So, What Are You Freakin' Well Reading Now?

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So, What Are You Freakin' Well Reading Now?

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remind remind's picture

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie...Alan Bradley

 

And just finished the first 3 of the  Irish Country series by Canadian author Patrick Taylor, which I found were an excellent reminder of how  sexist society used to be. And reminder of "community" that once was too. They are very deep in their simplicity.

 

People can have community without the sexism, and one hopes that the right wing nutters who long for a utopian past that never was, would realize this.

RosaL

"Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World" by Trevor Paglen. Plus some other stuff. 

Bacchus

Just finished the same three Remind. I would not have found them (I read the first one a year or so ago) without Shelfari's new series feature which told me I only had the 1st out of four Cool so I rushed out and got the next 2.

 

Just finished an excellant book on Africa "The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence" by Martin Meredith and now Im reading "Fantasies of a Bollywood Love Thief: Inside the World of Indian Moviemaking" by

Stephen Alter

Fotheringay-Phipps

Just finished The Authenticity Hoax by Andrew Potter. Much of it covers familiar ground if you’ve read any of his other books, but it’s sharply observed and amusing. I winced more than once as I recognized myself among his targets. His thesis is that the authenticity that we have made a fetish of is what economists call a positional good. That is, the more I have, the less you do. If you buy organic food, I buy hundred-mile organic and you lose. The quest for authenticity is nothing more than the status-seeking of the 50’s repackaged for the counter-culture. Potter demolishes the yearning for a pre-modern idyllic past when our lives were more meaningful, and suggests we remedy the worst excesses of modernity rather than revolt against it.

Any short, popular book that tries to cover this much ground is going to have moments of oversell and weaselling. And while Potter has an eye for the telling anecdote, he really doesn’t amass much supporting evidence for his claims. He seems to feel that if he can situate a particular idea in Western intellectual history, he has either discredited or supported it, as he chooses. And the book is a bit diffuse. (You wonder whether Obama’s right about the effects of electronic devices. There are so many books, even by bright, academically accredited guys like Potter, that hang together at paragraph or at most chapter level, but lose steam over the long haul, to use a pre-electronic metaphor.)

Potter comes across as a supporter of traditional liberal optimism, which I guess would cast him as right-wing in this forum. Thomas Frank makes much the same points in a lot of his work but from a more leftish perspective. And he makes me laugh out loud. But Potter’s book has undermined some of my own beliefs with cool irony and encouraged me to come up with better arguments for some others. A quick, enjoyable read.

j.m.

Fotheringay-Phipps wrote:
Just finished The Authenticity Hoax by Andrew Potter. Much of it covers familiar ground if you’ve read any of his other books, but it’s sharply observed and amusing. I winced more than once as I recognized myself among his targets. His thesis is that the authenticity that we have made a fetish of is what economists call a positional good. That is, the more I have, the less you do. If you buy organic food, I buy hundred-mile organic and you lose. The quest for authenticity is nothing more than the status-seeking of the 50’s repackaged for the counter-culture.
'

I was going to say that this sounds like "the rebel sell" but it is the same person!

It really sounds like a reworking of Veblen's model of Conspicuous Consumption.

You can get his book "Theory of the Leisure Class" here

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/833

al-Qa'bong

I stopped reading Ken Knabb's self-indulgent quasi-situ autobiography, Public Secrets,  and reached for With Every Mistake, a collection of Gwynn Dyer's articles from 2000-2005ish. 

I don't know if he's been such an influence on my own thought since the TV programme War (I saw him speak just before the US attacked the Iraqis in 1992, and I went through basic training in part to see if Dyer was right about its process) that his thoughts are mine, or if we merely agree on a lot, but I found what he wrote about Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine is pretty much what I thought then, and still think today.

Fotheringay-Phipps

Thanks for the link, j.m. I must admit I've always been going to read Veblen. Anytime somebody quotes him he sounds both witty and wised-up. Potter refers to him copiously. He says we've misunderstood him if we think "conspicuous consumption" is just 12-course dinners and gold-plated faucets. Nowadays it's as likely to be a hiking holiday in Bhutan or a restaurant that serves a single over-priced tangerine as a dessert. (Mind you, I live in the sticks, so these examples may be staples of middle-class urban life by now.) And here's my beef with Potter. No doubt the holiday in Bhutan establishes your boho cred, but isn't it possible that some people are doing it because they like it? I know some people go to the opera, of all things, and give, as Jeeves would say, every evidence of enjoyment.

j.m.

