Reading is FUNdamental


If you believe the folks at Pew Research (and why wouldn’t you? They’re great), about 23% of Americans don’t read a single book throughout the course of the year. That’s not me. I learned how to read not that long after I was potty trained, and I haven’t stopped. In the last few years, though, the number of tomes I tear through annually has dropped like a mofo. In fact, in all of 2016, it was less than a book a month, and most of those number were paperback potboilers, YA shorties or other largely forgettable works.

Important to note, though, that among the way-too-low number of books I read in 2016 was Luvvie Ajayi’s I’m Judging You, a book that definitely is NOT forgettable, and the fact that everyone from me to SHONDA GOD-DAMNED RHIMES is going bats over it is hard proof. It’s a volume that everyone should pick up IMMEDIATELY because it’s cover-to-cover packed with much-needed laughs and advice for all God’s children. Before you ask: No, you can’t borrow my copy. It’s autographed and I don’t trust you. Buy your own here.

It’s not that we don’t OWN books. We have hundreds, possibly thousands–an entire wall of our apartment is dominated by huge-ass IKEA bookshelves, each of which is full and topped with more books, and then the dining room table and several additional boxes and crates are full of volumes we need to find a place for. This is in contrast to the guy who lived here before us, whose one bookshelf had ONE book on it, and it was a David LaChapelle photography coffeetable number with hardly any words in it.

In the number of books we own, there are far too many I haven’t even cracked open, which is a damned sad for someone who puts words together for a living to admit. That’s why the fourth thingy on my list of resolutions for 2017 is to read more books. The first on my list isn’t exactly heady literature–it’s the memoir penned by former Broadway baby and current actor/feminist Anna Kendrick, Scrappy Little Nobody. After that, I’m going to focus on books written by folks who aren’t white, straight, American men. No sense in indulging in a pursuit that expands your universe if you’re just going to read books written by the people that seem to want to keep the universe small and narrow and the way they want it to be.

Got any recommendations? Please leave them in the comments. Fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, biographies, historical shit–I’ll read almost anything, except Ayn Rand, Ann Coulter, or any other similar hateful, conservative assbagels. Thanks!



Writer, drinker, arbiter of sarcasm.

One thought on “Reading is FUNdamental

  1. When recommending books it is not unusual to lean heavily on one’s own favorite authors. This particular exercise has made me realize I read a lot of books by straight white men. So I’ll be revisiting this post to pick up some recommendations for myself.
    In the meantime, science fiction by Ursula K. LeGuin is always good and heady. The Lathe Of Heaven and The left Hand Of Darkness are particular favorites, the latter being decidedly un-SWM-y. Her characters are always very well developed and she intertwines her themes with thrilling adventures that allow the reader food for thought without feeling as if they’ve been force fed.
    Sarah Vowell, because her books are so damn funny doesn’t get the credit she deserves for her meticulously researched nonfiction. The Wordy Shipmates is the most palatable and engaging history of our country’s pre-revolution days I’ve read. She manages to bring the reader along with her into the tale being told and they share her joy of discovery and the sense of caring SO DAMN MUCH about America.
    And just because it’s my favorite book, Robert A. Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is a pretty darn multicultural pansexual story of a revolution on the Moon written by a pretty darn straight white guy

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