New Books, January 2014

New Books, January 2014

Gita Mehta, Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East (1979) – For filing under “TRAVEL/CULTURAL STUDIES” which is the explicit subcategory in which I want to read about travel. “… the definitive epitaph for the era of spiritual tourism and all its casualties, both Eastern and Western.”

Sven Birkerts, The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age (1994) – This could be filed under ‘books’ as much as under ‘computers’ and I won’t know until I read it. How much have we changed how we read in the ensuing twenty years?

Alan Furst, Mission to Paris (2012) – More spies.

Philip K. Dick, Vulcan’s Hammer (1960) – Cheap sci-fi from the Munro’s discount pile. Beautiful new editions.

Philip K. Dick, Martian Time-Slip (1964) – There are two or three more of these still on the pile but I should read these first before I go back for more.

Margaret Wertheim, The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet (1999) – I read a recent (2008?) interview with the author who agreed that yes, the cyberspace aspect of the book is expanded beyond what the content can sustain and the title does not reflect the goal of the book. But it was 1999, and the publisher had to sell a book, so there’s a big pixelated cursor arrow on the cover and I probably wouldn’t have bought it myself if it didn’t say CYBERSPACE on the front and it actually looks pretty neat beyond the big pixilated cursor arrow.

Thomas Frank, Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right (2012) – The history of our modern times and the ‘tea party movement.’

Ellen Ruppel Shell, Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture (2009)

Stephanie Nolen, Promised the Moon: The Untold Story of the First Women in the Space Race (2002) – Another secret history of space flight. Unsurprisingly, there are no women in The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe.

ed. Mark Bauerlein, The Digital Divide: Arguments For and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking (2011) – This may be one to put away for a few years and read as history of the near future, once past.

David C. Docherty, Mr. Smith Goes to Ottawa: Life in the House of Commons (1997) – With a specific and fascinating focus on the MPs elected in 1988 and in 1993, the latter a parliament where over 2/3 of MPs were rookies and over 1/3 represented Reform and the Bloc, neither of which had even won a seat in 1988.

Geoff Meggs and Rod Mickleburgh, The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power, 1972-1975 (2012)

David Hudson, Rewired: A Brief (and Opinionated) Net History (1997) – Another secret history, looking back, in 1997, to the ‘old debates.’


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