What Are You Reading Right Now?

Ever since I finished the spectacular What It Takes, Richard Ben Cramer's 1,100-page paean to the 1988 presidential primaries, I have been looking for another book to sink my teeth into. I think I may have found it in Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963 (Americans and the California Dream) by Kevin Starr, which Atrios pointed us all to about a week and a half ago. I'm only a short way through the book thus far, but it's already a great read.

What are you enjoying reading this summer?

Tags: books (all tags)



Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

With Central America back in the news, I'd suggest Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala, a 1982 telling of how the U.S. goverment directed the overthrow of Guatemala' first democratically elected government. Recently reissued with a new intro, it tells some very distrubing truths about how the U.S. is largely responsible for the violent military dictatorships and poverty that has haunted the Latin American nation in the years after the coup.

While the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian revolution received a lot of attention in the press and from our leaders, our role in Gutemala -- in essence our Hungrary -- still remains a subject of silence in too many circles.

by alexmhogan 2009-07-10 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

Most of my reading time is dedicated to academic pursuits.  I'm relatively certain that no one here wants to read about Middle English sadistic fantasies about the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans or how Catholic hermeneutics still influence 16th-century Protestant biblical commentaries.

I would, however, recommend Sholem Aleichem's Railroad Stories, which I am preparing to teach.  These are the works that Fiddler on the Roof was loosely based on.  They are both darker and funnier.

Also, I highly recommend Sari Nusseibeh's memoir Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life (2008).  He needed a better editor so it sprawls a little.  But it is powerful, credible, and compelling stuff that will inform anyone's perspective on the I/P conflict, whatever their position.  

by Strummerson 2009-07-10 05:10AM | 0 recs
Going Really Old School

Back to the roots.

A college tour with my soon-to-be high school senior ended at the University of Virginia. That afforded the opportunity to visit Monticello. I've always been a Jefferson fan, certain slave owning sins aside.

That, and this constant stream of bullshit from the right about our "christian roots" and what the founding fathers believed, led me to pull out my 6 volumes Jefferson biography by Dumas Malone. Six weeks of rain helped make the choice as well.

Weather's clearing so I may switch to something more beachy here, though. I have Netherland bu Joseph O'Neil and the Progressive Revolution by Michael Lux in the queue, along with Get Out The Vote by Green and Gerber.

by meddembob 2009-07-10 07:53AM | 0 recs
If only I didn't have a job

I COULD get through my summer/fall reading list:

Just finishing The Women by TC Boyle.

Next up, in no particular order:

A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album--Ashley Kahn

1959: The Year Everything Changed--Fred Kaplan

True Genius: The Life and Science of John Bardeen--Lillian Hoddeson and Vicki Daitch

The Devil in Dover: An Insider's Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-town America--Lauri Lebo

Echo and Reverb: Fabricating Space in Popular Music Recording, 1900-1960--Peter Doyle

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present--Michael B. Oren

Amazon has me on their XMAS card list, I think I am paying for some executives Lamborgini.

by WashStateBlue 2009-07-10 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

"I Am Not Sidney Poitier", satiric fiction by Percival Everett. The main character, who's reputedly the spitting image of the Hollywood legend, was actually christened "Not Sidney Poitier." That's where the fun starts.

by tru blu 2009-07-10 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?

I just finished a biography of James Polk, which was teriffic:
"Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America", by Walter Borneman. It's a really good read, about one of our greatest (and most underrated) Presidents.

I just started "The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression", by Amity Shlaes. Too early to tell how good a book this will be, but the author is one of my favorites, from her days writing for The New Yorker, and New Republic.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-07-10 10:11PM | 0 recs
Re: What Are You Reading Right Now?


by DFLer 2009-07-10 10:43PM | 0 recs


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