On another bunch of books

Your book recommendations reignited my love of reading. Thank you. Will you be posting any more recommendations soon? It is September, after all.


Yes, yes. I love our September booklist tradition, especially in a month when I have a book of my own hitting the shelves. Here’s the latest snapshot of what I’ve been reading lately. As always, it’s a mixed bag. There should be a little something here for everyone:

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks

Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks

Change Your Story, Change Your Life by Carl Greer

The Red Book (Liber Novus) by Carl Jung

The Highest State of Consciousness edited by John White

The Divine Within by Aldous Huxley

Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Dreams from Bunker Hill by John Fante

Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith

Dropping Ashes on the Buddha by Zen Master Sueng Sahn

The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz


74 thoughts on “On another bunch of books

    • KittyNinja says:

      Same. I put that and some of Coke’s early recommendations in my early 20s “hey, wtf you doing with your life” toolbox.

      Who else gets giddy when she is reading a book you already love?

      • WhoAmI says:

        I don’t because it turns out we have very different tastes in books (that or she reads a fuckton of them and just recommend the ones that relate to her advice, like with her playlists).

  1. Jessica Sen says:

    My internet is down and my phone was just stolen at a bar and I don’t know what to DO. I want to go back for another glass but I broke an entire pane of their windows because I wanted to see why they had a whole showroom unused and uninspired. Omg what do I do. Coquette can you help me please. I am dry of drugs and alcohol and it is raining and I am cold down South and COQUETTE MAKE IT STOP RAINING PLEASE.

  2. Jessica Sen says:

    I’m going back. I’m vandalising more of their fucking showroom until they return my phone. Fuck them. Fuck those cunts. I don’t care anymore.

    • Elsie says:

      I reflect on the distress I would feel if my phone was taken. Time to backup and encrypt. Thank you, Jessica. I hope you find you way home.

      • Jessica Sen says:

        No I did not get my phone back and I suspect the guy who’s been stalking me took it. My passcode is 963963 and now he can look at all my nudies which are not that impressive. On the bright side, I’m home safe and nobody touched my Star Wars DIY popcorn so I can have a movie night ALL BY MYSELF. I’m thinking of watching A Touch of Evil or Little Miss Sunshine. Maybe both but I’ll probably fall asleep. What movies are you guys watching?

          • Jessica Sen says:

            Oh nice. Holy Mountain was very boring. They just climbed to the top and took a selfie with dwarves – like who cares. Hope S.S. is better.

          • Jessica Sen says:

            Well, grad school is a die-hard con. The government is a scrooge with scholarships and it’s a fucking nightmare. It would be a miracle if I can pay my loans back before I hit 30 and I’m very nearly there. Actually, I do love my school. It’s got like a million storeys of all sorts of shit – just NUTS. (Monash)

  3. HMM says:

    I love feeling like I’m in the same orbit as Coke Talk–recently finished one of the volumes of Nin’s diary and was listening to Duckworth talk about grit on a podcast a few weeks ago.

    • Galah says:

      I ordered 10 and only got 4 because my credit card was declined. I have like, 4 bestie girlfriends and my therapist and my secret lover. What the fuck do I do? Copy it out by hand? Photocopy? Send them a link to CQ’s blog?

  4. Paige says:

    I’m reading Hallucinations currently! It’s quite good so far. I just wish I had more time to read it 🙁 I hope it’s alright if I recommend a few books, as well. Recently I’ve really liked The Likeness by Tana French, Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich (although good luck finding a copy, it took me ages), and After Dark by Haruki Murakami. Another book I’m currently reading is She-Wolves by Helen Castor. It’s very similar to Women Who Run With Wolves, but it focuses its lens on women in early European history as opposed to mythology.

  5. Stephen says:

    Most recent book I read is EGO IS THE ENEMY by Ryan Holiday; some of the stuff in there has been helping me keep my ego in check as of late. (It’s also part of the reason why I’ve lately been able to see how the POTUS election is more about the entire country and everyone in it than it is about my political “purity” and tribalistic bullshittery.)

