MyAmericanFuture

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14-15, 2012: Crowd-Sourcing Beach Reads

[The next crowd-sourced post, with suggestions on American Studies beach reads drawn from readers, Facebook commenters, Tweeters, friends, and more! Add yours below, and happy reading!]
Michelle Moravec highlights Clarence Lusane’s The Black History of the White House, a “very readable yet informative” work of American political and social history.
Heidi Kim writes that “Shawn Wong wrote his novel American Knees specifically so his wife could have something to read at the beach. Also for his students, who wanted something fun to relate to. It’s basically a bunch of mixed-up interracial romantic relationships that yield funny but serious reflections on racial identity."
Rob Velella (author of this guest post) describes a beach read as “something you can sit down and read in a single sitting, regardless of how challenging it is or its multiplicity of depth. On that note, then, I have to recommend Stephen Crane’s ‘The Monster’ as well as Thomas Bailey Aldrich’s ‘The Story of a Bad Boy.’ Just because.”
Irene Martyniuk writes that “Beach reads, or summer reads, to me, are more about entertainment than analysis. That doesn't preclude the two from coming together, by any means. In fact, when they do, it is remarkably pleasant and useful in surprising ways. For instance, when I had only been at FSU for a few years, I read Clancy's Patriot Games with the notion of just arguing about it with my conservative family. Instead, I was able to discuss it at great length at an Irish Lit conference back in South Carolina, focusing on terrorism and presentations of terrorists. Even further, after 9/11, I went back to the same group and talked about how I need to rethink my ideas in light of what had happened.”
Max Cohen writes that “As far as American Studies sci-fi/fantasy book reads go may I suggest The Demon Trapper’s Daughter? YA but still worth the read. Set in the year 2018 in Atlanta, GA after our education system has failed (because of privatization) and Atlanta is basically a festering pile of demons and death. Kind of a light read (at least compared to Tad Williams) but the underlying collapse of America should be pretty interesting to you.”
And a bonus: following up last week’s series on the Jackson Homestead and Museum, Faith Sutter of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology recommends Digging Veritas, the Peabody’s exhibition on Harvard’s 17th century Indian College.
Vacation post (with many links!) next week,
Ben
PS. Any suggestions to add?
7/15 Memory Day nominee: Clement Clarke Moore, who might or might not have written “A Visit from St. Nicholas”—which is pretty appropriate since the poem did more than any other single work to cement our images of perhaps our most mythic and frequently lied-about figure.

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