Required Reading

We like to read. We think there are certain books that everybody needs to read. Including you. But not necessarily in this order.

A Carnivore’s Inquiry, by Sabina Murray

Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, by Joyce Carol Oates

Sad Little Breathing Machine, by Matthea Harvey

Days Between Stations, by Steve Erickson

A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson

Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn

The Pornography of Meat, by Carol J. Adams

Visits From the Seventh, by Sarah Arvio

A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn

St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, by Karen Russel

Cradle to Cradle, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

Twilight of the Superheroes, by Deborah Eisenberg

No Logo, by Naomi Klein

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

Beyond Ramps: Disability at the End of the Social Contract, by Marta Russell

How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics, and the War on Sex, by Cristina Page

Mama’s Boy, Preacher’s Son, by Kevin Jennings

Woman: An Intimate Geography, by Natalie Angier

Colonize This!: Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism, by Cherrie Moraga (Foreword), Daisy Hernandez (Editor), Bushra Rehman (Editor)

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, by Art Spiegelman

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank

The People’s Act of Love, by James Meek

No More Throw-Away People, By Edgar Cahn

Note: These authors’ other books are all highly recommended.

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Also! Magazines:




  1. Miriam B. said,

    How about Michael Pollan’s _The Omnivore’s Dilemma_? I know you posted about it a while back. I spent part of the snowed-in days last week finishing it, and I gotta say it is certainly the best book I’ve read in the past year.

    It’s inspired me to ask around: What’s the best book _you_ read in the past year? I’m going to assemble the replies into a post or two for the library’s blog. Love to hear two replies, one from each of you.

    Your fan, Miriam B.

  2. Emily said,

    The only reason The Omnivore’s Dilemma isn’t on the list yet is because I haven’t actually read it yet…I have read Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, though, and am looking forward to The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which is moving up on my to-read list. So, you can probably expect the addition soon.

    The best book I’ve read in the past year? Hard question! Let me think about it…

    Off the top of my head, I guess I’d have to say I most enjoyed The Pornography of Meat by Carol J. Adams (at least, that’s the book I spend the most time talking about) and St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell (yay for magical realism!).

  3. Daisy said,

    Emily, you stole mine!

  4. Emily said,

    Haha, both of them?

  5. Daisy said,

    Yes, ha. It’s too bad we read all the same stuff.

  6. Emily said,

    Well, I guess that means they really were the best books of the year.

  7. Quite Observer said,

    Hey how about some more

    liek “The Jungle”

    or “Confessions of an Echonomic Hitman” eh?

  8. Daisy said,

    Confessions of an Economic Hitman is slated for addition, actually, just as soon as we’ve gotten around to reading it. :)

  9. ballgame said,

    OK, I’ve read A Short History of Nearly Everything, and a book circulator at work is recommending Stiff, so that will be next.

    I would like to recommend Cannibals and Kings by Marvin Harris for you.

  10. Daisy said,

    Thanks for the recommendation! Wow, the title certainly sounds right up our alley… :)

  11. susan tucker said,

    Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

    Stanley Cohen, Against Criminology

  12. Emily said,

    Thanks Susan! We’ll definitely check them out.

  13. Required Reading « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] 6th, 2007 at 10:53 am (queer rights, books) I’ve added two books to the Required Reading list, and hopefully Daisy and Emily will forgive my […]

  14. (Never) Again « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] am (conservatives, the truth about many of them, injustice, death, books) This should have been on our reading list ages ago, but as I’ve only just finished it, I’ve only just added Maus: A […]

  15. The People’s Act of Love « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] cannibalism, books) I’ve just added The People’s Act of Love, by James Meek, to our reading list (goodness, it is getting very long). It’s an engaging novel, but I found the real value of […]

  16. Almanac of the Dead « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] only fifty pages in to Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko, but I’ve already put it on our reading list. I’m sure that’s the fastest any book has ever made it on […]

  17. Lisa Oppenheimer said,

    Time for you all to update the recommended reading list…..current picks?

  18. Emily said,

    Eek, yeah it is time. But what a daunting task…we’ll get on that soon.

  19. Iz said,

    The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things by Barry Glassner

    fuck media…

  20. No More Throw-Away People! « Our Descent Into Madness said,

    […] More Throw-Away People: The Co-Production Imperative, by Edgar S. Cahn, is the newest addition to our reading list. The book is so important, and so uncannily in line with our values, I’m not sure what to say […]

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