More books I've read lately:
60 People to Avoid at the Water Cooler, Josh AielloFood Court Druids, Cherohonkees and Other Creatures Unique to
> The Hipster Handbook
> Field Guide to the Urban Hipster
> this book. (In case there's any confusion, those are neither arrows nor angle brackets, but greater-than signs.)
Blankets, Craig Thompson
Damn, this is good. Highly recommended for anyone who likes graphic novels, coming-of-age stories, emotion or art.The Bitch Posse, Martha O'Connor
Good, not great--perhaps this would be a good fit for the younger sisters of girls who like The Virgin Suicides
(book, not movie) and Foxfire
(oops, wrong link).Inconspicuous Consumption: An Obsessive Look at the Stuff We Take For Granted, From the Everyday to the Obscure, Paul Lukas
It's noted zine Beer Frame
, except in book form. It's a good time.The Suburban You: Reports From the Home Front, Mark Falanga
You're kind of a yuppie Ray Romano. The one interesting decision you make, writing your book, involves second-person narration. You are no Jay McInerney.
Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc. and Museumworld, James Twitchell
It's nice to see Twitchell returning to thoughtful criticism, instead of that 20 Ads That Shook the World
crap. Not essential, and not his best, but still very good.
The Wu-Tang Manual, The RZATurntablelab
has a guideline for writing reviews of artists like Aesop Rock and Autechre--the theory is that anybody who is going to like this kind of stuff probably already knows about it. They don't try too hard to sell the stuff. Just in case, though, hey, this book exists, and it's about what you'd expect. What, you ain't know?
Three books I've read recently, rather than months ago:The Men Who Stare At Goats, Jon Ronson
Here's another book about the strange connections between the, uh, bullshit science and pop philosophy of the '60s and '70s and the, uh, military-industrial complex, especially the dark parts of said complex that are responsible for interrogation/psy-ops/torture (that reminds me of a word game I used to love--I'm firm, you're stubborn, he's obstinate. The US interrogates, Israel engages in psychological operations and Iraq tortures. But I digress). But where most of these books are angry screeds about MK-ULTRA, pieced together from FOIA requests and Paul Krassner lectures, this one is dryly funny, and it depends heavily on personal interviews. I am a very big fan.Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, from the Banana Splits to Britney Spears, ed. by Kim Cooper and David Smay
Positive things I can say about this book: clearly a labor of love, occasionally thought-provoking, a good recommended-listening list, a very good index, strident opinions about the definition, taxonomy and value of bubblegum music.
Negative things: clearly the work of true believers, occasionally incoherent, hit-or-miss individual essays, not much overarching structure, strident opinions about the definition, taxonomy and value of bubblegum music.
Things it makes me reconsider: Radio Disney; Lancelot Link and the Evolution Revolution; The Ramones; the name of Kurt Cobain's childhood imaginary friend, Buddah.Nation of Rebels: Why Counterculture Became Consumer Culture, Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter
This book has been getting some attention online lately--it's possible you've read publicized excerpts which do things like explicate the similarities between Pleasantville
, American Beauty
and The Matrix
, or make fun of Naomi Wolf's exclusive Toronto loft. The book as a whole is more thoughtful, more nuanced and a great deal more intelligent than these excerpts would suggest. The authors, Canadian philosophy professors, argue convincingly that a 'counterculture' based on image and coolness is itself working against social justice, and instead, fuels consumer capitalism. Very highly recommended.