I recently readFire on the Prairieand it is an excellent book about the life of former mayor of Chicago Harold Washington. It was really eye opening in many ways. I have always heard about the so-called Council Wars, but I had no idea that one of the main driving factors was Washington’s race; the other was he was a non-machine politician.
I could probably do another blog post on the book and how a lot of the bigots in power then are still around today, but I want to talk about an omission from the book.
In 1999 I was in eighth grade. To get on the internet, I had to have my parents enter in the password before the modem dialed up our internet provider. Clever me, I tacitly installed NetZero and was able to get on the internet without their knowledge. Once online, I downloaded Napster, and the first song I downloaded is the Beastie Boys’ “Intergalactic.”
Flash forward a couple of months. I’m on a week-long church confirmation trip. My parents give me $100 to spend on souvenirs and to use on the roller coaster at Mall of America. The first stop our coach bus made was at a Wal-Mart in Wisconsin, and I dropped $35 on the Beastie Boys’ The Sounds of Science compilation. When the trip was over, my parents asked for their remaining money back. I told them there was none and lied about how I spent the money. Then they found all the CDs I bought. They were not happy, but for reasons I don’t remember, my dad was really not happy I bought a Beastie Boys album.
I just finished a book I did not like, but I mainly finished it because I paid $2 for it and wanted to get my money’s worth.
I didn’t know much about the book going into it, but it was recommended to me a few years ago by my then counselor for reasons I’ve since forgotten. I hated this book.
The book is everything wrong with self-help books: easy chapters with easy answers. The premise of the book is about saying no and finding balance in your life. I believe that finding balance when you’re a self-employed author and professional pollyanna comes easier to you than 99% of the population.
Studs Terkel’s Working is possibly the most depressing book I’ve read. It was also one of the hardest books I’ve read too. The book is a collection of interviews Terkel did over the years talking to a variety of people across the country about their jobs. The difficulty in reading the book is not the prose, but it’s because the interview subjects in the book dislike their job with such fervent passion it was bleak to read. Working made me assess both my own employment situation and the 21st century’s.
I just finished Miles Davis’ autobiography and it was insane. It’s easily one of the best autobiographies I’ve read and it is certainly the most entertaining biography I’ve read. Other than the excessive profanity, my favorite part is all the great names of people in his life. These are my favorite names from the book.