Fotheringay-Phipps wrote:

Thanks for the link, j.m. I must admit I've always been going to read Veblen. Anytime somebody quotes him he sounds both witty and wised-up. Potter refers to him copiously. He says we've misunderstood him if we think "conspicuous consumption" is just 12-course dinners and gold-plated faucets. Nowadays it's as likely to be a hiking holiday in Bhutan or a restaurant that serves a single over-priced tangerine as a dessert. (Mind you, I live in the sticks, so these examples may be staples of middle-class urban life by now.) And here's my beef with Potter.

One thing that's interesting now is the phenomena of household servants, nannies, cooks, maids, etc. I believe these are more conspicuous than trekking the Inca Trail or buying a tangerine for dessert. Conspicuous consumption is ever-changing, however, so it is no surprise that these mutations will continue.

 

Quote:

No doubt the holiday in Bhutan establishes your boho cred, but isn't it possible that some people are doing it because they like it? I know some people go to the opera, of all things, and give, as Jeeves would say, every evidence of enjoyment.

I know (vaguely) that Pierre Bourdieu speaks of habitus, which might explain (theoretically) what you've just stated. Someone else might have to wade into that conversation. But I agree: I have a bit of beef with Potter/Veblen on this issue, too.

Caissa

 On Victoria Day, I picked up a copy of Ten Thousand Roses by Judy Rebick for free at a RC rummage sale. I have read the chapter on Sunera Thobani's election and then returned to the front. Have made it through the sixties and I am now in the early seventies. One thing I never knew was that in 1970, there was only one female MP. Looking forward to the ret of the book and learning about an area of Canadian History that is not one of my strong points.

Ripple

Sherman Alexie's Indian Killer. As he describes it, "a feel-good novel about interracial murder".

al-Qa'bong

I'm reading Nuremberg Diary again.  I first read it about this time of the year (we were seeding) in 1976.  That reading sticks out for me because I had my first run-in with the law (and the law won) at that time. The case didn't go to trial.

remind remind's picture

Bacchus, am now reading  Irish Country Girl, the 4th book in the series, love, love, love it.

 

Just finished reading the 2nd in the Alan Bradley Flavia de Luce series linked to above, it is an excellent read too and really it strikes me that it is a wonderful series for empowering young girls, and indicating a way that is not "sexy", am going to read them with my granddaughter this summer.

 

They are short, quick flowing, funny and compelling..

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Motorcycles & Sweetgrass, It's an interesting take of Nanabush in the form of a good novel. Meegwitch, Drew Hayden Taylor.

Bacchus

remind wrote:

Bacchus, am now reading  Irish Country Girl, the 4th book in the series, love, love, love it.

 

Just finished reading the 2nd in the Alan Bradley Flavia de Luce series linked to above, it is an excellent read too and really it strikes me that it is a wonderful series for empowering young girls, and indicating a way that is not "sexy", am going to read them with my granddaughter this summer.

 

They are short, quick flowing, funny and compelling..

Its on my list Laughing  I read a lot of teen fiction ( a lot of the fantasy stuff is very well written) and they have a plethora of female protaganists who are very well defined

Ripple

al-Qa'bong, do you know if Tariq Ali has released the last book in the quintet?  I've only read four - Shadow of the Pomegranate Tree, The Stone Woman, A Sultan in Palermo, and The Book of Saladin.

al-Qa'bong

Hi Ripple.  No, I don't know off-hand if the quintet is complete.  I believe I heard Ali say that his other activities are keeping him from finishing.

 

Regarding Nuremberg Diary, here's the film on concentration camps that was shown in the trial.

Nazi Concentration Camps (Nuremberg Trial Film)

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Thanks for that.

remind remind's picture

Bacchus;

 

Finished it, extremely good, neither of these series are my usual configerations in reading, as I tend to read non-fiction, classics,  sci-fi/fantasy like Pillars of the Earth, or anthropology fiction.