  6. Sean says:

    Women Who Run with the Wolves seems super interesting… I’ll definitely give that a look (and CQ’s book for that matter) once my paycheque comes in tomorrow. c:

  7. Sarah Woolley says:

    The first wave of my pre-orders arrived a while ago. I’ve already been able to pass on one as a birthday gift (it was received with so much joy) and the next one has the same fate this Saturday. Can’t wait. Rinse and repeat for every occasion this year.

    Thank you.

    Also WHY did I ever question the cover? It is beautiful. Perfect. Erase all suggestions of typewriters and palm trees from your mind, please.

  8. Jessica Sen says:

    Can we do a thread for movies?

    I just saw A Ring in the theater, a remake of The Ring. Some Scottish director. It’s about a girl who loses the custom-made 3D printed engagement ring that her fiancé had spent 15 months designing.

    The movie starts with a closeup tracking shot of the ring (they used a really long lens for it). The ring looks plain and normal from a wide shot, but as they dolly in slowly, you see fine details appearing. Tiny holes in the shape of hearts punched through the entire circumference of the ring, and microscopic blue platinum spheres threaded through its 12 o’clock and 4 o’clock. Tea time, my favourite.

    Back to a wide shot. She puts it on the wrong finger, takes it off and looks at it. The dimly lit room is suddenly flooded with gorgeous white light – enter the fiance. He has just switched on the fluorescent light in the office and is scowling at her. He looks sick – his face is blotchy and he has a nasty rash. He looks like he is rotting.

    Anyway, that was the first 30 seconds of the movie. I didn’t have the patience to watch the rest of it, so I looked up the plot on IMDb.


    She loses the ring in a rock climbing expedition and is incredibly sorry about it but he completely loses it and it’s pretty much a blood bath from there. She doesn’t die but she ends up horribly mutilated and her reputation is damaged.

    I recommend the first 28 seconds of the movie. Once the fiance came it got boring.

  9. Jessica Sen says:

    I am super upset. I tried to give feedback to this manager in a Chinese restaurant about the service – actually constructive suggestions and she was passive aggressive.

    “Do you have complaints about the FOOD? I can see that you don’t. You finished it all.”

    “That’s not the point,” I said, “Actually, that is the point. Your food is good and you have potential to be a great restaurant but you’re not because you are not optimizing your service and I have a few suggestions.” I explained.

    “I don’t have time,” she said, “I am very busy.”

    “Well, what I am going to suggest might help you in the long run,” I replied.

    “Come on JESSICA, let’s go.” said my boyfriend at the time.

    “Fuck off,” I said. “If you want you can leave as I warned you preemptively. I don’t need you to fight my battles and I don’t need you to sit around being a pussy either.”

    So he did leave the restaurant. After telling the manager that the food was good and that HE had no problem WHATSOEVER.

    So then I waited patiently. On my own. With an empty wine glass. (fucking tragic)

    She returned and said, “I’m very busy and if you’d like you can write. I’ll leave you a pen and paper.”

    “That would be great,” I said, “Thank you.”

    She returned with only a pen.

    “Write on the table,” she said, pointing to the glossy paper that was haphazardly covering the cloth on the table. (Side point: Why even have a cloth on the table if you’re not bothered to wash it and you’re going to put a tacky piece of paper on it??)

    “Ok, fine.” I said.

    I started writing.

    “Dear manager,” (I felt a momentary guilt for not knowing how to address her properly)

    “JESSICA, COME ON LET’S GO.” My boyfriend at the time looked like he was about to throw up. He does not like conflict. I like that he’s such a gentle soul, but sometimes there is a fine line between gentility and cowardice. I scowled at him. “I’m writing,” I said.

    I continued my letter.

    “Dear manager,

    I’m sorry to have caused you such disturbance during a busy service. Believe me, I know what it’s like. I’ve been a waitress and manager at a restaurant and I understand. I’m not your enemy. I’m trying to give suggestions. ”

    Anyway I don’t remember what the rest of the letter said but they were helpful suggestions and she refused to read it. Before I gave it to her, I asked an old lady if I could borrow her phone to take a picture because I like to have a record of things (for hindsight). The table just snarled at me and said no because they will not support a complaint. I said they should not judge when they do not understand.

    These millennials at the next table would NOT lend me their phone either. Persnickety cunts.

