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I Wanna Be Literated! 105
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A critical evaluation of Renée by Ludovic Debeurme. Readers need to buckle up and strap on their helmets, because this book is going to take you on an emotional ride and it’s going to get uncomfortable. Renée should be applauded for getting so many things right in a medium that is honestly either misunderstood or under-appreciated. Who says comics can’t look fresh and tug at your heartstrings in a disturbing way? There are a lot of ideas floating around in...

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Wednesday, 20 April 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 104
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A critical evaluation of NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX and Jeff Alulis, published by Da Capo Press. As “Fat” Mike Burkett says himself in the final chapter of NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories, “I guess when a person tells one fucked-up story it sounds believable, but a series of fucked-up stories back to back sounds too weird to be true. Collectively, NOFX have enough fucked up stories that no one ever knows what to...

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Tuesday, 12 April 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 102
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A critical evaluation of Human Society in Ethics and Politics by Bertrand Russell. Above all, one has always been able to count on Betrand Russell to speak his mind no matter what the consequences may be, historically. While he sometimes wrote on very specific topics like education or western philosophy, on other occasions he covered much broader subjects like in this book, Human Society in Ethics and Politics. I suppose this tendency to speak freely had gained him a reputation...

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Tuesday, 29 March 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 101
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A critical evaluation of Let’s Go To Hell: Scattered Memories of the Butthole Surfers by James Burns, published by Cheap Drugs. Whether it was because of the book’s great quality or simply because it was the first to address the merits of the bands which erupted out of the American underground music scene in the 1980s, Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life truly did set a standard that any other book which intended to cover any of the...

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Tuesday, 22 March 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 099
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A critical evaluation of On Education by Bertrand Russell. Bertrand Russell’s irreverent take on social institution continues through On Education. Here, as expected, Russell takes a very liberal approach regarding how children should be educated and considers the value of ornamental and practical education and its goals (“Hamlet, on the other hand, will not be much use in practical life, except in those rare cases where a man is called upon to kill his uncle”). It also bares noting that...

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Friday, 26 February 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 097
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Title: The Method of Freedom: An Errico Malatesta Reader Author: Errico Malatesta AK Press has been doing scholars a service these past few years by putting out some pretty stellar anthologies of some of anarchism’s greatest writers. First it was Proudhon and the Property is Theft! anthology. Then, there was Kropotkin’s Direct Struggle Against Capital. Both edited by Iain McKaye and both informative and thorough. But this anthology on Errico Malatesta takes the cake.  I don’t...

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 096
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101 Artists To Listen To Before You Die Author: Ricardo Cavolo I have to tell you, there’s nothing that irks me more than false advertisement. Even if Cavolo tells the the reader right at the beginning that this is just a collection of his 101 favorite (or essential to him, at least) artists. Whatever the case may be, 101 Artists to Listen to Before You Die is not what it claims it is, and Cavolo himself admits it. What this...

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Tuesday, 26 January 2016
I WANNA BE LITERATED! 095
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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory, by Caitlin Doughty There’s no doubt in my mind how this book became a New York Times Bestseller. This is the most important non-fiction title I’ve read in years, and I suggest that everyone, EVERYONE, EVERYONE read it. We are all going to die, or will have to deal with the death of someone close to us and this book helps us come to grips with the harsh realities...

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Saturday, 23 January 2016
I Wanna Be Literated! 094
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A critical evaluation of Feminist Theory from Margin to Center by Bell Hooks. Without knowing the context in which Feminist Theory was written, it’s hard to distinguish whether it was written as a response to feminism today or thirty years ago – but that doesn’t matter, really. What does matter is that there are many things we (feminists or not) can learn today from this book. Now I’m going to avoid writing Bell Hooks’ name after this sentence because I...

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Sunday, 17 January 2016