This week I had a little offline time as I just had that need to not be spending all my time in front of my computer. As a result, I have been reading some brilliant books lately that I wanted to share with you!
1. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn – This was one of the first books that I downloaded onto my new Kindle because a) I have been wanting to read it for ages, and b) the book version must weigh around a kilogram so it’s a perfect choice for a portable e-reader. I am 7% through it so far according to my kindle and it’s everything I hoped it would be. Incredibly detailed and well-researched, it tells the story of those who have been historically written out, provides a counterbalance to the stuff we might have learnt in school, and meditates on the role and purpose of history and historians themselves.
2. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling – I read a hilarious extract of this book in the New Yorker so had to read the whole thing. Mindy Kaling writes and stars in the The Office: An American Workplace, and this book is as funny as you’d expect it to be.
3. Rad Dad – Tomas Moniz and Jeremy Adam Smith – I loooove this book. It’s a collection of the best articles from the Rad Dad zine, which I first came across in San Francisco this spring. It essentially deals with the struggles of fatherhood when you’re an activist working towards social justice. This subject is so interesting to me, not because I’m necessarily thinking of having kids anytime soon, but because I feel that the movements that I’m involved in are pretty exclusive against parents, and I have been wondering how I can help to remedy that. I think part of the answer is starting to take responsibility for the raising of the next generation, even if you’re not a parent – the whole ‘it takes a village’ approach. I regularly work with kids and young people, so it seems important for me to think about how I want to impart the knowledge I have, and how I can make the work I do more welcoming for those who are parents, as well as children. Anyway, recommended reading for all, parent or non-parent!
4. Where We Stand: Class Matters by Bell Hooks – This is the latest book by Bell Hooks I’m reading, I can also highly recommend Sisters of the Yam, and I have just bought All About Love. She is a very inspirational and important voice, innit.
5. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides – This is basically the best. book. EVAH. I can’t fault it, I enjoyed it so much, and when it finished I cried because it was so perfect and I didn’t want it to end. It is seamlessly structured (so CLEVER) and blah blah blah, enough, it’s just amazing. Go read it!