Occasionally, when I want to know what BS is being fed women, about every 2 years or 3, I will read a differing selection of romance novels. do this when I start hearing the same commentary about things from differing female demographics, where one would not think to hear the same things.

It works well to debunk the shit, when one hears it, as one is prepared ahead of time with a response that is at the same level of discourse that it was fed to them on.

Bacchus

The romance industry is a interesting one. More romance novels are sold than any other genre. In fact 80% of books sold are romances. And almost exclusively written by women. In fact any written by men have to be done with a woman's pseudonym.

Was once dominated by female editors, publishers etc by since Harlequin was bought by Torstar, less so.

Fotheringay-Phipps

I.O.U.: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester. Lanchester is a witty and perceptive novelist. For the last few years, he's also been following business for the London Review of Books. This is his attempt to explain the Crash of 2008. Because his background is in literature, he's very good at explaining things to a lay audience, and gives you a brief course on double-entry bookkeeping, how to read a balance sheet, and eventually, how Credit Default Swaps work. The pace is brisk but never daunting.

According to Lanchester, the crash was a result of four things: a climate, a problem, a mistake, and a failure.

The climate was post-1989 capitalist triumphalism: "The population of the West benefited from the existence, the policies, and the example of the socialist bloc. For decades there was the equivalent of an ideological beauty contest between the capitalist West and the Communist East, both of them vying to look as if they offered their citizens the better, fairer way of life. The result in the East was oppression; the result in the West was free schooling, universal health care, weeks of paid holiday and a consistent, across-the-board rise in opportunities and rights....And then the good guys won, the beauty contest came to an end, and decades of Western progress in relation to equality and individual rights came to an end." Governments now genuflected at the altar of finance capitalism, and allowed the financial sector to write its own rules. Laissez-faire capitalism was no longer an option to be criticized and defended rationally: it was an article of faith.

The problem was sub-prime mortgages. As Lanchester explains, risk is not a bad thing for a financier. The higher the risk, the higher the return on investments. The trick is to find the right balance. Through the use of CDO's, bankers were able to take formerly high-risk mortgages, securitize them, and sell them on to other investors as if they were AAA-rated bonds. The risk had evaporated, but the rewards remained. Money flooded into the mortgage market, and canny speculators developed "ninja loans" (no income, no job, no assets), "liar loans" (applicants could state their own income), and "no doc loans" (the borrower produced no paperwork). By 2006, 60 percent of sub-prime applicants were exaggerating their income by more than 50 percent.

The mistake was the mathematical models that were developed to predict the likelihood of default or other upheaval in the credit markets. The formulae, elaborated over forty years by some of the bulgiest foreheads in the academy and the banking houses, were infinitely subtle, persuasive, and completely unmoored from reality. Bankers came to rely on abstract equations to assess risk rather than investigating borrowers' means and intentions. The results were predictable, if not to bankers: "The 1998 [Russian bond] default [which destroyed the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund] was a 7-sigma event. That means it should statistically have happened only once every 3 billion years. And it wasn't the only one. The last decades have seen numerous 5-, 6-, and 7-sigma events. These are supposed to happen, respectively, one day in every 13,932 years, one day in every 4,039,906 years, and one day in every 3,105,395,365 years. Yet no one concluded for this that the statistical models in use were wrong." The CFO of Goldman Sachs, David Viniar, claimed that the crisis was brought on by several days of 25-sigma events. "Twenty sigma is ten times the number of all the particles in the known universe. 25 sigma is the same, but with the decimal place moved fifty-two places to the right. It's equivalent to winning the UK national lottery twenty-one times in a row... Remember, what we're talking about here is a drop in house prices, which caused people with bad credit to have trouble paying their mortgages. That was turned into something that was literally the most unlikely thing to have happened in the history of the universe."

The failure was that of regulators and politicians: blinded by the apparent invincibility of the markets and their dazzling upward trajectory, they loosened restrictions and failed to heed the inevitable warning signs of collapse. Even the upper management of investment firms seemed to lose sight of the dangers ahead, not always because of their short-term greed, but because they genuinely couldn't comprehend the nature of the beast they had created.

