I just recently finished reading three books which have nothing to do with reading to my daughter or illustrations I need to do for people, and they were:
"Throw Them All Out" by Peter Schweizer, "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman and "The Santa Banana Double Love Suicides" by Kajolium Broadwick (Richard McGowan). All of them quite entertaining, but for completely different reasons.
If you want to have something to rant and foam at the mouth about as concerns out broken down political system, I would suggest "Throw Them All Out" as being just what the doctor ordered. I think there are a lot of people on this site who think that you can make the world a better place by voting Democrat (as opposed to Republican); my personal belief is that my conscience won't allow me to vote for a politician backed by either of our major parties. If you want evidence that none of these guys are working for anyone other than themselves and their friends who raised money for their election fund you can check this book out, because it's got some well researched and documented evidence of "crimes" which would get anyone outside of Washington D.C. convicted and sentenced to do major time for. I put "crimes" in quotes because almost nothing a politician can do is criminal since they exempt themselves from the laws that they pass for the rest of us. The most heavily indicted folks in the book are Democrats, but the author points out that "You might expect behavior like this from a Republican," so I think it might just be in the interest of dispelling the myth that Democrats are somehow free from taint since they campaign on a platform that makes you believe they're somehow more concerned about social justice, or something. Campaign finance reform is not going to be enough to fix this. I, personally, don't believe a problem like this will be solved until the nation's capital is a smoking ruin -- not that I would endorse revolution, or anything.
"Thinking, Fast and Slow" is all about flawed thinking and decision making processes. I like to think of myself as a pretty rational guy, who makes choices based on logic, rather than "what my heart tells me," but this book can make you seriously question everything you know about how people, including yourself, arrive at their conclusions, and the examples he provides of how a question or choice can be framed so as to make you believe things that you know are false is very interesting. I do have to pick on a couple of beliefs he maintains, because he seems to hold contradictory viewpoints on them himself, but you probably aren't interested in a rant about statistical regression (because who is?), so I'll skip it.
My friend Richard McGowan's new(er) book is "The Santa Banana Double Love Suicides," which, the only thing I can immediately compare to it to in order to give you any idea of what is contained therein is "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.":[link]
I gotta say, I love promiscuous Martian women, and having the opportunity to draw the covers of those books (like this one:[link]
, but Mr. McGowan always hooks me harder with his non-Martian writing. The main character of "The Santa Banana Double Love Suicides" (Kajolium Broadwick) tells us the story of the lesser-known cases of Detective Wakishita, his old roommate from his University days at Berkeley, and from there proceeds to embark on journeys across time and space, interacting with all manner of historic figure and alien, with the help of a mind "clarified" by frequently imbibing juice laced with LSD. It doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense, but it's a heck of a lot of fun; it's the sort of well-written, off-the-beaten-track weirdness that the world needs more of.
And it's not that I feel like I need to remind people (but I do), but, supporting people (artists, local business owners, your neighbors maybe) who are part of the "cultural underground," not a product of the mass-produced, chain-store, pop-culture machine, is probably the most effective way I can think of to promote change. It all begins with breaking the chain of sending our money into the hands of the huge corporations that already have all the money.
Peace and Love, folks.