I'm zipping over to Drinking Liberally to drop off some books for Dave and his comrades in Iraq and then heading over to Walker Art Center to hear my friend Tom Meyer. It's tough work being Liberal some nights, but not nearly as hard as the work they're doing.
I'm kind of a book hog — book lover carried to an extreme. I mark them up with a personal index in case I want to go back and find something, and almost never dispose of them unless they are total crap. So it was hard to balance possessiveness with the spirit of giving — and staying relatively progressive without rubbing George Bush's nether region over the noses of guys who are serving their country.
For example, I just can't part with my Kevin Phillips, though it would be good for guys to read and pass around. Is it uncool to send books related to how we got into Iraq? Should we slip in something non-political? You know, a good read.
For those who might care or consider sending books of their own, here's the contents of my book bag:
The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America, Eric Alterman and Mark Green
- The Company You Keep, Neil Gordon (A novel about antiwar fugitives long underground.)
- Robbing us Blind: The Return of the Bush Gang and the Mugging of America, Steve Brouwer
- Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet, James Mann
Plan of Attack, Bob Woodward
- What Should I Do with My Life?, Po Bronson
- Theory of War, Joan Brady (A real good novel about poverty and resentment and what it does to the human spirit)
- The Republican Noise Machine, David Brock
The Hammer: Tom DeLay. God, Money and the Rise of the Republican Congress, Lou Dubose and Jan Reid
- Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Al Franken
- The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer (A memoir about a kid brought up in bar. A friend who buys me a book once a year said, I thought you'd like this. She was right. I'd already bought myself a copy.)
- The Intuitionist, Colson Whitehead (Also a dupe. A great novel about contending schools of elevator inspectors.)
- Crow Lake, Mary Lawson (Another novel you buy to give away.)
I'll leave it to the group to decide if some of the choices are too polemical. [Update: I edited out three as asking for trouble. Mugging of America may have to be read under the blankets. As Rake publisher Tom Bartel remarked, if the captain catches guys reading some of these books, they'll find themselves on point the next day.]
Here's how you can send books on your own.