Archive - Dec 2017

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The Baffler: Vol. 2, No. 1

The Baffler: Vol. 2, No. 1

author: Thomas Frank

name: Steev

average rating: 4.27

book published: 2009

rating: 5

read at:

date added: 2013/09/01

shelves:

review:

The Baffler No. 20

The Baffler No. 20

author: John Summers

name: Steev

average rating: 4.17

book published: 2012

rating: 5

read at:

date added: 2013/09/01

shelves:

review:

I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back

author: Jon Klassen

name: Steev

average rating: 4.39

book published: 2011

rating: 5

read at:

date added: 2013/09/03

shelves: children, crime, fun, own-it

review:

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity

All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity

author: Marshall Berman

name: Steev

average rating: 4.27

book published: 1982

rating: 4

read at: 1999/01/01

date added: 2013/09/08

shelves: politics

review:
This book really blew my mind and influenced my thinking for a while when I read it, and I got into a big argument about it with a friend who is sort of too capitalist, over exactly what I don't remember what. I remembering thinking the book really explains a lot about why the U.S. is the way it is. I remember thinking I should go read Max Weber, whose work Berman refers to a lot.

Bonsaï

Bonsaï

author: Alejandro Zambra

name: Steev

average rating: 3.82

book published: 2006

rating: 4

read at: 2013/09/09

date added: 2013/09/09

shelves: fun, novels

review:
Kind of like a latino Tao Lin, only not as good. That same sort of opaque narrative voice where you don't get any, or very little, inner monologue of the characters, just kind of a ghostly relation of events from the outside. Somehow Tao Lin makes this work and often be hilarious and profound, but Zambra can't pull this off as well.

The Baffler No. 23

The Baffler No. 23

author: John Summers

name: Steev

average rating: 4.16

book published: 2013

rating: 5

read at: 2013/09/20

date added: 2013/09/20

shelves: fun, own-it, politics

review:

How to Be Alone

How to Be Alone

author: Jonathan Franzen

name: Steev

average rating: 3.60

book published: 2002

rating: 5

read at: 2013/10/20

date added: 2013/10/21

shelves: spirit-self, own-it, art

review:
A variety of essays from the mid-90s up through 2002, some of these are kind of too outdated to be of very much use, but others are timeless, and of those many ring eerily and still painfully true even though Franzen was talking about an earlier, less extreme version of an issue we're still facing today (the plight of the publishing industry, the dismal state of literature and reading, the polarization of politics, to name a few). All in all these non-fiction pieces create a picture of a writer and a person who is just as skilled as in his fiction with depicting a personality afflicted with depression, anger, conflicting and contradictory feelings, sadness and grief, and frustration with current trends and establishments. In other words, this book not only teaches how to be alone, but also shows me that I'm not, in that I share a lot of the above with him and the interior of my head as I think about those things looks a lot like the picture he's painted of himself. And this is one of the best functions of literature, whether fiction or non, that anyone could hope for.

Stand Up to the IRS

Stand Up to the IRS

author: Frederick W. Daily

name: Steev

average rating: 3.20

book published: 1992

rating: 4

read at: 2011/04/01

date added: 2013/11/02

shelves:

review:
I'm as done with this as I think I'll get. Not the kind of thing to read cover-to-cover, it's a practical manual for a variety of situations. I used it to learn how to send an Offer In Compromise to the IRS upon deciding to stop being a war tax resister after 10 years. I'm still waiting to hear back from them, but this book definitely gave me a lot more confidence, although it also helped to talk to a good tax CPA.

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

author: Frank Schaeffer

name: Steev

average rating: 3.62

book published: 2007

rating: 4

read at: 2013/11/09

date added: 2013/11/09

shelves: spirit-self, own-it, politics

review:

John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1)

John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1)

author: David Wong

name: Steev

average rating: 3.94

book published: 2007

rating: 5

read at: 2013/11/20

date added: 2013/11/22

shelves: fun, novels, own-it

review:
This is the kind of book I just don't want to put down. It's hilarious, a bit scary, profound, and profane. In the middle of fighting zombies and mutants and demons, the narrator throws around some great wisdom as well as some comedic slacker banality. It's brilliant, and once you pick it up and open it to the first page, you won't need me or anyone else to persuade you that it's worth reading. You'll just keep reading.