#WorldBookDay2020

According to Twitter, today is World Book Day. I thought about just listing all the books I’m reading right now, but then I realized that I have a blog where I can talk about all of them and post the entry to Twitter! Because I am currently reading 13 different books. Well, reading may be a strong word to use for some of them…

The Sum of All Fears
by Tom Clancy

At the end of last year I decided to read Cardinal of the Kremlin because I didn’t remember reading it of those early Jack Ryan books. After I finished it, I just went for a read from the in-series chronological order. Right now I’m up to The Sum of All Fears which I don’t think I read before. As with most of the Jack Ryan books, I’m really enjoying it.

Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life
by Humble the Poet

I picked this up for free on Kindle between it being on sale and having credits. This is great for reading a chapter or two when I need a break from everything. It’s a great read. It is spiritual and so refreshing.

Alexander Hamilton
by Ron Chernow

This has been on my “currently reading” list for the longest. I picked it up back in March 2016. The only reason it has taken so long to read is I don’t have time to get absorbed by the amazing writing and spend hours reading it. Chernow is a wordsmith and is able to bring history to life in a way that I had not experienced before.

Introducing Cultural Studies
by Ziauddin Sadar, Borin Van Loon, and Richard Appignanesi

This is part of the Graphic Guide series that gives an introduction to different scholars, areas of study, and theories in a graphic novel way. I love the combination of illustration with the words, as well as another scholar’s take on things. This book has really been interesting because it talks about Cultural Studies in different countries, not just the idea of cultural studies in one context or another. It’s given me a better grasp on what Cultural Studies can mean, as well as what most people think of here in the US.

They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing
by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein

This is the one book that I have assigned to read this semester. In it they talk about how to bring in sources into your argument while still maintaining your voice in your work. It is going to be really helpful when I get to that point in my dissertation writing. Right now it’s a lot of the “I Say” side of things, which is just as important as the “They Say” and bringing the two together. I highly recommend it for anyone who is doing academic writing.

The Craft of Research, 4th Ed
by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, and William T. FitzGerald

I also recommend this for academic writers. It was recommended to me by my theory professor way back when I started my PhD work. This is actually my second or third time going through. They break research down into the steps and then break those steps down and give really useful advice. It makes the research process feel less overwhelming and more possible to do. I’m probably going to reread it every time I have a research project, because each project is different and I get something different from it each time I read it.

From Dissertation to Book
by William Germano

This book was recommended to me by the editor of a publishing company that I really love. I had asked for advice about turning my thesis into a book and she, and the rest of the panel, suggested this book. I haven’t read much, but it has also been helpful in helping me with my dissertation. What I’ve read so far talks about the differences between a dissertation and a book. I turns out I had been thinking about my dissertation like a book instead of a dissertation. Seeing those differences explained really helped me get started in the writing process and just getting the chapters figured out.

Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean
by Douglas Wolk

I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I got back to this book. I do remember it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it’s really interesting for a comic scholar.

Batgirl Vol. 3: Death of the Family
by Gail Simone

This is an important chapter in Barbara Gordon’s life, especially in this post-New 52 world. This addresses the trauma that she went through and how it still affects her. It is really important for me to read, especially since I’m writing a book chapter on Oracle!

House of X/Powers of X
by Jonathan Hickman

When they announced that this big change was coming, I made the conscious decision to wait for this book before moving forward. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep reading, especially as a researcher. It is an interesting read so far. They alternate the series by number, so it’s the number one of each, then the number two, and so on. I think I’m getting what’s going on in this part, but I’m continuing, hoping that I get an idea of where the franchise is going and whether I want to start reading any of the comics again.

X-Men comics were one of the first comics series I read. But now it’s become more of a search for how it works with my argument about their correlation to Deaf Culture. There is little to none of that when they’re not in relation to humans. Then again, I always like the storylines that were more about the X-Men and their culture and everyday lives than the stories that took place in space or were focused on on baddie.

Metaculture: How Culture Moves Through the World
by Greg Urban

This is the main theory that I am working with in my dissertation. I am working on building on it, making connections to other related works to expand on it, using Hamilton as my example, as the focus of those connections. It has taken me years to get his work to click, but when it did, I realized that this has been a huge part of my research. I simply didn’t realize it. It is a very intense read.

Signifying Rappers
by David Foster Wallace and Mark Costello

My dissertation chair/advisor strongly suggested reading this, because of its perspective on rap and hip-hop by white guys in Boston. I’ve only gotten through the first chapter so far, but its an interesting read. I just need to figure out how it fits into things.

Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture
by Philip Auslander

Another book recommended by my chair/advisor. He recommended this back when I was arguing about the importance of seeing it live, in the theater and how that differed from other ways of seeing it. I think I can still use it to talk about that difference, but in a different way. I think realizing the bigger picture that I am writing about has changed how I interact with this text. I may have to start it over again.

This whole pandemic and quarantine has changed so many things. It’s part of why my list has grown. I keep forgetting how many books I already have started and pick up something new. I’m trying to get refocused, get these books read so I can make that progress and move forward.

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