Last summer, I made a list of books I was interested in with an eye towards pseudo-reviewing them and discussing them and their interesting ideas, or at least exposing myself to them. As it would be unlikely that I could buy them all (books are expensive, especially non-fiction ones, often running $20 a pop!), even after getting more gift cards from Barnes and Noble every gift-giving season than I had heretofore known what to do with, I would run the list on Da Blog as a “Christmas list” during a run of political posts in October and hope the mass of new readers I was hoping to attract would get them for me.
Then my USB drive stopped working and the planned run of political posts was a big bust anyway. Now that my drive has been recovered, a month out from my birthday on April 22, I’m posting the list – with some additions – as a birthday list, even though many of the books may be less topical and less interesting than they were before (especially before the election). It may seem odd that I would ask you to buy stuff to give to me (as opposed to buying stuff from me), but it’s with an eye to future posts on Da Blog (I hope), as well as other projects such as my idea of writing a book on the impact of the Internet. (Even though in most cases I don’t have much time to read any of them.) Besides, many of them should be eye-opening even if I never get them. I may institute a direct donation system of some sort at some point down the line. (If it weren’t for my distrust of PayPal, I’d have one already.)
If you want to get me anything, e-mail me at mwmailsea at yahoo dot com for a mailing address. I’ve organized the list by some broad topics:
- Who’s Your City? by Richard Florida
- Suburban Transformations by Paul Lukez
- Cities by John Reader
- Cities in Full by Steve Belmont
- Any book about urban planning
The first book on this list isn’t strictly “political”, but it still ties in to related interests. Many of these relate to the battles in the Media Bias Wars.
- 10 Books that Screwed Up the World (and 5 Others that Didn’t Help) by Benjamin Wiker
- Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News by Bernard Goldberg
- The Political Mind: Why You Can’t Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain by George Lakoff (and any other books by the same author)
- Right is Wrong by Arianna Huffington
- Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren’t Fair (and What We Can Do About It) by William Poundstone
- Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting Systems by Douglas J. Amy
- Declaring Independence: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System by Douglas Schoen
- Going Green: A Wise Consumer’s Guide to a Shrinking Planet by Sally and Sadie Kniedel
BOOKS RELATING TO MY INTERNET BOOK PROJECT
These books are interesting in some way in terms of research for my book on the Internet, and so they’re somewhat higher priority than the others. Some have the Internet as their topic, while others are interesting filters to look at Internet culture through, or unavoidably touch on the impact of the Internet. There are a couple of books I didn’t list, and if I included any that aren’t impact-making or at least critically acclaimed, forget about them.
- Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott
- Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet by Kathryn C. Montgomery
- Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams
- The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
- The Tipping Point: How Little Things can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell (and any other books by the same author)
- Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
- The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson
JUST FOR FUN: COMICS!
Hey, trying to think all the time is a good way to burn my brain out. As you can tell by the fact I don’t have as many thought-provoking posts as I probably should.
- Any installments of The Complete Peanuts after 1970
- Garfield Gets His Just Desserts
- Any Order of the Stick book (this is somewhat difficult; the online shop is the most reliable place to find them, and even that’s not 100% reliable; certain comic book stores may have them, but not all; gaming stores – specializing in D&D and their ilk – are more likely, but in the latter two cases availability may be based on whether or not they’re in print)
Also, I’d really like to be able to play The Sims 3 when it comes out in June (unless it’s widely panned), but although the “Franken-computer” I have for a desktop was built in 2004 and was state-of-the-art then, and has been pretty close to it for five years, it only barely has enough processor power to play it and definitely not enough RAM, and I’m not sure if it has enough video RAM. I’d prefer not to have to get an entirely new computer just to play one game, but…