Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Reading *is* fundamental
Geoff Cunfer, "On the Great Plais: Agriculture and Environment" (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2005). Ecological history. Great Plains history and agriculture are two of my interests.
Greg O'Brien, ed., "Pre-removal Choctaw History: Exploring New Paths" (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008). Choctaw history is one of my main research interests.
Will Carleton, "Farm Legends" (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1887). A Christmas gift from Dr. ER! Interesting poetry from the educated heartland circa 1870s-1880s.
Barack Obama, "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream" (New York: Crown, 2006). Dudes. Dudettes. You want to know what and how the president thinks? Read it. It's the carrot that gets me on the treadmill for 20 minutes every other day. I read it only while treading.
So, what're you readin' and why?
He's also written some other great books, "American Gods" and "Anansi Boys", both of which examine the melting pot of American mythologies brought here by our immigrant settlers, and are fun reads themselves.
The Universe In a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by the Dalai Lama.
Ain't No Makin' It: Aspirations in a Low-Income Neighborhood (3rd ed.) by Jay MacLeod because it is a classic field examination in the "equal opportunity" ideology that reverses race assumptions.
Wonderful Wonderful Times by Elfriede Jelinek, the Austrian Nobel novelist because it belongs to a genre of Austrian novelists examining a dysutopia of angry nativists/regionalists. Next up is her novel, Lust, for obvious reasons.
No laughter, please.
Nan, "Roadside Religion" too! (Daily crucifixions! Wow!)
Kirsten, "The Worst Hard Time" is excellent.
Feodor, yer consistent! :-) I prefer to see myself as a laid-back regionalist! I mean, I might be a delagate to the United Federation of Planets some day -- but I'd represent earth, North America, the USA, Oklahoma *and* Oklahoma County!
Robert Caro would take great issue with your Geoff Cunfer regarding plight of farmers in the Texas hill country in his first volume on LBJ. Unless the great plains does not include the hill country?
You are no nativist/regionalist unless picked on. So you probably would not be chosen as our diplomat. Nor would I.
His short stories (in collections like "Smoke and Mirrors") are also fun.
Book for your seminary shelf that will just about kill your faith in god but build your faith in human reasonableness: Evil in Modern Thought, Susan Neiman.
(Also her Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grown-Up Idealists.)
Had her as a professor and we met in her small living room of an academic apartment and a room on campus that used to be Nathan Hale's dorm room. ("I regret that I have but one life to live for my country.")
Next up in the pile of books is "A Forest Of Kings, The untold story of the ancient Maya" by Linda
Schele and David Freidel. Based on recent "translations" of the
codices and inscriptions composed of the Maya logographs it is a history of the Mayan Kings and Governments. It promises to be a slough. Not only is the subject dense but the foreignness of concepts is very great.
Anniversary gift from Rocky (my husband). It is pretty good.
Im also working on the collected writings of James Madison.