We all know the result: as of mid-2009, the cost of the market bailout in the US had reached somewhere between 5 and 7 trillion dollars. "That number is bigger than the Marshall Plan, the Louisiana Purchase, the Apollo moon landings, the 1980's savings and loan crisis, the Korean War, the New Deal, the invasion of Iraq, the Vietnam War, and the total cost of NASA's space flights, all added together ---repeat, added together (and yes, the old figures are adjusted upwards for inflation)." Lanchester closes with a plea for a more reflective mode of life: "We have to start thinking about when we have sufficient --sufficient money, sufficient stuff --and whether we really need the things we think we do, beyond what we already have. In a world running out of resources, the most important ethical, political, and ecological idea can be summed up in one simple word: enough."

This is a book to read quickly the first time, then slowly and carefully. The writing is generally elegant and often funny, though the shifts in tone are sometimes a bit jarring. It's not an insider book, nor does it contain the sort of you-are-there prose that marks a lot of journalistic accounts: "Nigel ‘Chips' Carruthers watched the Nikkei ticker in disbelief, his Charvet cravat slowly losing its immaculate half-Windsor as the news seeped into his 24th-floor, rosewood-panelled office at Canary Wharf." It is a carefully argued, angrily funny account of the genesis of a classic bubble and bust. It also abounds in startling insights, like the similarity between value in finance and meaning in Derrida, or the difference between the tribes of business and industry, and why they are locked in mutual mistrust. I borrowed this book from our public library, but plan to buy my own copy so I can mark it up and shamelessly commit the best bits to memory for use in argument later.

 

derrick derrick's picture

Ripple, the final book in Tariq Ali's quintet, Night of the Golden Butterfly, is now out -- you can pick it up in Vancouver at People's Coop Bookstore.

Cytizen H

I've just started reading the new translation of Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Demons" (formerly translated as "The Posessed". It is his ficitonalized account of the murder of activist Ivan Ivanov by the young anarchist Sergei Nechaev in the 1869. It is a brilliantly witty and gripping book and his portrayal of the intellectual/activist scene in mid 19th century Russia bears striking similarities to the current movement in Canada. Wonder what that means...

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

It means that one country can and should learn from another.

The Russians went through all sorts of political trends before Lenin's Bolsheviks became a dominant trend. It's a fascinating history. Check out the revolutionary democrats like Dobrolyubuv, Cheryshevsky, Belinsky and Herzen. Or my favourite, Georgi Plekhanov (aka N.Beltov). For some reason, there are writers to this day who want to re-write that history and go on to claim that the Bolsheviks sprang out of the ground or something.

Cytizen H

Mmmm... yes. Sadly my history of this era comes more from drama and fiction than actual history (shame on me, i know). On that front i can strongly strongly (did i say strongly) reccomend the dramatic trilogy "The Coast Of Utopia" by Tom Stoppard. It includes as characters Herzen, Belinsky and Bakunin. Not to mention Pushkin, Turgenev and others.

al-Qa'bong

This morning I read Hermann Goering tell his version of the Munich Pact in Nuremberg Diary, and how the Nazis read the body language of the French and English leaders and saw right away that they'd be pushovers.  Goering even imitated Daladier's posture.

This afternoon, while listening to Cross-country Checkup, I kept hearing how leaders at the G-8 meetings would benefit from being able to see each others' body language, look each other in the eye, etc. This would make the billion dollars it will cost for security at the meetings worthwhile.

I don't know if that's such a good idea.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

(for Cz "H") Stoppard, who's an excellent playwright, seems to belong to those who are doing a fine job of erasing/misrepresenting radical 19th century Russian history. But, since the English have a lengthy history of Russophobia, I wouldn't make too much of it.

Edited to add: hmm. Stoppard has a Czech background. More opportunities for Russophobia.

Just read the originals, maybe some Georgi Plekhanov, and you'll be fine.

Papal Bull

I went back for some more Tom Wolfe and started reading Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test the other day. I actually like Tom Wolfe. I posted about my experiences with 'Bonfire of the Vanities' which was an awesome read.

 

Last week I reread Blue Beard before lending it to a friend of my parents'. I then powered through Timequake. Love that book. Absolutely amazing. Loves me a good Vonnegut.

 

I think I'm going to read the Dick Winters memoirs I have sitting around. Given that I've been reading an awful lots of William Gibson lately, maybe something less cyberpunk will be a good change of pace.

