My Most Recent Reads - March, 2014

March was a very busy month but I did manage to scoop up another 20 reads, though none were traditional books.  However, given that I also read 31 short stories in the month, I'd say I did a fair share of reading.  

I had a couple interesting reads this month that I would definitely recommend for those who have interest in the subjects they cover.


Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It by Lisa Bloom

Lisa Bloom - Suspicion Nation
Bloom provides a very strong analysis and discussion of the Trayvon Martin Case that would be essential reading for anyone looking to make sense of the various legal and cultural issues surrounding the case.  She goes further to highlight how Martin's case is representative of the experiences of minorities--particularly African Americans--in our culture due to historical and cultural dynamics that perpetuate institutional racism.  She notes that while there has been clear progress, there are also places where we have stagnated or neglected the complexities of race relations.  Lisa Bloom's approach is sometimes a little over the top (such as when she creates courtroom dialogue to show how it should have gone), but overall, her argument is spot on.


Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson 

Benedict Anderson - Imagined Communities
Anderson's Imagined Communities is one of those books many people refer to for lots of reasons.  It's an important book for consideration for history, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, and even technology that facilitates social relationships.  I've known the premise of it for a while but it was interesting to actually read it and see if chockful of various populations and historical moments that I hadn't even thought of being included in the concept of imagined communities.  Equally interesting was Arnold's discussing of the publishing history of the book and how different publications in different cultures and languages rendered different meanings and relevance to those cultures.  I can understand why so many find it a useful text to draw upon, particularly in the age of digital media wherein we identify with and act as parts of imagined digital communities and find numerous ways of connecting with people we both know and don't "know" because of it.  


Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online by Chris Brogan

Chris Brogan - Social Media 101
Brogan's look at social media is a rather useful book for those first coming to social media as well as those who are intermediate users to pick up some tips.  He provides a lot of different ideas on how to grow your social media once you have determined what use(s) you have of social media. The book itself is adapted from numerous blog posts from his blog.  Therefore, you can get various bits of his advice for free.  He claims to clean it up for the book, but his interpretation of cleaning it up is pretty loose as he repeats many different concepts, sources, anecdotes and sites throughout the book.  In fact, a conscious reduction of these repeated points could have shrunken the book by 1/3.  That being said, there is handy content in the book worth reading.

So for those keeping count or wanting to know what else I've done for reading this year, here is the Year's Monthly Reading Reflections

And for those of you who want to check out what I'm reading over 2014, check out my 2014 Books Read List on GoodReads.

AUDIOBOOKS

  • The Power of Forgetting: Six Essential Skills to Clear Out Brain Clutter and Become the Sharpest, Smartest You by Mike Byster
  • Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It by Lisa Bloom
  • Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done by Stephan Pastis
  • Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson 
  • Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online by Chris Brogan
  • Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Israel Shell and Robert Schoble
  • Cyberwar: The Next Threat to National Security & What to Do About It by Richard Clarke

GRAPHIC NOVELS

  • Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
  • Avengers, Vol. 4: Infinity by Jonathan Hickman 
  • Green Lantern: New Guardians, Vol. 2: Beyond Hope by Tony Bedard 
  • The Superior Spider-Man, Vol. 4: Necessary Evil by Dan Slott
  • Justice League Dark, Vol. 3: The Death of Magic by Jeff Lemire
  • Indestructible Hulk, Vol. 3: S.M.A.S.H. Time by Mark Waid
  • Batgirl, Vol. 2: Knightfall Descends by Gail Simone
  • Batgirl, Vol. 3: Death of the Family by Gail Simone
  • Doctor Strange: Season One by Greg Pak
  • Age of Ultron by Brian Michael Bendis 
  • Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Volume 1: Versus by Chris Yost
  • Animal Man, Vol. 4: Splinter Species by Jeff Lemire
  • The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War Part 1 by Robert Kirkman 



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