books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

These are the things I’ve been reading and thinking about this week.  Whee!

“The More Dead,the Better”: Israel’s Crumbling Media War (Salon)

I actually tweeted about this link when I came across it this week, so important did I think it was.  I still do.  Whatever your feelings are on Israel and Palestine, it’s important to note that how Israel portrays itself and how the media (the western media, that is) talks about it are very calculated things.  And, considering everything that is happening, and the slaughtering of human beings (the majority of which are Palestinean women and children) occurring there right now, it’s not really a surprise that there is finally, finally some backlash about what Israel is doing.

Did you know there is a manual for how to talk about the deaths Israel is causing?  Well, there is:

The 2009 manual counters this strategy, stating that while Americans “get” that “Hamas is a terrorist organization. . . if it sounds like you are attacking the Palestinian people. . . you will lose support.” It carefully emphasizes again: “Right now, many Americans sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians, and that sympathy will increase if you fail to differentiate between the people from their leaders.”

The article goes on to talk about the history of Israeli propaganda, how difficult it is to even talk about the state without being shouted down, etc.  Please read it.

Seriously, Fuck You, Kindle Unlimited (The Awl)

Basically, you shouldn’t have to pay to rent ebooks.  Because that’s what Kindle Unlimited (LOL “unlimited”) is.  PAYING to RENT eBOOKS that you can get for FREE on Open Library, Project Gutenberg, and from the PUBLIC LIBRARY IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

You Can Own Too Many Books (The Toast)

Are you a book hoarder?  Because I am.  I’ve never counted how many books I own, but it’s becoming a problem.  I collect books from my youth, I buy books I love, and I’m sent titles by publishers for review and when I serve on panels like the Cybils.  It’s a problem.  I have a lot, a lot, A LOT of books.  And it’s probably time to downsize a little, which is why I found this essay particularly affecting this week.

This essay gets to the heart of what makes book hoarding different:

Even more than I identify as a writer, I identify as a reader. Reading has always been the primary way I make sense of the world around me; books are my first stop when I want to learn about a new hobby, culture, person or world. When I read a memoir, the author’s story lives inside me, making me feel I know them better than I do many of my close friends. While I don’t necessarily need to own a book for it to have any impact on me, being surrounded by books when I wake up and go to sleep puts me at ease—and gives me plenty to choose from should I find myself up at three a.m., as I often do.

If you’re  a reader, you probably identify with this, at least a little.

What got you reading and thinking this week?



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