It seems my mind is going to be kept busy in the next calendar year.
In less than five minutes, I've devised a reading list based on a number of topics that interest me.
Specifically, I'm fascinated how the digital age is affecting not only communications among the general populus, but also our ability to engage in real-life social interaction and critical thinking. (There's also the drastic polarization of American politics. I can't help but be intrigued by this phenomenon.)
I started with Idiot America by Charles Pierce and The Cult of the Amateur by Andrew Keen.
In backtracking through Keen's blog, I've found he recommends Dick Meyer's Why We Hate Us: American Discontent in the New Millenium.
In a review of the book, Keen writes: "Dick Meyer is right. There is indeed something rotten in America today. And it could get worse, much much worse. Economic meltdown plus social change plus technological upheaval could add up to one furiously belligerent America. The world needs to take note. If the American brain really does go boom, it will bust not just America, but also the rest of the planet."
Sounds good, no?
Here is the rest of my reading list for 2010:
- Is There a Culture War?: A Dialogue on Values and American Public Life by James Davison Hunter
- Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled -- and More Miserable Than Ever Before by Jean M. Twenge
- Generation We: How Millenial Youth Are Taking Over America and Changing Our World Forever by Eric Greenberg
- The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism by Ron Suskind
- The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean M. Twenge
- The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations by Christopher Lasch
- Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson
- The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future by Mark Bauerlein
- The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
- Anti-Intellectualism in American Life by Richard Hofstadter
- Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich
And for fun:
- I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle to Beat Some Manners into Impolite Society by Amy Alkon
- Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer and Stephen Jay Gould
- Plus anything I can my hands on that's written by Carl Hiaasen, John Grisham and John Irving
How much time do I have?