Received a number of books over the holidays (great gift, hint, hint…)
so I’ll mention them:
- The Hipster Handbook by Bechtel, Lanham and Nicely. Funny as hell field guide to an urban subculture. You probably know (or are) these people and even if you don’t you probably have their record collection and read their canon of books.
- Reefer Madness by Eric Schlosser. Juicy muckraking on the confluence of government and the businesses of drugs, pornography and illegal migrant labor. I’ve been reading it over Maria’s shoulder and it’s great. I can’t wait to read it through.
- Flim Flam by James (Amazing) Randi. Meandering, often conversational, debunking of the well-known claims of the paranormal. Interesting but in desperate need of a good editor. I’m halfway through and I don’t know that I’ll ever finish reading this one.
- Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn of the Century New York by Kathy Peiss. This has been on my reading list for years. A well-researched examination of the
development of working class female culture, autonomy, mores, sexuality and (to a small degree) identity. A good, but not great, read that’s at its best when
discussing the interactions of male-female socialization and economics, middle-class values and the commercialization of entertainment. I’m going to have to track down more recent books (Peiss published this in 1986) that go deeper into the topics and explore those in the bibliography.
- Monsters: Human Freaks in America’s Gilded Age by Eisenmann and Mitchell. Reprint of a 1970’s edition with new material. Looks interesting but a little light. I haven’t started it yet but it shouldn’t take more than an hour… the ratio of text to pictures is low.