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I Wanna Be Literated #260
BOOKS

Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empireby David Remnick I love Soviet Russia history. It’s my jam and I suspect it will ALWAYS be my jam. But, I have to admit it’s been mostly the Lenin-Stalin era that I’ve sought out: the beginning. Probably because it all plays out like a sad soap opera right up to Stalin’s death. With this book, I decided to skip right to the end and learn about what made it all fall...

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Tuesday, 13 September 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #259
BOOKS

Don’t Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Lifeby Seth Stephens-Davidowitz I read mostly non-fiction because I consume so much fiction already (whether it’s TV or movies) that it’s my only avenue for learning. And self-help books don’t count, because let’s face it, they’re all a complete waste of time. Most of the time, they just tell us what we already know or what we want to hear. However, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has taken it upon...

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Tuesday, 26 July 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #258
BOOKS

Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, the Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythmby Dan Charnas It’s about time someone wrote a book on J Dilla. A legendary producer who I only recently became aware of, his music is intriguing and sounds vaguely familiar, and as it turns out, it’s because of certain unique element that have since become a norm of sorts in modern hip hop. J Dilla seems both a God and an underappreciated element in the...

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Monday, 25 July 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #257
BOOKS

Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise and Fall of SST Recordsby Jim Ruland I’m going to start calling Jim Ruland “Jim Rules-and” or “Jim Rules Land.” By the time I came to punk rock  in the late 90s (and it really is a calling), SST was already going “dormant.” It a took a few years of dedication to realize I had to go back to the source to truly understand modern music and that inevitably led me to SST Records. But,...

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Friday, 03 June 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #256
BOOKS

Draculaby Bram Stoker Remember when vampires were hot? Are they still hot? I think so, because What We Do in the Shadows is so popular. Maybe vampires work better as a punch line. Whatever the case, I’ve always thought vampires were a cool concoction. Maybe because it’s been parodied so much or maybe it’s the element of a foreigner as a tortured soul forced to feed off the blood of the innocent. Ghoulish! I remember Coppola’s Dracula was a huge...

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Wednesday, 11 May 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #255
BOOKS

The Book of Darrylby the Goggles Look, let’s cut to the chase here. I love a good idea, and the Book of Darryl is full of good ideas. The premise: imagine that Jesus had a childhood friend that he formed a band with in the dark years that weren’t covered in the bible. Add to that some great illustrations, inspired by the look of those medieval paintings and have them come to life to elevate the story. Then, write some...

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Sunday, 01 May 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #253
BOOKS

Comedy Comedy Comedy Dramaby Bob Odenkirk Look, I can’t help but love Bob Odenkirk, OK? Or “Bob” as I like to call him. Watching him do comedy is almost as interesting as watching his rise into the mainstream. I couldn’t be happier for him and I’ve always thought he was an underappreciated comedic genius. But, I guess most people don’t know him from comedy, but from Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul. Personally, I don’t think his work in BCS is really...

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Thursday, 07 April 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #250
BOOKS

Sellout: The Major-Label Feeding Frenzy That Swept Punk, Emo, and Hardcore (1994–2007)by Dan Ozzi Punk rock has come full circle. It started with a feeding frenzy from the major labels wanting to cash in on the movement/music in the 70s (remember, the Clash were on CBS Records and the Ramones on Sire, which is technically Warner Brothers), then became reviled by the mainstream, and now it’s back on the yacht (comfortably solidifying its place as hackneyed when the Met Gala...

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Tuesday, 01 March 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #247
BOOKS

The Theory of EverythingThe Origin and Fate of the Universeby Stephen Hawking It’s probably a good idea if we collectively started consuming a little less fiction and read more non-fiction, particularly stuff that challenged and helps us understand the world around us, right? Someone on my block didn’t think so and put this book in a “Free” box on their stoop and I couldn’t help but give it a good home. What I like to think is that the contents...

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Tuesday, 25 January 2022
I Wanna Be Literated #246
BOOKS

Crossroadsby Jonathan Franzen I watch so much fiction (movies, TV shows), that I make up for it with the books I read. I didn’t read much last year, but when I did, I tried to stick to non-fiction, autobiographies, etc. But when Jonathan Franzen releases a book, that all comes to a stop. I’m what you would call a literary dum-dum. I judge books by their covers. I can’t recognize an elegant sentence if it was repeated for an entire...

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Monday, 10 January 2022