 

Yeah, actually, funny story. When I went to the last babble get together, I showed up late. But I carried a giant man purse full of books. I got some Burroughs, which I have to read soon. I hated Naked Lunch, but people have told me that Junkie is a better read. I trust their opinion.

 

For my 'other reading' right now I'm rereading You Shall Know Our Velocity! by David Eggers while at work. It is such a good book, I loved it. I've read it about a dozen times by now. And I have a copy of the collected Jack London right by my porcelain throne.

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

"Chomsky on Anarchism" and my brain hurts.

wrenn1

Half way through Solar by Ian McEwan. I love all of his books and although this wouldn't be a favourite (might change my mind when finished) I am enjoying it.

Favourite book this year was 'Olive Kitteridge' and I am looking for something as easy to get through when the blood isn't as choked up in the arteries to the brain.

Loved The Woman in White and Moonstone  (Wilkie Collins).

For easy reads I would like to hear suggestions from people who have liked 'A Complicated Kindness' or anything by Jennifer Johnston (Irish) or Sue Miller, Gail Godwin...that type.  

Caissa

I started reading The Audacity to Win by David Plouffe last night. Along with Rebick and a collection of short stories on Mars, I have a good reading rotation going at the moment.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

PB, I haven't read Eggars since picking up "A Heartbreaking Work of [somethingorother] Genius".  Found his ability and style quite brilliant, but hated the character (which I'm remembering as autobiographical...  Could be mistaken.  Anyway, could have cheerfully kicked him in the Cassanovas by the end of the book.)  I haven't inflicted Eggars on myself since.  Let me know if it's worthwhile, I may try again.

Reading "Oliver Twist" with my kids, flipped through "The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ" (love, love, love Pullman's work!) again last week while I was sick, and read "Pride and Prejudice" for the first time in a long time.  And "To Kill a Mockingbird".  Now that's an amazing novel.

 

Red_and_Black Red_and_Black's picture

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemmingway

al-Qa'bong

I have a used copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls, and when I reached the end of the novel I thought a page must have been missing.  I went to the public library to see if they had a copy that I could check, whereupon I found that nothing was missing and that the ending is brilliant.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

You can do that with film. Especially weak - i.e., typically American - films that are as easy to follow as a trail of crumbs.

Simply miss the first part - say 15 minutes or so - of a mystery. Then, figuring things out is more of a challenge.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Just finished "Emma Goldman, Still Dangerous" from Black Rose Press ISBN 978-1-55164-326-7. This was a very well researched and written book. It contains some interesting insights into the way women write autobiographies compared to men.  It also starts with a 20 page summary of the main anarchist strains during the first part of the last century.  Well worth the read.

Also I like local history so I am reading "The Quadra Story" by Jeanette Taylor.  

I also like some trashy novels and if you like mysteries set locally then I would recommend the Gwendolyn Southin, series of Margaret Spencer Mysteries.  They are set in late 50's Vancouver and other parts of BC. Some very interesting insights into society because the character of Margaret tries to get beyond the social norms that restricted women then. Also decent mysteries.

al-Qa'bong

I just finished Nuremberg Diary.  Keitel, Ribbentropp and Jodl were hanged for crimes similar to those committed by Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Rice, Wolfowitz, Perle and Powel.  Goering was right about victors' justice.

Now I'm into Enemy at the Gates, by William Craig.  The history isn't bad, but the book isn't terribly well-written. 

Caissa

I started reading Fordlandia last night.  It's a  book that Heph had recommended on En Masse. Excellent read on a little known episode in American Imperial history.

Ripple

al-Qa'bong wrote:

I have a used copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls, and when I reached the end of the novel I thought a page must have been missing.  I went to the public library to see if they had a copy that I could check, whereupon I found that nothing was missing and that the ending is brilliant.

I had a similar experience watching The Sopranos.

Noah_Scape

"The Story of Stuff" by Annie Leonard.

  We have heard this story since the 1950's, but it needs to be re-written for every era, and Annie has done a great job for the 2010s describing how we make ourselves crazy pursuing possessions.

  As an activist, she can recount tales of chasing loads of toxic ash around the world, and the heartless, criminal, inhumane activities of certain corporate types. Juicy, real.

