Brief segue into politics, and some stuff about books to make you happy

I used to blog about politics all the time. But after the 2004 election, I lost my taste for it. Campaigns seemed to be existing in this bubble of spin and dishonesty, far removed from facts, from the information people needed to make informed choices. It seemed that what candidates talked about had no meaning. And you know, it still seems like that, so I still don’t like to write, or read, about politics that much, despite having strong and passionate feelings about governance.

But there are still some people writing about politics from a critical, factual perspective: CJR Daily. CJR Daily is the blog of the Columbia Journalism Review, and their pieces focus more on critically parsing the media, and what the media are saying about economics, the candidates, and politics in general. But through their media critiques, they offer solid, historically-based, spin-less information about health care, the candidates and their records, the economy, legislation, and government. And as such, I really wish more people read CJR as their main source of news.

Just to give you a taste of why I think CJR is so awesome, here’s a piece deconstructing the comparisons between the Obama-Ayres relationship and the McCain-Keating relationship: Ancient History. Bachko points out why one of these relationships matters and one, frankly doesn’t. And if you dig back through CJR’s archives, you’ll see that they are strictly non-partisan. They point out when the Democrats eff things up, too.

And since I’m sure you’re all pretty sick of politics after last night’s appalling and ridiculous excuse for a debate, here’s something fun: I finally got every last one of my books into LibraryThing! Ok, ok, I’m sorry, I do realize that’s pretty much fun for me alone. To make it up to you, I’ll recommend reading The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. The book has won several awards, so it’s not real secret that it’s pretty great. But I was completely taken with the narrative style. Ackerman’s story is a true one, but she captures it almost as a novel. The tone shifts back and forth from narrative to reporting, but in a way that works beautifully. It’s a form unlike anything I’ve read before, and I thought it was remarkably well done.

And for those of you who chimed in on Facebook offering me reading recommendations, I’ll let you know that I am smack in the middle of Sense and Sensibility, and am, of course, loving it. Oh, how I adore Jane Austen.

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