On my holidays I acquired a really nice collection of books. I’ve decided to use them – not only as ‘reading objects’ – but also, in celebration of the calendar shift into 2012, as some sort of guidance and inspiration for the new year.

Turns out there is some precedence for telling the future through books. Bibliomancy being a long-standing form of divination. However, bibliomancy usually involves examining religious texts, not speculating on the significance of books from your holidays, but let’s open a new chapter of bibliomancy right now.*

*I made a book pun!

The Books

Solar, by Ian McEwan – The pullquote on the cover calls it ‘savagely funny’, so that’s a good sign for my new year. Also, it’s about environmentalism and alternative energy (I think), which is kinda what I do for a living already. In 2012 I will combine humour writing with building a better tomorrow. (Christmas gift from my brother).

The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss – According to Ferriss, if you’re still stuck in your daily grind instead of riding tigers in Thailand or getting blowjobs on a yacht then you seriously need to get your shit together. In 2012 I will get my shit together, by working less and earning more money. All signs also point to me racing motorcycles in South America at some point in the next twelve months. (On loan from the personal library of Geordie Aitken).

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit, by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon – An instruction manual for writing crappy movies that can make hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. It is funny and filled with insider tips (e.g. Billy Crystal is a dick, where to park at Paramount). In 2012 I will write a screenplay. It may not be good, but I will get carpal tunnel syndrome and some rejection letters. Possible trip to LA, too. (Christmas gift from my brother).

Fresh at Twenty: The Oral History of Mint Records, by Kaitlin Fontana – The story of Mint, Vancouver’s legendary independent label. I’ve already read parts of it, and it gives a real insider’s account of Vancouver’s indie rock scene. Thoroughly engrossing, and weighty and pretty. In 2012, I will make some music and my breath will be fresh. (Gift from the author).

Troubles, JG Farrell – I brought this book, winner of the lost Booker, on holiday, but didn’t read it too much (although I’m about halfway through). In 2012, I will start some projects, and no matter how much I enjoy them, I will not finish all of them. This will get me into some trouble. (Bought in Belfast, autumn 2011).

Ninja Attack!: True Tales of Assassins, Samurai and Outlaws, Hiroko Yoda – This isn’t the fake ninja stuff of fiction; this is all real bad-ass ninja stuff, as well as weapons, anecdotes and profiles of some of the most dangerous assassins of the past. In 2012, I’ll need to be watching my back, to avoid lurkers, prowlers, and practitioners of the dark arts. (Gift – possibly illicit – from Geordie Aitken and Magda Dominik).

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer – The old-timey story of Huck Finn and Jim, who fetch a raft and have episodic adventures on a river. In 2012, I will have adventures, and maybe live with a rich family for awhile, until a senseless feud shatters the peace. I will then hook up with some conmen. (Bought secondhand sometime between 2010-2011).

The Etymologicon, Mark Forsyth (not pictured) – A book about the hidden connections between words. In 2012 I will use a lot of words, and use some hidden connections to my advantage (perhaps fighting ninjas?). (Received at our work Secret Santa).


It looks as though 2012 will be a year of promise and adventure. Good weather and fortune can be had, if one works diligently for short periods. Fresh creativity awaits, but the pitfalls (and potential ninja troubles) must be navigated with attention and wit. Be careful – and carefree. And remember, the gift of books is one that can be enjoyed, like life, one page at a time. Good luck.