  She writes: [pg 28] Coltan - a mineral used in electronics... PS2 launch caused a rush on Coltan, the price went way up, and in the Congo where there are Coltan deposits "kids in the Congo were sent down mine shafts to labour and often die so that kids in developed nations could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms".

  The waste stream is unnessessary. There are better ways. We are up to our armpits in junk, and most of it is broken.

  Annie also has positive suggestions for change in this book, and gives examples of corporations who are "doing it right"

 

Caissa
N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I'd be curious to know if the author thinks that parts of The Song of Solomon were written by a female author. Others do.

Caissa

I'll let you know when I reached that chapter. Yesterday i finished Fordlandia, a book recommended by heph.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I'm into book two of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy.  It's good.  Probably the best thriller I've read in decades.

al-Qa'bong

Last week I read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. I've been scattering Raymond Chandler short stories among my reading lately.

 

I'm currently into chapter five of a collection of Chomsky's essays called Middle East Illusions. In this essay, written around 1973, Chomsky looks at how the left is accused of antisemitism and extremism for supporting the human rights of Palestinians.

 

Plus ça change...

Polunatic2

The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel. Heard him speak at a union convention a couple of weeks ago in Vancouver. Got my copy of the book signed. 

George Victor

Jose Saramago's Baltasar and Blimunda is like nothing I've read before in the detailed description of the cruelties of the Inquisition, the public spectacles.   This was apparently the first book that brought him to a world readership in the late 1980s, and the library here has just about all of his later novels...Cambridge has a large Portuguese population. 

Fortunately, the reader can look forward to the lovers' exploits, like finding  "the countryside is covered with white daisies and mallows, where they cover the path the travellers cut through them,and the firm heads of the flowers are crushed beneath the bare feet of Baltasar and Blimunda, who both have shoes or boots but prefer to carry them in the knapsacks until the road becomes stone, and a pungent odour rises from the ground, it is the sap of the daisies, the perfume of the world on the day of its inception, before God invented the rose.  It is a perfect day for their trip to inspect the flying machine..."

Bacchus

al-Qa'bong wrote:

Last week I read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed. I've been scattering Raymond Chandler short stories among my reading lately.

 

I'm currently into chapter five of a collection of Chomsky's essays called Middle East Illusions. In this essay, written around 1973, Chomsky looks at how the left is accused of antisemitism and extremism for supporting the human rights of Palestinians.

 

Plus ça change...

How did you find Nickled and Dimed? Its what got me started on a progressive path and led me here after I lectured a friend on the book and he suggested this place (a enviromentalist friend of mine who edits a trade magazine for the power industry oddly enough)

Papal Bull

Just going through some John Le Carre books that my dad bought back in the 80s. Little Drummer Girl is actually a neat read. I like spy novels and all of that quite a lot.

 

I also picked up some more Joe Haldeman. I still haven't read his seminal work, The Forever War, but I did just re-read All My Sins Remembered and started reading Marsbound (I've been hankering for some some Kim Stanley Robinson, I must have read Red Mars like 20 times by now - so this book seems like an apt substitute by an author I love). I'm still trying to find a used copy of 'The Dragon's Egg', but alas, it has not appeared.

al-Qa'bong

Bacchus wrote:

 

How did you find Nickled and Dimed?

In some ways it could have been my biography, except I was fortunate enough to have lived in subsidised housing during the time I had to do jobs like those done by Ehrenreich (For a time we paid $50.00/month for rent while our household brought in $700.00).  Housing stuck out as the biggest problem fopr the working poor in Nickel and Dimed, which I would say is good reason for government(s) to work on providing homes for all.

[ed.] I saw Michael Moore's Capitalism: a Love Story yesterday, which brought to mind one of the cleaning women in Nickled and Dimed who said that she didn't resent the wealth of the people whose homes she cleaned because she aspired to be just as wealthy herself some day.  Moore suggested that such an attitude may soon give way to a more rebellious stance towards the wealthy.

Stargazer

Good choice PB!

 

I just finished Bret Easton Ellis's Imperial bedrooms. Now reading the amazing Tama Janowitz's They Is Us - a wicked story set in the late 21st century - the world is run by a giant corporation, people are literally living in chemical wastelands, food in not food anymore and people have become immune to any form of political action. Interesting subplot going on that involved screwing with DNA to make weird animals.

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