A recommended reading list from James Crossley, our A Cup of News columnist:
- Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit, perhaps the best essayist writing today. She’s extremely knowledgeable about how America got to where it is (sample this London Review of Books think piece for some of her analysis of the current situation), and better yet, she’s clear-sighted about the dangers and possibilities for the future. The main message here is that we never know exactly what the future will bring, for good or ill, so the work for a better life must go on regardless.
- What We Do Now, edited by Dennis Johnson and Valerie Merians. Immediately after the presidential election, the good people at indie publishing outfit Melville House commissioned Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Gloria Steinem, Paul Krugman, Robert B. Reich, George Saunders, Dave Eggers, the heads of the ACLU, the NAACP, the Sierra Club, the Arab American Association, the National GLBTQ Task Force, the Freedom of the Press Association, and other prominent progressive figures to write blueprints for rebuilding in the coming years. That they were able to complete the project in time for the inauguration is one of the first proofs of what can be accomplished by dedicated patriots in 2017 and beyond.
- Becoming a Citizen Activist by Nick Licata. Practical advice from a long-term city councilman about how to lobby your elected officials and effect change in your neighborhood as well as nationwide.
- The Trump Survival Guide by Gene Stone. Twelve chapters, each one centering on an important matter to voters—from civil rights to immigration, from the economy to women’s issues. Each topic is discussed first in the form of a brief history lesson, then as a summary of how the last president addressed the issue, and next a prediction as to what the current one realistically can and can’t do. The last section, and possibly the most important, is a resource guide, offering readers advice on what they can do to fight back.
- Insane Clown President by Matt Taibbi. Dispatches from the 2016 election season by Rolling Stone’s lead political correspondent, always the most profane and most astute commentator on the scene. He frames his reporting with original essays exploring the seismic shift in how we perceive our national institutions, the democratic process, and the future of the country.
In addition to these I’d also like to mention Michael Eric Dyson’s sermon to white Americans, Tears We Cannot Stop, and the March trilogy of graphic novels by Congressman John Lewis, depicting his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights.
You may have a reading program of your own in mind for the coming four years. If so, I’d love to know what it includes.
–excerpted from the Island Books store blog, January 25, 2017
What are you reading to stay informed and inspired? What are some titles from across the aisle?