The Latest List

The Latest List



While rambling sometime back I asserted that there would be more books in this space and so there are. In the last couple of weeks I managed to get through some of the books on my ‘list’ and even a couple off of my nephew’s ‘you must read these list.’


The Boy, has been insisting I read two books for months now. I have in fact had them in my possession and they’ve been brought to my attention repeatedly for about 5 months.  I got to three of his this month (He added, a ‘right now’ to the pile and it actually got done.)!  The first book I got to was Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games.  Note: it is not pictured in the pile above because it is now lost somewhere in the bowels of his room and I am NOT going in after it.


The Hunger Games was…okay. Perhaps, Earth shattering for one a bit younger?  The premise of the book is that after a ‘New World Order’ has been well and truly established (read: the ‘Revolution’ was televised and ‘we,’ the masses lost) as a means of maintaining control the people of each district (those ‘states’ which survived) must enter their children into a lottery. The ‘winners,’ one boy and one girl, from each district must then travel to the Capital and enter into the “Hunger Games.” In said games, the children will be transported into a bio-dome of an undisclosed nature (desert, mountainous, swampy, etc.) and then fight to the death in an effort to ‘win’ the game. The ‘winner’ gets food, wealth, a home, etc. The games are, of course, televised and the people of each district must watch as further penance for the failed revolution.  For all the “tension” (maybe I’m just that jaded?) readily built into such a plot, the book wasn’t terribly moving.


Right Now


Dan Brown’s, new book,  The Lost Symbol was the Boy’s ‘right now’ interjection into the reading list. It was a Dan Brown novel. They all feel very much the same to me at this point. However, the nephew swears by it. So, by all means, take his word for it.


More Spoilage


The kid also recommended The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It is the story of a young orphan coming of age in Nazi Germany during WWII. The narrator for the text is Death itself. To say the book is profound is to say the very least. One of the most stunning books that I have ever read. It certainly makes the ‘carry it with you’ list in as much as I don’t know that I will ever shake it!





My favorite ‘passage:’



Not leaving: an act of trust and love,

often deciphered by children


Breathtaking book.


Left To My Own Devices

I’ve spent much of this Fall giggling along to Kevin Smith, whether his tweets ( @thatkevinsmith) or his newest book Shootin’ The Shit With Kevin Smith. Dude is fucking hilarious. Thank God.


Also, I have revisited both Dave Hickey’s Air Guitar and Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities. I’ve got this ongoing fascination with community creation and both books touch on the subject in their own right. Hickey speaks to ‘communities of desire.’ Specifically, he wonders at the ways and means by which we as individuals recognize ourselves in or apart from communities rooted in desire. Desire, as opposed to, divine, nationalistic, etc. Rather, communities of desire, are those places in our lives where we congregate relative to our passions EVEN and PARTICULARLY when we are bound to those communities solely by our passions.  (I will elaborate more fully on this concept after I have let it marinate for a bit.)



The second book, Imagined Communities, details the advent of and subsequent embrasure of nationalism. This book is extremely useful in tracing the historical juncture which gave root to a ‘nationalist’ sentiment. Beyond its timeliness relative to the current state of global politics, the book for my purposes is serving to highlight the kinds of questions that could/should be asked when attempting to understand how communities in general are ‘imagined.’ Not in the fantastic sense of the word, at all. Rather, the use of the word ‘imagined’ is to show overtly that communities are in fact the by-product of ideas as opposed to ‘concrete’ realities. This is useful to keep in mind (in my mind anyway) when contemplating the development, growth, etc. of ANY community. I’m thinking. Could be wrong. Going to let this marinate along with Air Guitar, we shall see what shakes out.





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