This past week has been a whirlwind. Eight days ago Donald Trump assumed the leadership of one of the most powerful countries on earth. In this short amount of time, he has appointed bankers, billionaires, and executives to head up his cabinet. He has signed executive order after executive order which diminish the rights and the quality of life that my fellow countrymen deserve. He has also inspired massive protests around the united States and the world. This is not a political blog, this is a reading blog. But in the face of nascent fascism, I feel I must resist when and how I can. Today I am using my favorite weapon: Books.
Looking to get mad or stay that way? Want inspiration or motivation? Want to expand your reading outside of your comfort zone? This is my reading list for the resistance.
Okay, these two are probably the most obvious. Let’s face it, the current administration seem to have taken The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984 as instruction manuals rather than dystopian speculative fiction. Since “alternative facts” are making a comeback, 1984 will give you the rundown on just how to go about training yourself to accept them. And with both the executive and legislative branches of the government intent on rolling back women’s rights, you might want to check out this view of a United States that took that position to the extreme. And remeber:
“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
Don’t laugh. Everyone has got to start somewhere, and The Hunger Games is a great place to do so. The surprisingly complex young adult series brings the power of resistance to younger readers and those who would rather not start out with weightier tomes. Plus, you’ve got to love a strong, flawed female protagonist.
This book may be one of the best of 2017. No Joke. Human Acts, written by Han Kang, is the story of an uprising and brutal massacre that took place in South Korea in 1980. The book is powerful, and extremely moving. Beyond the relevance of a “Democratic” government brutally putting down its own citizens, this book also explores the nature of crowds: the increase in brutality on the part of the soldiers receiving encouragement from on high, and the courage of the citizens who stand together in solidarity.
Erik Larson is the king of narrative nonfiction. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin gives insight into the rise of Nazism through the experiences of an American diplomat and his family. Larson is famous for the depth of his research on his chosen subjects,and this book is no exception.
The classic graphic novel about resistance in the face of fascism (and the inspiration for those lovely masks Anonymous members are always wearing). V for Vendetta takes place in an alternative England ruled by a pseudo-christian dictator. I hesitate to add, but you can also watch the movie version (not as good, but love to John Hurt).
These six books will get you started. I’ll be posting my #ResistTBR in a few days. In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts, as well as any suggestions for further reading! I’ll certainly be adding more books in future posts, so let me hear from you!