#atozchallenge: Books (about Politics) I Have Loved

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I don’t read as much as I used to; I feel this is something people say very often. However, when I do get a chance to read, I tend to re-read things over and over and over. I also prefer non-fiction to fiction. Here are books that hold my political interests.

The very first books about politics that I can remember reading were Al Franken’s comedy non-fiction ones. I picked them up in a university book store all at once: Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat IdiotLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them and The Truth (with Jokes). Some of the jokes are cruel just for the sake of being cruel, but honestly, exposing some of these people for the standard bearers of hate is worth the cruelty sometimes. If I lived in Minnesota, I would always vote for Franken.

I like my politics with a little bit of satire, so Jon Stewart’s book America (The Book) and Stephen Colbert’s I am America (and So Can You!) are two books that manage to sneak in quite a bit of thought whilst they’re busy lampooning society.

Douglas Adams is one of my favourite authors, and I have read everything he has ever written. His death was way too pre-mature. Whilst the book Last Chance to See isn’t necessarily about politics, it is about environmentalism, a tent pole in my personal political beliefs. Two species featured in this book are sadly extinct, but we should not give up just yet!

I spend a lot of time reading about gender and race as a woman of colour. One of my favourite books that looks at a more complete picture of racism, but very much at the epidemic of mass incarceration, is Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. It took me a long time to read this book, as I kept having to stop in anger. It is a book worth reading.

Books about economics are usually dry and really hard to get through. However, Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine and Thomas Picketty’s Le Capital au XXIe siècle (Capital in the 21st Century) are both interesting and engaging, and full of good knowledge.

Finally, George McGovern’s What it Means to Be a Democrat (the only book without a wikipedia link) is a rallying cry to American Democrats: what it means to be progressive and liberal in the 21st century, and to build reform slowly but surely. It’s filled with personal anecdotes and what I feel is prescient advice.

Read on, and until next time. – SDM

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If you’d like to read my other posts in this year’s A to Z challenge, check them out here.

Photo by unsplash

#weekendcoffeeshare: A Weekend Civics Lesson

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Another cuppa then? This week’s tea is a Scottish Breakfast tea from a local tea shop, The Curiosity Shop, which has sadly now closed. Scottish Breakfast is a blend of Assam, Ceylon and Yunnan. I’m a big fan of black teas, obviously. Milk and one sugar, please.

So were we having coffee/tea, I would be telling you about my plans to go to one of the early voting locations to vote in the PPP (Presidential Preference Primary) here in Georgia. I will sadly not be able to vote on the 1st of March, as I have a football (soccer) match to coach. I love voting; it is literally my favourite civic duty. My father doesn’t vote, and my mother, not being a US citizen, cannot vote. I registered to vote the very first day I could, and have voted for everything I possibly can since 2004. My first vote was for the new Georgia flag.

And since we’re having tea, I would be talking to you about the so called ‘Brexit’, or the UK’s planned referendum in June of this year. As an EU citizen with interests in the UK, I’m quite worried about the referendum, though yesterday’s agreement is promising. Will the British people out? Time will only tell.

(I have dual citizenship, for those of you playing the home game. I was born in Texas to a German mother, thus affording me citizenship rights to two countries. I feel both German and American. I will most definitely write more about this later.)

I am not as much of a reader as I used to be, but I have subscribed to The New Yorker and Les Jours, and I have to say, quality journalism is such a pleasure and I don’t mind paying for it. So were we having our caffeinated beverages today, I would definitely be telling you about the articles I was reading, and we would be chatting about celebrity culture along with our political chat.

So let’s have another cup and linger. Until next time? – SDM

NB: Check out the other posts in this weekend’s coffee share here!

Photo by Olichel Adamovich