The Bennington College Library asked me (and others) to put together a voluntary reading list for their students. This is what I came up with.
- Looking Backward 2000-1887 by Edward Bellamy – a classic of Utopian Fiction
- Dream Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy by Stephen Duncombe – utopia and contemporary politics collide
- 4 Arguments For the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander – this book influenced me a lot when I was 17 or so.
- Free as in Freedom – the biography of Richard Stallman
- Anything by Lawrence Lessig
- A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn – maybe you only need to read one history book, and this is it.
- PR! A social History of Spin – by Stuart Ewen – say you were to read another history book. This would be it.
The PR! book above is a great segue.
- Ad Nauseam: A Survivor’s Guide to American Consumer Culture – by Stay Free Magazine.
- Cute, Quaint, Hungry and Romantic – the Aesthetics of Consumerism – by Daniel Harris. This and Paul Lukas’s fanzine, Beer Frame, got me looking at the world with a whole new pair of eyes.
- Re/Search: Pranks – inspiring… sometimes disturbing.
- Anything by George Saunders. Maybe start with Pastoralia.
- Only Joking by Jimmy Carr and Lucy Greeves – About as academic a book I want to read on comedy.
Using marketing techniques to promote healthy behaviors. These are books I recommend often.
- Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity Through Social Marketing: Current Practices and Recommendations by Rina Alcalay, PhD and Robert Bell, PhD – If you can get past the fact that you are reading a study, this is solid gold.
- Fostering Sustainable Behavior An Introduction to Community Based Social Marketing – Doug MacKenzie Mohr and William Smith
Being An Artist
This is the practical stuff.
- Art & Fear: Observations On the Perils and Rewards of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland – I have bought this and given it away more times than I can remember.
- Creating a Life Worth Living by Carol Lloyd – I coincidentally found this book when I worked at a motorcycle job and decided I wanted to get out. This is what I recommend when people tell me they want to get out of a job.
- The Artist’s Guide: Making a Living Doing What You Love by Jackie Battenfield – I work with Jackie and she is the real deal.
- Getting Things Done by David Allen – yes it’s aimed at a business person demographic, but damn if it doesn’t work.