Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The Delightful and Dogmatic Library
Drew and I cleaned out our guest bedroom/office today. It gave us a great excuse to play with our books. We re-organized them by category, size, author. It was fun! It has been a while since I looked at all the books I read in (and out of) college. I've composed a short list of the books that made me as delightful and dogmatic that I am today. These books were eye opening and influencial to a young and impressionable Kristen. If I wrote letters, I would write to all these authors and tell them that they changed my life. Well, except for the people who are dead. . . .that would be difficult.

The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison Jeffey Reiman
The Prince Machiavelli
Lies My Teacher Told Me James Loewen
Essays on Sex Equality John Steward Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill
Rules for Radicals Sal Alinsky

Special Mention (but I read them when I was older and wiser so the impact was smaller)
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
Bird By Bird Anne Lamott
Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think George Lakoff

For the sake of full disclosure
I recently read The Zen and Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. And it is official--I'm the only intelligent person who doesn't just EAT UP that book. I don't get it. I mean, there are some great lines and I appreciate some of the conflicts and tension that Pirsig discusses. Buuut, I found myself quite bored with most of the book. I was chatting with my friend about it and she told me she wasn't suprised. She suggested that perhaps I am "too pragmatic" for the book. Perhaps.

*Edit: If you like books as much as I do....I would advocate the Library Thing service (see my sidebar). It allows you to create your own library catalog and receive recommendations based on your library.


Blogger Matt said...

The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison was one of the most amazing and eye-opening books I read in college, which coincided a lot with the stuff that Ryan and I were doing in debate that year. Everyone should read it.

Blogger kristen said...

and it didn't make you re-think your liberatarian (econ) viewpoint?!

Blogger Matt said...

Nonsense, a lot of the issues (especially with regards to sentencing, conviction, and policing) are structural things that I think a certain type of ideological state not only puts into place, but solidifies as well.

And market based approaches to trying to eliminate crime (step number one: legalize or at least decriminalize all those drug offenses) would go far in identifying new approaches to the legal system, many of which would be much more effective than what we have now.

It just takes some accountability and freedom of choice.

Blogger binerman said...

Yea for Rules for Radicals ;o)

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