Since we’re studying American writers from the turn of the century, I figured that now would be a good time to talk about stuff that we’re reading. Your job is to share a book that you’re currently reading, have read recently, or plan to read soon. Tell us why you picked it, and give us a brief summary of the book. If you’re planning on reading a book, tell us more about why you want to read it / what you’ve heard about the book (essentially, what piqued your interest in it). (The Jungle is NOT an option, but another book for another class is acceptable).
1. The Murder of the Century – Paul Collins — this book is a true story that reads like a quick crime novel. Parts of a man’s body are found scattered around the New York City area, and this eventually leads to two suspects being tried for murder: the man’s mistress and the mistress’s new boyfriend. The book goes into lots of detail about the competing New York tabloids, The Journal and the Herald, run by Pulitzer and Hearst as they compete for readers w/ sensationalized headlines and gruesome stories. It’s also the story of immigrants coming to America trying to find a better life but running afoul of the law. Highly recommended.
2. The Other Wes Moore – Wes Moore — a story of two young men named Wes Moore who both grew up blocks from each other in Baltimore in the 1970s and 80s. Both lost their fathers at a young age. One man was sent to military school when his mother wouldn’t put up with his skipping school and failing grades. The other man got involved in the drug trade, especially crack as it became infamous in the 1980s. He was involved in shooting an off-duty cop and is now serving life in prison. The other Wes graduated from high school, went to college, became a Rhodes Scholar, and served in Afghanistan afterwards. He regularly appears on MSNBC and is a child advocate. The book came about because the soldier/college graduate wanted to find out more about his imprisoned namesake. It’s a good book that explains the pressures of growing up a young, black male in today’s society.
3. Bertrand Russell in 90 Minutes – This is one in a series of books that helps someone learn more about philosophy in a short amount of time. Bertrand Russell is an English philosopher who tried to show how math is logically sound in a book that took him ten years to write. The problem was, about halfway through it, he discovered that math had a paradox within it that defied logic as he saw it. So, he had to reclassify his illogical discovery and reconfigure his book. Russell has written several books that I’ve read including The History of Western Philosophy, Why I Am Not a Christian, and The Problems with Philosophy. While I was doing some research on Russell, I also discovered a graphic novel about him called Logocomix, so I’m going to be reading that book too as soon as I get it.
You can list one, two or as many books as you want. The word minimum is 200 words, so please have this done by Friday night at midnight (February 8. 2013). Thanks.