October 2023 Dispatch

Melissa Morano Aurigemma
3 min readNov 2, 2023

I read quite a bit. I generally always have a book on me and have been that way since childhood. Only child, needed to keep myself busy — rarely was I without a book. For anyone interested in what I am reading, I present (what I hope will be) a monthly overview of my literary experiences.

I’m admittedly not very into book reviews — whether or not someone likes a book is highly subjective and I think BookTok, etc has a fault in some of the extremely granular, in-depth reviews of books that are overly persuasive/dissuasive. I’ll try to provide a few notes to characterize my primary takeaways from the books, more of a sequence of recommendations vs. a standard review.

Without further delay…

Memory Theatre — Simon Critchley

This book is a short, yet powerful exploration into memory, inclusive of investigating what artificial memory may mean. Present day, beyond the limitations of this book, we are surrounded by outlets for memory storage, memory recall, and intelligence fueled by such recall.

The theatre of memory is a concept addressed by a variety of philosophers/writers (Bruno, Vico, Camillo, Yates) as this book details, and I appreciate the reinforcement of human cognition as being requisite of imagination. Contemplating how artificial intelligence could mirror human intelligence, the piece that is missing — the piece that is so often missed when we discuss human cognitive function — is that of imagination.

Keeping the House — Tice Cin

I thoroughly enjoyed the sequence that this book takes the reader through. Complex and woven in an almost magical way, there was still such clarity and true definition with eaach of the characters/threads of the story. Also the book had an accompanying playlist, inclusive of a track by Cin. So thoughtfully crafted in its entirety and I would read anything else written by Cin in an instant!

Penance — Eliza Clark

I’m not massively into true crime, however this book was gripping! I finished it within 24 hours. The idea was unique — true crime but fiction. If you need something captivating, a bit mysterious, I would highly recommend. This was reminiscent of all those perfect British seaside murder mysteries, with a compelling modern update.

Look at the Lights, My Love — Annie Ernaux

Consumerism, habits, evolution advertising, holidays, class differentiation, the mesmerizing and buzzy glow of XL supermarkets…its all here in a compact little offering from a genius chronicler. I realize that this was published pretty well after Baudrillard’s death, however I think he may have liked it.

We Could Have Been Friends, My Father and I — Raja Shehadeh

A reflection on work, activism, and family, as told by a son who takes up this meditative work of greater comprehension and healing across a generational divide. I felt this was brave, genuine, and relevant. I learned quite a bit and appreciated the perspective and vulnerability of Shehadeh.

Other books I read and loved…

  • Hit Parade of Tears — Izumi Suzuki: futuristic short stories by an inventive writer. Personally, I think I like her other collection, Terminal Boredom, slightly more — however that is merely personal preference and I would recommend both!
  • Send Nudes — Saba Sams: femme sexuality and autonomy brilliantly on display throughout these short stories.
  • The Devil’s Flute Murders — Seishi Yokomizo: this whole series of new English translations are perfect as a beach read. The translation Japanese to English comes across as a bit formal, but if you like Agatha Christie a lot I would say give it shot.
  • Stay True — Hua Hsu: I loved the inclusion of philosophy (not many books delve into Hegel). A heartfelt journey through friendship and grief.

Next up…

For November I have lined up The Golem of Brooklyn (Adam Mansbach) and Flights (Olga Tockarczuk).



Melissa Morano Aurigemma

Philosopher, artist, poet, etc, etc by night and by day Chief of Staff at Exceptional Capital