Our second Summer Reading List comes from a Sequential contributor: writer, comics critic and financial whiz-kid David Hains.
Please send us yours.
covder of lament for a nation by george grant
So I’m David Hains and I write for Sequential here and there when I can. As well, I’ve collaborated on some comics over at novastealth.com, but those haven’t updated in a while.
So I’ll break down my reading into comics and non-comics:
The last book I read was the Moneyball-style book by Canadian Jonah Keri, The Extra 2%. It details the rise of baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays in spite of them being one of the poorest teams in baseball in the toughest division. It was pretty good but not out of this world good like I had been expecting.
I’m currently reading the non-comic What’s the Matter with Kansas?, the 2004 Thomas Frank book that argues Kansas (and states like it) vote against their economic self-interest as they focus on cultural hot-button issues. He furthers his argument by saying that by choosing to highlight non-resolvable cultural issues over economic ones, the largely low-income conservative electorate (in rural or small city America) perpetuates their economic problems. If this sounds boring then that’s OK, because I am too. But in all honesty, the book is pretty interesting and entertaining.
Next on my non-comic summer reading list will be going through some of George Grant’s writing. I’m collaborating on a paper comparing Grant’s and Seth’s vision of Canada with my good friend and super smart guy Joe Dunlop. Grant was highly critical of modernity and technological advancement in particular, arguing that this move forward made individuals lose moral foundations and stray from their quest of meaning, order and unity. I’ll be reading Lament For a Nation and Philosophy in the Mass Age to start. Maybe the George Grant Reader too.
I think I’ll need to move on to some different subject matter after this so I might move on to a collection of Arthur C Clarke short stories my friend Peter gave me for my birthday (which is in December). I’ve also heard that Hunger Games is good? I don’t know if I’ll have time for it, it’ll probably get put back in the rotation for later. And throughout the summer I’ll be working my way through David Carter’s book The Elements of Pop-Up because I want to learn how to make pop-up and paper engineering elements. Yes, I’m still 12 years old. It’s a good age.
As for comics, there’s a handful that I’ve purchased that I haven’t got around to reading but I want to keep up with what’s been coming out. I’ve heard good things about Joe Ollman’s Mid-Life and I like his past stuff, so I’m looking forward to that one. I really haven’t read that much by Zach Worton, but his long-in-the-making Canadian history book The Klondike looks promising and worthwhile. I’m a fan of the non-fiction/historic comics genre if you want to call it that? (Can we? As a sometimes reviewer and interviewer pigeon-holing things makes it so much easier. Thanks.) However long Worton spent on The Klondike, I think Kagan Macleod has been working on Infinite Kung Fu even longer. He’s produced a big brick of a book and the sample pages I’ve seen have predictably excellent art. If I manage to find the time I also want to make my way through Eddie Campbell’s Alec: The Years Have Pants. I like Campbell’s comics as he’s a smart and talented guy, even if he infuriates me as a reader sometimes (I’m looking at you, Fate of the Artist). I’m also looking forward to Ethan Rilly’s book-length Pope Hats but that doesn’t come out until this fall.
And lastly, I read far too much stuff online from Twitter drivel to articles on Toronto and American politics (clearly I enjoy being infuriated by what I read). The Comics Journal has been top-notch since they did their web re-design and changed editorial control. And I’ll probably waste time watching cats riding roombas on YouTube too.