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I Wanna Be Literated #160
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I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong Back in college, like any student, there were a plethora of classes I was forced to take that I didn’t really want to. One of those classes was microbiology. I was a bio major, but I thought microbiology meant looking at microscopes at more multicellular things. I was wrong. I also wasn’t a very good student, if that’s still not clear. It was a...

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Tuesday, 25 July 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #158
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The Russian Revolution 1917: A Personal Record by N.N. Sukhanov by Nikolai Nikolaevich Sukhanov, Joel Carmichael It’s incredible to believe that it’s been 100 years since the Russian Revolution: the Ten Days that Shook the World as Jack Reid called them. It begun one of the greatest social experiments in humanity and now, 100 years later, having “failed,” it’s still subject to in depth analysis, what it accomplished, where it fell short, and what we can learn from it. Probably...

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Thursday, 13 July 2017
From the GC archives: Bob Odenkirk a Load of Hooey
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A Load of Hooey by Bob Odenkirk Let me start this review, just like Bob Odenkirk starts his reviews in this book, by saying that I am a huge Bob Odenkirk fan. So of course someone like me is going to be absolutely ecstatic at the idea of Bob Odenkirk writing a book. Even more so one that it;s being put out by the fine folks at McSweeney’s. And lo and behold, I was quite pleased with the content of...

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #155
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Deciding What’s True: The Rise of Political Fact-Checking in American Journalism by Lucas Graves, I can’t think of a time when we’ve been more aware of the facts we’ve been consuming. Of course that has a lot to do with our political climate, claims of what’s true and what’s fake news and what responsibility we have as news consumers to look at our diet more critically. Whatever your political leanings, we can all argue that we’d all prefer to read...

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Tuesday, 16 May 2017
I Wanna be Literated #149
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The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee As a scientist, it’s hard for me to back up and realize that the general public’s understanding of DNA and genes in general is incomplete and vague. Lucky for us we have people like Siddhartha Mukherjee and his book The Gene which is truly one of the great science books aimed at the general public. An old mentor of mine once said that even as we advance in our career as scientists...

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126
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Tuesday, 28 March 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #143
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Cheap Novelties: The Pleasures of Urban Decay by Ben Katchor This book is nice and simple, and maybe our review of it should be the same. Comics get a bad rap for being only about superheroes so their potential for telling common everyday stories is often ignored or overlooked. As a medium they can tell stories as subtle and personal as any other art form, and Cheap Novelties is as good of an example as any. Knowing nothing about Ben...

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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
I Wanna Be Literated! #136
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Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain Having done my fair share of biography readings I have come to appreciate the oral history format more and more as the years go by. It just took a book like Please Kill Me to make me realize what a fun and thorough and effective experience it can be. I like to think of myself as a punk, but since it’s a badge of honor in...

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Wednesday, 30 November 2016
From the GC Archives: I Wanna Be Literated! #001
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Hollywood Said No! Orphaned Film Scripts, Bastard Scenes, and Abandoned Darlings from the Creators of Mr. Show By Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, and Brian Posehn. Welcome to our new book review column here on Ground Control called “I Wanna be Literated”! We are going to try and keep this column up with not-just music related and not just brand new books. Some will be topical, old, some new, some borrowed, and almost all of them blue. We are proud to...

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Monday, 31 October 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 122
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Socialism . . . Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation by Danny Katch “Socialism… Seriously” might be a small book, but boy is it powerful. Unfortunately , ever since I decided to bone up on my Socialist/Communist/Anarchist literature I’ve had to piece together the basic idea of each movement from various other books by various other authors. I’m still looking for that perfect Anarchism and Communism book that lays it all out and I can recommend to friends, but...

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Friday, 26 August 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! #121
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On Power and Ideology: The Managua Lectures by Noam Chomsky   I have been fascinated with the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua ever since learning about it from the Clash and reading Stephen Kinzer’s book Blood of Brothers. Can I admit that I really enjoyed the book and saw the Sandinista revolution with mixed feelings? Sure I can. Then, I happened to Google the author and Noam Chomsky (because I couldn’t calm the doubting beast) and found out that Chomsky has...

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Friday, 26 August 2016