Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Reading Challenge 2017 Pt. 3

I know the year isn't quite over, but I am so happy to have time to read, to finish things I started. Here we are:
I read "Blink" for a speed reading class outside of school but at school. Not a fan of the book. Maybe someone else will like it, but I thought it and the class were tedious. Maybe I read faster at the end of class, but it was some valuable time I lost over two weekends. I think something like this is better in the Summer when you don't have classes or deadlines.

I read "Ishi's Brain" for my "Intro to History" class. I have a lot of thoughts on this book, this class, and the experience for another time but the book was frustrating. It did more to make me not trust historians than anything else I've read. You can easily blow off old writers as colonizers or people from an old school of thought, but when history does damage to a people, why do we keep that stuff in print? If the writer has some kind of personal angle, not an academic one, can you take them seriously? Should you consider it a legitimate work? I dunno. I'm being a bit vague, but I'm going to keep thinking about it.

I finally finished "The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin" which was a relief and happiness. It's one of these books I picked up and set down twice or so because I had other things and school to distract me. But I finished. It made me think about what good it does to work for a good company: a place where you get along with most everyone, that you are happy with your work and you look forward to the projects you get to do. I can only hope to find work like that one day again. Anyway, it's cool. It's good to have good work and I appreciated reading all the great stories that Heyday folks shared. I loved the stories Malcolm shared about his life in the Bay Area and in publishing. It was a good book. A keeper, (especially if you love books, the making of books.. or even California... or outdoors.. or...)

Of school things, I want to say "Colony in a Nation" and also "The New Jim Crow" (which I have yet to finish) was the best. "Colony in a Nation" reads super fast. It kind of compares the situation in Ferguson, MO. (and the rest of the country) to in the pre-American Revolutionary experience. There's a couple nice Franz Fanon quotes too. It was used for the Philosophy class I took but would have fit in any most any other class: American History, Political Theory, African American Studies (of course,) and others I guess. It's about Democracy and how there are two systems of justice. It talks about colonialism but it's also very relevant and current. There's a final chapter on campus policing which I thought was kind of out of place, but it too has a point to be made. The book is worth reading by everyone. It's written in a conversational style that is very approachable, so no deep academic rambling or words to look up. It won't change your life or make you lose 20 pounds, but it's cool. It'll give you some thinks to think on, maybe.

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