Tagged by beneaththeleaf in August, here goes!
Ok tagged by clothesandbuttons I will do this.
Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you.
Tag ten friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.
Ok! Here it goes - I haven’t really read anything theoretical or strictly anthropological in awhile so there probably won’t be much. I also love to read and have read more books than I can remember - especially books from my childhood. So, without further ado - my list:
1) The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (and then the entire Narnia Series) - C.S. Lewis: When I was very young and we still lived with my bio-dad I wasn’t allowed to read anything that wasn’t “Christian” in some way. Somehow, I still managed to read some really excellent things like this book series. I think it really influenced what I wanted to read - I wanted to read magical, fantastic things outside my own small world in Purcell, OK. I’m a huge fan of fantasy and speculative fiction to this day and it’s a big part of who I am, of my identity.
2) Oryx and Crake (and the rest of The Flood series) - Margaret Atwood: this book changed my freaking life, it blew my mind, it opened my eyes to a possible dystopian future that felt so real and terrifying. The entire series is like that. It’s the best kind of sci-fi/speculative fiction - it holds a mirror up to our world and shows us what can happen, where our path could easily lead. (Also - In Other Worlds M.A.’s book of essays about the genre is really awesome too)
3) A People’s History of the United States - Howard Zinn: I saw Zinn speak as an undergrad at USF and he was brilliant even in his senior years. This book opened my eyes to the reality of United States’ history and its present. I wouldn’t be the scholar and critic I am today without this book. I probably wouldn’t have studied Latin American history or have adopted my current political attitude without it and I am proud of this aspect of my identity. Thank you Zinn!
4) Cannibal Tours and Glass Boxes - Michael Ames: We read this book in my first museum studies course and it led me to studying museum anthropology at UBC. It’s incredible to think that I wouldn’t be here, living in Edmonton with my incredible partner and starting a brand new exciting job in the museum field without this book. But that’s how life is, it’s grand and mysterious and full of bullshit. Hah!
5) The Dispossessed - Ursula K. LeGuin: The subtle and encompassing tone of this beautiful novel still brings an impenetrable sense of inner calm to me when I think of it. It’s the story of two worlds, one a libertarian, capitalist dream (or nightmare?) and an anarchist utopia (or dystopia?) that feels so real I wish it were true. The love story within the larger story is also the closest to the kind of love I want in my life. It’s gorgeous. I can’t do it justice. It’s simply the best LeGuin novel I’ve ever read. READ IT!
6) The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingslover: During highschool I couldn’t get enough of this book. It was so different than much of what I was supposed to read. The way I could relate to the characters was magical to me. It helps me process my ultra-conservative protestant upbringing and it shook up my ethnocentric American worldview. I am forever thankful for that.
7) War is a Racket - Smedley Butler: An ex-boyfriend of mine, Timo, got me to read this book during my undergrad and if I took nothing else from that relationship (I did, Timo was alright) then this book was worth it. Smedley Butler is the only person to earn 3 US Medals of Honor and survive to receive the 3rd (everyone else died earning their first or second). He also stopped an attempted coup against FDR with his loyal marines. His brief reflections on war and capitalism are like a scalpel’s blade - sharp and succinct.
8) The Foundation Series - Isaac Asimov: Asimov is an incredibly prolific writer - he’s represented in all but one of the Dewey Decimal Card Catalog System (oddly enough, it’s Philosophy). His Foundation Series encompasses an epic timeline. To be able to write a coherent and meaningful story that spans thousands of years is a feat of literary prowess. I admire him immensely! I adore the way he simultaneously portrays our present dilemmas and the possibilities of humanity.
9) Ender’s Game (and some of the series) - Orson Scott Card: When I first read this book as a child it was a real game changer. It was the first time I’d been so blown away by a twist at the end. It really challenged me to rethink the entire concept of “the other” when I was only 10 or 12. I find it continuously disappointing that such a pivotal book for pre-teen Dith was written by a bigoted asshole. I think that also has an important lesson to it though - even bigoted assholes can teach us something.
10) Cunt - Inga Muscio: This was the first feminist book I ever read and I am a feminist forever because of it (not that I wouldn’t be, but I might not proclaim it loudly without this book). My friend lent it to me, our group of friends, and we were all so INTO it, ya know? I haven’t read it since then so I can’t say it I would still LOVE it the way I did, but that’s life for ya!
So - there it is clothesandbuttons! You pretty much tagged all my tubmlr friends already but I think awoodenbird might be into it!