    And then the manager said, “If you have a problem you can talk to me directly.” At which point I threw my hands up and said, “You TOLD me you were too busy and you asked me to write a letter, which I did.”

    “Come to one side,” she said.

    I followed her.

    “You give me the letter and I have no time to read it, I’ll just glance at it.”

    “What?” I said confused. “If you have no time, you can read it later. I just want to take a picture so I can reflect on my actions.”

    “You can go now,” she said.

    “Are you even going to read the letter??” I asked almost desperately but not quite.

    She gave an expression that indicated that she would not. I snatched the letter out of her hand and marched out the restaurant.

    “Forget it.” I said.

    My then boyfriend was waiting outside the restaurant.

    “I don’t understand,” he said.

    “If you don’t understand then there’s nothing I can say that will make you understand,” I explained

    A moment later, I exploded.


    I marched off.

    “How are you gonna get home?” He questioned. “You have no money and we were going to Mildura.”

    “Give me fifty bucks,” I demanded. (I had no cash on me. My wallet and phone were stolen a week ago.)

    “Why?” He asked.

    “So I can buy myself a fucking drink.” I elaborated.

    “No,” he said. “How are you gonna get home?”

    “I’ll hitchhike,” I said, rolling my eyes.

  10. Jessica Sen says:

    You’re the worst. I hope you enjoy your fucking trip to Mildura and get leprosy all over your fucking penis you fucking turd goblin.

  11. Jessica Sen says:

    I’m home safe after a night in a prison cell and the hospital, if anyone cares. It’s like nobody here gives a fuck about anything. I hope Trump wins and that all you people get thrown off skyscrapers into spikes made of poor people’s furniture. Fuck you all.

  12. Paige says:

    Have you ever considered affiliate links for your book lists? Easy money so you can spend time making MORE book lists. 😉

  13. Jnk says:

    Just got your book in the mail and I love it! It’s great having my favorite questions in tangible form and I’ve already highlight most of the shit that has gotten me through some rough times. Can’t wait to buy more as Christmas gifts for everyone!

  14. R says:

    Y’all, I have a question. How much of CQ’s book is new stuff vs. stuff that’s already on the blog? I only ask because I’m a broke-ass bitch, and the $11 that the ebook costs is not in the realm of disposable income at the monent.

    • Jessica Sen says:

      What the fuck? Don’t buy weed for a week and get fucking book. For $11 you get a lifetime of therapy. It’s a steal, and I swear on my mother’s life it will be worth your money.

    • The Coquette says:

      Not to shit all over my own ebook sales, but honestly, either buy the real actual physical book or just chill out on the website. (But yeah, buy the book. It’s worth having. It’s tangible. It’s an actual thing.)

      • :: says:

        You know, that whole idea of embracing the physical representation of your online work seemed a little bit off to me.
        I just want to take this moment to say that I am so happy for you, and I have the feeling that this brilliant book is the mere diffraction of what you have in store for us.
        You constitute a profound influence for embracing the ephemeral aspects of life, and you are an author who helped me conciliate narrative and reality. It’s probably part of the reason I find the paper book release slightly unsettling. (I’m still going to buy it, however… who the fuck has space for physical objects anymore ?)

        • Jessica Sen says:

          And what’s the difference between a physical and digital representation of the same thing? Aren’t both illusionary concepts? Aren’t both fictions?

          • Jessica Sen says:

            I’m glad I have a physical copy of the bible, Quran and Lady Gaga’s album. I couldn’t desecrate a kindle.

  15. Jessica Sen says:

    This is my last comment before I am permanently banned from CQ’s site.

    I was trying to help test her security system and the bitch was being an asshole.

    Fuck her. If she deletes this comment she’s no better than Putin.

    Bye and love you bitches, like so much.

    • . says:

      Bro, you’re batshit crazy.
      I think you deleted your own comments, but if CQ did instead she was right.
      No hate intended. I hope you get the help you definitely need. I’m just here to set the record straight (comparing almost anyone to Putin is outright indecent).

      • Jessica Sen says:

        Looks like bitch came to see reason.

        I’m here to stay.

        Thanks for the advice but my doctor banned me from his office.

        I’m a girl. Don’t call me bro.

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