The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Of Mooched Books & Borrowed Memes

I’ve only gotten as far as the first folder in my RSS reader today, but that’s fine because Nacho over at Woodmoor Village has already given me one one but two topics today. The first was his post about Parenting Beyond Belief: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids Without Religion, which inspired my post and inspired me to run out at grab a copy during my lunch break. Now I’m borrowing this old book meme from Nacho, because it’s been a while since I’ve blogged much about what I’m reading or asked readers here what they’re reading. (And I almost always get ideas for future reads from the comments.)

So, here goes.

  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open it to page 161.
  3. Find the fifth full sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions.
  5. Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

It just happens that the book nearest me is one that I’m almost done reading, which has inspired me to start restocking my “stash” to ensure my “fix” is always within arm’s reach.

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As it happens, the nearest book to me is The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity, and the fifth sentence on page 161 is from the chapter entitled “Permutations of the Presidential Phallus,” and refers to Hillary Clinton.

As a victim who nevertheless stood by her man, the same Gallup survey found, not only was the first lady the woman most admired by Americans, but her rating was twice that of the previous year.

If I were going to fudge the rules a little I’d also include the sentence after that one — “As Bill Maher might have said, she was now the Clinton without the dick.” — because it’s just more fun. But I won’t do that. The book, though, by Stephen Ducat, is a very interesting read. One that I think I’m probably going to pull off the shelf again and again, to pull quotes for blog posts. It’s been particularly stimulating to re-read it alongside A Mind of Its Own: A Cultural History of the Penis, which I read a couple of years ago and decided to pick up again after finishing Talking Cock, which was preceded by She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders.

All that gendered reading has sent me back to Boomooch. I think it was a footnote in one of the books above that mentioned John Stoltenberg, which reminded me that someone had one recommended his writing to me in a comment on a blog post, and my writing about gender and masculinity of late brought it back to the forefront of my mind. I googled around and found his essay “Why I Stopped Trying to Be a Real Man” and eventually that led me back to his book Refusing to be a Man, which I was fortunate enough to find on Bookmooch, and which is now on its way to my hot little hands. I didn’t have as much luck with The End of Manhood: A Book for Men of Conscience, so I may have to buy it used. But I was intrigued enough with the essay to want to read both.

With my writing about masculinity, homophobia and bullying after the VA Tech shootings It wasn’t a far leap from there to picking up a copy of All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity, which was previously recommended to me, and cropped up again while researching stuff I wanted to blog about later. But, it’s the second in a series, so I went back to Bookmooch and found Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank, which is also winging its way to my nightstand.

That ought to be enough to hold me for a while. But just in case, read any good books lately? What’s on your nightstand or waiting in your “to read” pile?

One Comment

  1. From Spin Control, by Chris Moriarty:

    Hyacinthe Cohen (Hy, predictably to his Israeli friends) had been a pigheadedly rational man.

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