Tired of reading the same recommended books from the usual sources? Just think of our weekly What We’re Reading column as your non-committal book club with The FADER and some of your favorite bands. For this installment, James Brooks and Josh Clancy of Minneapolis’ Elite Gymnastics give us their top picks.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling: I love Mindy Kaling. I am looking forward to one day watching the Mindy Kaling show on Hulu 24 hours after its original airdate on a regular basis. Maybe Hulu won’t be around by then and I’ll be watching it on Juja or Gege or Wewo instead. Anyway, I enjoyed this book. I borrowed it from my girlfriend after she finished it, and now I’m just waiting for her to finish All About Love: New Visions by Bell Hooks so I can read that.
The Slow-Down Diet: Eating For Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss by Marc David: My mom gave me this and a book about holistic nutrition a couple weeks ago. My metabolism sorta gave up on me at some point during the last 2-3 years, so now I’m very concerned with being nicer to it and worrying about diet and exercise. Hopefully, in the future, I will do another one of these and be all like, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami is an insightful, zen-like meditation on running which is totally a thing I do all the time”
Isle of 100,000 Graves by Jason: Jason is a guy from Norway who makes really wonderful comics about anthropomorphic animals. His early stuff is unrelentingly sad, usually mostly silent, and always in black and white. His more recent books are full-color adventure stories, which are still often very sad but also exciting and suspenseful. They read kind of like a Lars Von Trier adaptation of a Tintin story or something. This is his latest work, it’s about pirates.
Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin: This is a book about sex. Sex is something that used to frighten and confuse me. For years I tried to hide that from other people, because it did not usually inspire a positive reaction from anyone, ever. This book helped me understand why I felt that way, and inspired me to be honest with myself and others about those feelings. Andrea Dworkin writes beautifully and passionately and her unflinching, uncompromising honesty literally saved my life. I would recommend this to anyone.
DDDoomed by Ryan G Nelson: This essay is a lot like a companion piece to John Berger’s Ways of Seeing. It comes from a unique perspective written by Ryan Nelson on the role of the ‘Image Aggregator’ or ‘image blog.’ The book calls “bullshit” on certain (IAs) accusing them for stripping meaning, function, and context out of images for the purpose (or profit) of self-gain, (having exquisite taste!), etc. Its an easy read but a well-articulated observation on the state of the image during what I’d consider to be, the latest evolution of our beloved internette.
Program Or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age by Douglas Rushkoff: Corny title. “Ten commands for a digital age” —dorky sub title! Okay, this book is kind of dorky but its great :). Douglas Rushkoff proposes: “Do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it?” Computer programming is something I’ve always been interested in, so to read a book that affirmed its importance was really encouraging for me. Not that you have to be a computer programmer to enjoy this book though—it’s not technical. There’s a bigger narrative throughout the whole thing, and I took away more about people and society than any actual programming.