Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Book Club

Summer Book Club

As we stumble our way through September it's just dawning on me... Summer is just about over. By most people's account it's labor day that marks the death of the days in the sun. In actuality, summer officially ends and fall begins around the 22nd of this month. So don't worry, you got some time to fuck around still.

Though it also dawned on me that I haven't made any recommendations on summer time reading. I better do it before we put this season six feet under. And when I think about it, the good new books come out in the fall anyway, so I suppose the only reason to really push summer time reading is to catch up on all the stuff you haven't read yet before the brand new hottness comes in later on.

I've been reading Cereal Boxes. Have you've seen the newest froot loops box? Some interesting stuff there. Though all the puzzles are way too easy these days. Maybe you're an adult and don't eat froot loops. I'm sorry to insult you and I'm sure you can read cereal boxes of a much higher intellectual caliber. It's the best thing to read since Bathroom Graffiti

I know, I know. It's just about time for the new fall season of TV to start, but don't let that discourage you from reading. You have to remember that it puts the FUN in your fundamentals! So here's a list of books that you should pick up, as they're fairly educational and some are entertaining.

Max Brooks' World War Z
Probably the best zombie story possible. Brad Pitt is making a movie about the accounts told in the book and it's really well written, unlike most other zombie pieces of shit out there that pander to the lowest common denominator.

It's a little bit This American Life mixed in with a classic Romero horror flick. All around, probably the best thing to happen to the zombie genre in a long time.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.
I know it goes contrary to what I constantly say and I'm sure it's not exactly what you're looking for, but you may want to check it out. Especially if you're looking for a way to justify your defense of some half-cocked cult of the individual in light of pretty much every piece of collected data.

It also includes a 40 page long diatribe by some blank faced protagonist that you might be able to trudge through. And if by chance you actually enjoy Atlas Shrugged and make it through that, you should also check out Jennifer Government.

The Twenty Years' Crisis By E.H. Carr.
Why? It contains the most smug line in the history of political literature:
"The utopian, purporting to recognize the interdependence of purpose and fact, treats purpose as if it were the only relevant fact, and constantly couches optative propositions in the indicative mood".
He then cites the US Declaration of Independence as an example.

It Didn't Happen Here - Why Socialism Failed in the United States
Why? It's really good if you want a historical view of US socialism and the many reasons why it has never gained ground. It does a good job of not making any bold statements and being pretty academic about the subject.

I do know one book that you wont be able to read in the coming months though..
The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing - 10,000 copies - of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources.

"Operation Dark Heart," which was scheduled to be published this month by St. Martin's Press, recounts the adventures and frustrations of an Army reservist, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who served in Afghanistan in 2003, a moment when the attention of Washington and the military had shifted to Iraq.
I'm glad we live in the land of the free and can publish without censorship. Then again, the DoD is using it's constitutionally mandated free speech to purchase all copies of the book and their speech just happens to be louder than the author's speech, By golly, why would anyone imply that censorship is taking place?

I'm curious as to if it wouldn't just go to second printing since the first was so successful. It seems that the DoD is forcing the publisher to remove the inflammatory material from the planned second printing.

So you'll read one that doesn't have the disputed passages. Meanwhile the first printing will be sitting in a warehouse in Virginia. Though several dozen review copies of the first edition have already been circulated to media outlets, including The Washington Post. It'll be like The Book of Eli with less attempted rape.

It may sound like the publisher needs to raise prices to match the level of demand. Free market, yo. Then again, Wikileaks will just end up releasing the book sometime down the line anyway.

Then you go, some of the books to come out soon and some that have been out for a while that you should pick up or even give an hour or two read for.

I realize that most think that books are a dead medium and that they're for musty old tweed jacket wearers and intellectual masturbators who wont ever recognize e-readers as a proper means to replace them. Truth be told, I'm with them. Dead as they are, I enjoy having a book collection. iPads with their 8 hours of battery life are no replacement.

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