My Favourite Books

I’ve blogged about my favourite anime so I thought that I would do the same with books.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849; HORROR/MYSTERY)

Poe inspired drawing of mine.

The Black Cat – I read this short story when I was 16. It was my first story by Poe.

The Cask of Amontillado – I felt chills!

The Masque of the Red Death – I see a lot of parallels between the prince and wealthy nobles from the story and some people from today AKA privileged people who attended parties during a pandemic.

The Tell-Tale Heart – I love horror stories told from the villain’s point of view the most. I want to know what they were thinking before, during, and after committing the murder.

Edogawa Rampo (1894 – 1965; HORROR/ASIA)

The Human Chair – Its elements are simple but it’s an effective horror story. I could not put the book down!

The Red Chamber – The protagonist talks about he was able to commit perfect crimes. It was incredibly interesting to read.

You can read my review here.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930; MYSTERY)

The Adventure of the Speckled Band – I own all of the Sherlock Holmes novels but this is my favourite Holmes story. It is a locked room mystery. It was scary!

The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane (TBR) – This is one of the two stories narrated by Holmes. It’s sitting on my desk.

Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Jekyll Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)

As a child, I watched the Jekyll and Hyde inspired Bugs Bunny episodes. I fell in love with the musical songs during my second year of university. I bought the book and loved it.

Richard Dawkins – The Selfish Gene (1976; PSYC)

This is a book on evolution. Human nature and selfishness are things I’m super interested in. It was also referenced in the anime, Parayste. You can read my post on it here.

Osamu Dazai – No Longer Human (1948; ASIA)

This is the second best-selling novel in Japan. Dazai committed suicide not long after the book was published. You can read my review here.

Wu Cheng’en – Monkey (Earliest known edition was published in 1592; ASIA)

This is also known as The Journey to the West. Like most Chinese people, I grew up watching the live-action adaptations of the folk tale. It is regarded as one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. You can read my review of the first part here.

Marie Kondo – Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up (2016; SELF-HELP/ASIA)

This self-help book works. I started tidying up midway through the book! You can read my review here. Marie Kondo also has a show on Netflix.

Ryōgo Narita – Durarara!! (2004; LIGHT NOVEL/ASIA)

The anime is based on the light novel. My favourite anime character, Izaya, is from this series. I like the light novel for Izaya’s quotes.

Haruki Murakami (1949 – present; ASIA)

As you can tell from the books I’ve listed, I like older books. Murakami is my favourite contemporary author. I’m currently reading The Elephant Vanishes.

You can read my review of Men Without Women here.

The Happy Prince and Other Tales – Oscar Wilde (1888)

I blogged about parallels between The Happy Prince and a story told in the anime, Fruits Basket.

BOOKS I WANTED TO LIKE:

B. F. Skinner – Walden Two (1948; PSYC)

Victor Hugo – Notre-Dame de Paris (1831)

It’s a long book. Barely anything happened in the first 80 pages.

Edgar Allan Poe – The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841; HORROR)

This is described as the first modern detective story. The commentary in the beginning was very long. I didn’t like the end reveal.

TO BE READ (TBR):

Homer – The Odyssey (8th Century BCE; GREEK MYTH)

William Shakespeare – The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (First performed in 1599; PLAY)

Sophocles – Oedipus the King (429 BC; GREEK MYTH)

These books have been sitting in my room for a long, long time. This is why I buy my books.

Parasyte Episode 14: The Selfish Gene

In Parasyte episode 14, we watch a university lecture that talks about a legitimate topic: the “selfish gene” theory. I have a BA in Psychology and one of my course books was the famous book, The Selfish Gene.

Sorry, I Stuttered. — Parasyte Episode 14 The Selfish Gene

I transcribed the lecture because I find it easier to absorb information when it’s in one space (rather than looking through minutes of subtitles).

Altruism is action undertaken for the benefit of others. It’s the opposite of self-interest, and would seem to have no benefit for oneself. If anything, this action tends to help others while being disadvantageous to the actor. While this may not be surprising, among human beings, altruistic behaviour has actually been reported in several animal species. For example, honeybees will sacrifice themselves, one after the next, to protect the hive if predators appear. While this could just be instinct, some actions would not seem to preserve the species. The prime of example of this could be said to be… infanticide. Why kill the offspring of one’s own species? In recent years, what’s often brought up is… the “selfish gene” theory. Put simply, all animals are manipulated by their own body’s DNA. What’s important is the self, and the offspring that will inherit that DNA, rather than the species as a whole. If we expand on this theory, we can explain all altruistic behaviour, such as caring for others in one’s “pack,” familial love, marital love, and even maternal love. This would mean that love and compassion don’t actually exist. All behaviour appearing to be love is just behaviour to aid to transmitting one’s own DNA. Of course, this theory is not without its problems. There have been countless examples of animals helping others completely unrelated to their DNA strain, or protecting those of a different species altogether. What’s more, can a theory like this fully encompass the complexity, the depth of human consciousness? In which case, it’s interesting to consider whether human efforts in environmental and natural conservation are altruistic or selfish.

It’s pretty long! I’ve bolded the parts I thought were most thought-provoking. Having learned this before, I can say that the professor gave a really good lecture. I don’t know any other anime that actually teaches the audience something for this long. Usually it’s a 15-second explanation or something like that. Parasyte is an amazing anime and it’s also one of my top 5. Consider giving it a try.

Honestly, I’m not quite sure what the point of this post is. However, it’s here for anyone who is interested LOL.