Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer Reading for Roy Part 1

So, for several years now, Roy Christopher has asked me to contribute to the Summer Reading List post on his blog, as one of a number of scholars and intellectuals who provide a list of books that we intend to read over the summer. And in the past I've reposted that list here on Blog Time Passing because, well, why not? Here now is a list of my previous entries:

And now, if you're chronologically minded, you may notice that there's no entry for 2016 on the above list. And the reason for that is not that I didn't do one, and if you don't believe me, you can check out Roy's post from last year, Summer Reading List, 2016. It's just that last summer I was hard at work finishing up my new book (see my previous post: Media Ecology: Some Details Regarding My New Book) and just didn't have time to do much blogging, and by the time I got back into the swing of things, summer was long over, and I just plain forgot about the summer reading list.

So, fortunately there's no statute of limitations on this sort of thing, so before sharing this year's list with you, let me fill you in on last year's summer reading list because, after all, the books are still worth listing, and reading.

Summer Reading List 2016

Here in New York, the Broadway musical Hamilton has been all the rage for the past year, so I have decided to start my summer reading off with The Federalist Papers, authored by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay (New York: Signet Classics, 2003, originally published 1787-1788 under the pseudonym of Publius). While we're on the subject of authors with the initials A.H., my list also includes Ends and Means: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Ideals by Aldous Huxley (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2012, originally published 1937).


I recently received a copy of The Book of Radical General Semantics by Gad Horowitz with Colin Campbell (New Delhi: Pencraft International, 2016), and I would want to read it under any circumstance, but all the more so because I recently became president of the New York Society for General Semantics. I also plan on rereading Lewis Mumford's The Condition of Man (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1944). And I have heard great things about the recent book by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence (New York: Schocken Books, 2015), so that's on my list as well. 


For scholars in the field of communication and media studies, Arthur Asa Berger is a familiar name, having authored many books on media and popular culture, and I look forward to reading his newest, Writing Myself into Existence (Seattle: NeoPoiesis Pres, 2016). Regarding communication, I also have on my list Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age (New York: Penguin, 2015) by Sherry Turkle, a scholar often included in media ecology circles. And on the related topic of the study of time, I am also including Jeffrey Jerome Cohen's Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015). 


Poetry books play a prominent and pleasant role regarding summertime reading (and the rest of the year as well), and this year my stack includes a collection by David Ossman of Firesign Theatre, Marshmallows and Despair, (Seattle: NeoPoiesis Pres, 2015), and Rupi Kaur's Milk and Honey (Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 2015). 


My son has recommended the work of playwright Jenny Schwartz, so I'm also including two of her plays, God's Ear (New York: Samuel French, 2009), and Somewhere Fun (London: Oberon, 2013). Finally, there's a mystery novel I just have to read, Death by Triangulation by John Oughton (Seattle: NeoPoiesis Pres, 2015). 


So, in case you were wondering, The Federalist Papers, Ends and Means, The Condition of Man, and Reclaiming Conversation, all played a role in the writing of my new book. And Stone was the subject of a book review I wrote for KronoScope, the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Time. 

And, now that I've taken care of last year's list, I'll get to this year's selections in my next post.

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