwise has maintained a very strong physically capable body. My Dad had not let his age slow him down one bit. On the outside he seemed fine but I guess on the inside he was having problems that we didn’t know about. As I type this he is home in Florida in his bed resting trying to get healthy…waiting on test results. So, I am a mess here in California because when I spoke to him he sounded like death. I have never heard my father’s voice sound so ill not even when his appendix ruptured and I spoke to him before they wheeled him into surgery.

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my oldest on religion – one of my battles as a mother

Shortly after starting Kindergarten my oldest son found a children’s bible I had bought for him and he began reading it. Not too long after he began reading the bible he came to me and expressed a desire to attend church. He told me that he wanted to become a priest and specifically asked that I take him to the Catholic church by our house. As a mother I knew better than to discourage him from exploring something he felt so sure about. For about six months he attended the church on Sundays and read the bible everyday. He would share with me the stories and the lessons that each taught. His father, a man that is very anti-religion, didn’t discourage him at all nor did he question our son’s faith. His father instead told me privately, “Well, if he is going to be this passionate about something that I don’t agree with at least he has picked something that is very positive and might help others.” My parents, his father and I were beginning to accept that our family of heathens might have produced a child that was called by a higher power to spread the word of God.

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a life worth living has never come easily to anyone

Today was definitely one of those days in which I kept taking two steps forward and one step back throughout the entire day. Although days like this result in an overall win while in the moment they feel really rough. While struggling with the moment sometimes I don’t even want to think about what lies ahead of me tomorrow.

I found myself chatting with a friend via text tonight about this very topic. We had to text because we both had so many things going at the time that it was the only possible way to hold a conversation. In that conversation she said that she didn’t know how I balanced being a mom with my other duties. She’s a married woman with no children yet and thought that my load was much heavier than hers. She revealed to me that she thought she would never be strong enough to be a mom because she could barely handle her current situation.

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