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Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
Footsteps in the Dark - Lipsitz Lipsitz's work on music can like the best of Greil Marcus' stuff pull a stray thread on a minor pop single and discover a dense weave of American history. But--for better and for worse--he's far more lucid, far less hallucinatory than Marcus. This book has a single central notion (riffing on the Isley Brothers tune) from the title: our popular music encodes our history and, in its performative enactment of collective memory, seeks to find ways out of oppression, discord, systems and into some new, revitalized, utopian community. The book is essentially a collection of separate essays attentive to that theme, ranging over a fascinating range of materials familiar and not-so. I did occasionally long for just a little bit of that Marcusian mischief, the fucked-up anything-goes chutzpah of books like Lipstick Traces. But I also found myself excited, as this book will be a huge boon for certain classes I hope to teach -- it'll play very well for many kinds of readers.