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Books to Read

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One rainy day, we shut down the World Economic Forum.

Life is too short to read badly written or untransformative books: Here are some excellent books:

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me reading

Political Books

Pedagogy of the Oppressed ~ Paulo Friere Lib

The Decline of American Power ~ Immanuel Wallerstein Lib

Nickel and Dimed: Undercover in Low-wage America~ Barbara Ehrenreich Lib

Ideas For Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change ~ Cynthia Kaufman (This should be a theory textbook for all social change agents!!)

The End of Capitalism (as we knew it): A feminist critique of political economy~ J.K. Gibson-Graham

We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible rise of Global Anticapitalism ~ Notes From Nowhere Collective

Toxic Sludge is good for you- Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry ~ Shelden and Stauber Lib

Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism~ Sharon Beder Lib

Taking the Risk out of Democracy~ Alex Carey Lib

Heart Politics~ Fran Peavey Lib

The Algebra of Infinite Justice ~ Arundhati Roy Lib

The Age of Consent ~ George Monbiot

The Political Economy of Participatory Economics ~ Michael Albert Lib

No Logo and Fences and Windows ~ Naomi Klein Lib

Green Bans, Red Union ~ Meredith and Verity Burgmann Lib

Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture~ Andrew Kimbrell (Ed.)

Ancient Futures- Learning from Ladakh~ Helena Norberg-Hodge

Change the World Without Taking Power~ John Holloway

Mahatma Gandhi: nonviolent power in action~ Denis Dalton Lib

Rules for Radicals, Saul Allinsky Lib

Marx's Ecology

Books that are Conceptually interesting; that promote paradigm shifts

Ways of Seeing ~ John Berger Lib

Women, Fire and Dangerous Things~ George Lakoff Lib

Novels and Poets

Childrens books: Early on, I read a lot. I probably read about 200 golden books and 100 beginner books (especially Dr Seuss), among hundreds of other picture books. Mum read us all 21 of the Famous Five books, all of the Faraway Tree books (Enid Blyton), Ruth Park, Colin Thiele and all of the Narnia books. Mrs Weston introduced me to the Little House on the Prairie series and of course I also enjoyed all of Roald Dahl.

I liked realist tragedy and survival stories, such as Bridge to Terabithia, The Liverpool series (about England in the Depression), Homecoming and other books by Cynthia Voigt, and books about WW2, such as The Upstairs Room, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Silver Sword.

In high school, I read a lot less. I don't know whether that was because i couldn't find good quality, interesting books, or something else. Maybe I got burned out on stupid books like Moby Dick! I certainly read a few extremely disturbing books, including The Diary of a Street Kid, and Tandia, the sequel to The Power of One. I also read lots of books on vegetable gardening and permaculture. AND, I enjoyed reading the Tomorrow series by John Marsden. Actually, I experienced much of the thrill of this series (about a group of teenagers who realise they have to become guerilla fighters) being involved in politics at uni!!

During year eleven and year twelve, I recovered an appreciation of literature, with Mrs Elston teaching me T S Eliot, and Othello, as well as Wuthering Heights. I really enjoyed studying Othello: I was amazed at the way that an entire play could be so intensely focused on the fall from grace of a single man (I wished I got that kind of attention!) Also, the melodrama of Bronte was intoxicating. Here is a passage I have still memorised from Wuthering Heights:

He dashed his head against the knotted trunk, and, lifting his eyes, howled not like a man, but like a savage beast, being goaded to death with knives and spears.

Since school, I've studied English at uni, and also enjoyed participating in reading groups with Devika. However, I've never quite recovered my childhood ravenous appetite for reading. :( These days, I dont read much fiction.... except Douglas Coupland "Hey, Nostradamus!" (his writing suits my restlessness) , Ann Radcliffe- The Italian (the main novel I enjoyed in university english)- Another gothic novel that deals with vast, dark, mysterious spaces.

Poets I enjoy

Blake, Coleridge, Ted Hughes, Wilfred Owen, Alan Ginsberg, Margaret Atwood, W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney, Robert Gray, T.S.Eliot, Ani diFranco(!)

Vegetable Gardening Books

Jackie French's Guide to Companion Planting, also her guides to Backyard Self-Sufficiency, also The Wilderness Garden.

Fiction:

the Brontes, Radcliffe, James Joyce, Kafka, DH Lawrence,

Spiritual Books

The Seat of the Soul~ Gary Zukav Lib

Jesus before Christianity~ Albert Nolan Lib

Imagine Believing~ Adrian Lyons SJ

Women who Run with the Wolves~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Psychology and Self Help Books

A guide to possibility land : fifty-one methods for doing brief, respectful therapy / Bill O'Hanlon, Sandy Beadle. Lib

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