What to read next? Share a good book with me!

What have you read recently that was awesome?

Quite a few of the books I’ve read this year came from here. Either someone posted about interesting new fiction, or a book was recommended for further reading in a comment thread on a random topic. So far that has worked amazingly well for keeping my list full. Share your favorites, the good and the bad, because I’m a shameless book addict in need of a constant fix.

Some of the things I’ve read and enjoyed the hell out of this year that I would recommend:

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra - a beautiful heart breaker of a novel. Set in Chechnya during the war years.

VN by Madeline Ashby - all about the scary future of human/robot relations.

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick - published in 2010, tells stories from North Korean defectors about just how fucked up things are there.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel - a graphic novel about damaged family dynamics, secrets and making some peace with it.

Appetite for America by Stephen Fried - the history of Fred Harvey and how his work with railroads and dining rooms had an impact on American culture.

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In the middle of comps, so reading my middle name… if you like history. I can recommend a few good books.

If you are intested in the history of media, computing, technology and society, check out Fred Turner’s From Counterculture to Cyberculture, as well as my adviser’s book on copyright and piracy, Alex Cummings’ Democracy of Sound. Davis Suisman’s Selling Sound is great and has become a sort of touchstone for me.

A great acedemic book on the history of punk is Kids of the Black Hole by Dewar MacLeod.

If you’re interested in neo-liberal capitalism, check out Bethany Moreton’s To Serve God and Wal-Mart.

For a fantastic book on race, gender, and class in the south, check out Tera Hunter’s To 'Joy My Freedom, which I jsut can’t recommend highly enough. I also love Barbara Ransby’s book on the fantastic Elle Baker, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement.

Penny Von Eschen’s book Satchmo Blows up the World is a great look at the jazz tours in the 50s and 60s.

If you are interested in anything about the Middle East, Read anything by Usama Makdisi, especially Artillery of Heave. Peter Gran’s Islamic Roots of Capitalism are great. Also, read anything and everything by another adivers, Isa Blumi, especially Chaos in Yemen, which does a great job laying out what’s going on in Yemen. Have you read Orientalism by Edward Said? Theory heavy, but a classic…

I’m sure I could think of more.


I love the niches of history, so anything really focused on one topic is gold for me.

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