Monday, January 3, 2011

Currently Reading

Currently Reading is a segment in which I would like to discuss what book(s) I've been putting my nose in recently and hear about all of your current literary adventures, a resource to share about what books have found us for the first time or to muse on old favorites that have recaptured our interest. I have always been introduced to the best reads from close pals, so I hope we can recreate that feeling of sharing here.

I am currently rereading The Culture of Make Believe by Derrick Jensen. I guess to be more accurate I am restarting it. Every time I pick up this engagingly dense and educational read I end up getting a bit overwhelmed, craving fiction, and leaving it by the bedside untouched about half way through. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful read. I highly, highly recommend this book (unless something drastically changes in the last hundred pages). I am a lazy bum who sometimes prefers a nice issue of Bust, examining issues I am familiar and more comfortable with, rather than something that challenges and maybe scares me.

In The Culture of Make Believe Jensen examines the base causes of discrimination, oppression, murder, etc... through the lens of honest and informed curiosity. He takes a harsh look at his own privilege and how it has molded him. I have never read such a fascinating and deeply personal study of hate and why hate is more complicated and ingrained than I ever thought it was. It is more than some backwards hillbilly spewing intolerance from his porch or even with his vote. Hate wears many masks and sometimes it is so deep-seeded and removed it can no longer be called by such a simple name. This book is a history lesson, a sociological study and so much more. It has forced me to examine my own privilege, as well as my choices, knee-jerk reactions, fears. It has been a much needed mirror that we all turn away from far too often.

I have decided to take my time with it this go around. Read it when I feel called to and put it down for some lighter fare when so inclined. I will not get frustrated with my lack of commitment and return it to the shelf. I will pace myself, read at my leisure, and enjoy every minute of it.

So what about you? What reads are you currently sinking your teeth into?

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