Subway Poetry…

If you live in New York or have traveled here in the past, then you have seen this before. If neither, enjoy…

“As you fly swiftly underground with a song in your ears or lost in the maze of a book, remember the ones who descended here into the mire of bedrock to bore a hole through this granite, to clear a passage for you where there was only darkness and stone. Remember as you come up into the light.”

Brought to you by MTA Poetry in Motion, the Poetry Society of America, and artist Sarah Sze.

– CityReads NYC

Advertisements

Notes From Underground & Other Stories

How did you come across the book?

“Well, I just decided that I wanted to start with something, you know… when I was about to start reading something in the English language… I wanted to start with a classic, so I decided to start from the East; from the Russian literature. He is, as they say, one of the greatest writers from over there, Dostoevsky… so why not?

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

“Let’s say, so far, I’ve gained good insight into how a different culture…Eastern culture compared to the Western culture thinks. I can then compare my character with the characters in the book…you know, to see where I am compared to all of these guys in life.”

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

“Well, I would definitely recommend it to actors, because it has a huge spectrum of characters with a lot of different roles. And, I would recommend it also to, let’s say the… the writer or someone who is just starting to write professionally… although this type of writer probably already has it in his collection. Also, definitely I would recommend it to high school students or kids… it’s definitely better than staring at your phone and just social networking, liking, sharing.”

The Blind Owl

How did you come across the book?

“There is this book store cafe in Ridgewood called Topos…I was wandering the aisles and I stumbled upon it there and I bought it; that’s it.”

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

“The whole thing behind the book is that the author…the narrator…is kind of losing his mind in a sense, so he has this very repetitive nature to his narration. As a reader you catch on to the repetitiveness and you realize that he is also forgetting things, which explains the repeating. You end up going through the process with him, as if you’re observing a loved one losing their mind. The book has a very Edgar Allan Poe feel to it, with a hint of Toni Morrison, which I think is amazing; it’s been really cool so far!

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

“Oh wow!…I would definitely recommend it, and…actually…I have a person in mind already. I would recommend it to my poetry teacher who I am getting for my new semester; I think he would be really into it. I just had another course with him and it was an amazing course. Just given the style that this is written in, I think it would really intrigue him…and also the fact that it’s by a POC author…along with it being set it the Middle East. These things interest him so I think it would be great!

American Psycho

How did you come across the book?

“I came across American Psycho… well I had seen the movie when I was a bit younger, and I don’t think grasped everything that the movie was about. And now, I was in the Strand bookstore, right off of 14th street, Union Square, and I saw it and said to myself I need to read this book. Obviously everybody always says the book is better than the movie and I needed to find out… I thought it was the right time.”

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

“I think I’ve been able to, sort of, gain a really vivid picture of some of the things that can go through an individuals mind… one that is obsessed with appearance and material wealth; basically an elitist. It’s putting things into a perspective that, I don’t know, maybe all of this, having the top of the line clothes, make-up, workout routine, everything; maybe it’s not as important as we are all made to think.”

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

“I would definitely recommend this book; to anybody. I mean, obviously someone who could handle the language and the graphic imagery that’s being painted. Yeah… I guess it would be… those who would gain the most from reading American Psycho would be those who, you know… maybe find themselves going down the wrong path in life. Maybe someone that is second guessing everything we are being told; everything that the TV tells you, that advertisements tell you. And if they do read this book I think that they will gain a perspective of who they are in this world, rather than subscribing to some ad.”

Whistling Vivaldi

How did you come across the book?

“I’m a teacher and my school gave it to me to read.”

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

“Well, this guy is not… Oh, what to say! He’s not a great storyteller. It’s not necessarily what you would call a “good read”. But, it’s super interesting if you are at all interested behind the sociology behind stereotypes, and how being… well I guess it’s written for teachers but it’s also just showing how any adult within any situation dealing with youth could help shape their performance based on how they set the situation up. But, if you think about it, age really doesn’t have anything to do with it. Anybody in a position of power, who sets up a situation for anybody else… so bosses, anybody in management, anybody… responsible, should be responsible for other people’s whole selves.”

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

“Yes, I’d recommend it. I would definitely recommend it for all teachers, but I feel like everyone should read this book, especially given the… yeah, given our political climate right now.”

“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”

How did you come across the book?

“So, I told one of my friends about Richard Feynman, and I kind of droned on about physics for a good 15 to 20 minutes. She’s a very good friend of mine so she said “OK, I’m going to do something nice for him”… so she bought me the Feynman books.”

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

“Right off the bat, Richard Feynman talks about the importance of curiosity and his drive to solve puzzles. That’s what kind of made him this… this genius that he was. He always had this… almost an obsession to solve puzzles and that’s what drove him to be as great as he was. And maybe if I can emulate some of that in my life… maybe I can get there.”

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

“I would recommend this book particularly to children, because this is not necessarily a complicated read. It’s very simple… the language is fairly simple so kids can understand and learn the importance of curiosity.

Tools of Titans

How did you come across the book?

“I’ve been a fan of Tim’s for a long time now and when the opportunity to see him live came up it was a no brainier. Back in December, as apart of his Tools of Titans book release, he hosted and recorded a live podcast in front of an audience at the 92nd Street Y with a great line up of guests. Simply put, it was awesome. Everyone who was there got two copies of the book, signed, with the price of the ticket. Even if I didn’t go I would have bought the book, but again, this was an easy opportunity to invest in.”

So far, what perspective have you gained from this book?

“Well, that’s a very broad question… for any book… but especially this book. If you ever read it, which I recommend everybody do, you’ll see exactly what I mean. This book shares so much that it’s hard to single out one perspective. That being said, this book has reinforced for me the belief that, at any given moment, there is so much that we as individuals do not know; never stop learning, never stop asking questions. We all are bound to benefit.”

Would you recommend it, and if so, to who and why?

“Of course I would. To anybody who considers themselves their own human guinea-pig… their own evolving experiment. If not that, than anybody who just wants to learn some really cool stuff, gain some amazing insight and who wants to hear some extremely entertaining stories. This book truly has it all. I’d recommend it for the same reason Tony Robbins as a kid invested $35 to attend a Jim Rohn seminar. Tim is a modern day Jim, and Tools of Titans is his seminar. Invest in yourself; get the book.”