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A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson
Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus
Rick Perlstein
We Don't Make Widgets: Overcoming the Myths That Keep Government from Radically Improving (Governing Management Series)
Ken Miller
The Richard Burton Diaries
Richard Burton, Chris Williams
The Elements of Style
William Strunk Jr., E.B. White
Regionalism and Realism: A Study of Government in the New York Metropolitan Area
Gerald Benjamin, Richard P. Nathan
Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools - Jonathan Kozol Outdated and at times overly emotional, but that aside, this is an excellent overview of the effects of the wild inequities in many American school systems.
Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later - Francine Pascal Fuck you. This book was awesome.
Little Pink House: A True Story of Defiance and Courage - Jeff Benedict This book is a novelization of the eminent domain battle that led to the 2005 Supreme Court decision. The dramatization of the story leaves a pretty clear sense that the whole story has not been told. It's a strange form to use for this story - it seems that a non-fictional account would be convincing enough. However, the story itself is compelling, if you're not familiar.

Policy Making Process, The (3rd Edition)

The Policy Making Process - Edward J. Woodhouse If the first year is indicative of how Obama plans to run his administration, I think Lindblom and his theories of democratic decision-making is going to prove to be more and more important over the next four years.
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole This was the most unpleasant book I've ever read that I think I might really like.
Oblivion - David Foster Wallace These stories were so much smarter than me.
All the Sad Young Literary Men - Keith Gessen It will come as a surprise to exactly no one that I loved this book. Sad and pretty and deeply satirical, it's the story of overeducated boys who can't figure out what to do about girls or their lives. It was kind of written just for me.

Financial Management For Public, Health, and Not-for-Profit Organizations (2nd Edition)

Financial Management for Public, Health, and Not-For-Profit Organizations - Steven A. Finkler For a textbook on financial management, this was not nearly as dry as I'd expected and very clear.
The Believers - Zoƫ Heller Ugh. Hateful people behaving hatefully.
How Democratic is the American Constitution? - Robert A. Dahl A really clear review of the problematics inherent in the kind of idol worship that's gone on with the American constitution. Not nearly as obnoxious as the title would have you believe.
How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America - Cristina Page Page takes on an admirable project here - connecting the dots between the various projects of the pro-life movement to create a picture of a faction obsessed with controlling the sexual behaviors of other people, particularly of women. She's not wrong, but she misses the final leaps to the incredible sexism, racism and classism of this movement intended to protect a traditional, patriarchal power structure.
A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present - Howard Zinn i read this every year.
Veronica - Mary Gaitskill How beautiful.
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal - Eric Schlosser this book made me desperately crave french fries.
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches - Audre Lorde Audre Lorde writes of oppression with astonishing beauty and sensitivity. In these essays and speeches, she discusses the invasion of Grenada, black sisterhood, the erotic and more as part of her life-long project of finding connections between multiple oppressions and overcoming them with community and love. A must read for anyone who wants to think about ways to create a better world.

Third Wave Feminism and Television: Jane Puts It in a Box

Third Wave Feminism and Television: Jane Puts It in a Box - Merri Lisa Johnson Merri Lisa Johnson's collection, Third Wave Feminism and Television uses contemporary television as a lens through which to view a variety of issues ranging from S/M practices to prisoner rape within a third wave framework. The essay most emblematic of this approach is the final one, Leslie Heywood's incredibly insightful "'The Room' as 'Heterosexual Closet': The Life and Death of Alternative Relationships on Six Feet Under." In it, Heywood uses Six Feet Under's Nate as an example of "queer heterosexuality" and through him discusses twentieth century constructions of masculinity and the relationship those ideals and the way heteronormativity has failed some straight people.

This conceit of examining focus points of feminist discussion through television isn't quite as effective in every essay, however. Carol Siegel's "Female Heterosexual Sadism: The Feminist Taboo in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series" is based on the premise that Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer judges the main character unfairly for her forays into an S/M relationship with Spike, a vampire, while the Anita Blake series looks more kindly on these types of encounters. Unfortunately, Siegel's take on Buffy the Vampire Slayer ignores the incredibly complicated texture of the relationship between Buffy and her vampire lover by completely decontextualizing just three episodes from the series' seven season run.

The rest of the essays find interesting ways to connect the cultural work of television to feminist reflections on the world. Katherine Frank uses The Bachelor to question ideas of romance and monogamy, Bobby Noble finds moments of female masculinity through a trans-ed reading of Queer as Folk, Lara Stemple breaks open the depiction of prison rape on Oz, Candace Moore continues Laura Mulvey's work in an examination of perspective on The L Word and Johnson herself looks at the intersection of class and gender on The Sopranos.

While Third Wave Feminism and Television is too academic make it a must-have for every casual TV viewer, for anyone interested in a close reading of contemporary television from a feminist standpoint, this collection of essays is a perfect addition to your bookshelf.