What, pray tell, does a guy living in the arid lands read in the way of books, someone may ask? And, given that this guy’s particular stretch of arid lands is conservative and therefore lightly educated Arizona, does he even read books at all? Well, other than Bill O’Reilly or Ann Coulter.
This is a land whose light-skinned aging airheads largely believe George W. Bush was right in marching troops off to Iraq in 2003, that Bush’s war-mongering vice president, Dick Cheney, is as much a hero as their beloved American Sniper, that guns belong in every school room, that President Barack Obama was really born on the edge of Lake Kenya, that global warming is a liberal conspiracy, that all Muslims are our enemies and that building a gigantic fence at our border with Mexico is the panacea for all our troubles.
I don’t intend to scream at the world, no, I’m different than that. But I will offer my reading list from 2015. People can make up their own minds. In chronological order:
“The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al-Qaeda,” by Ali Soufan. How relationships, not torture, are the keys to gathering truthful intelligence on America’s enemies.
“The Making of the ‘African Queen,” or How I Went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and Almost Lost My Mind,” by Katharine Hepburn. The inside story of a great film.
“The Desert Year,” by Joseph Wood Krutch. A scientist from the East looks at amazing plants and animals of the Southwest.
“The Crash of 2016,” by Thom Hartman, the left-wing talk-show host, re the economy and politics.
“Missoula: Rape and The Justice System in a College Town,” by Jon Krakauer. Interviews with victims of sexual assaults and a troubling legal system.
“Guantanamo Diary,” by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a brilliant Mauritanian who has been held at the U.S. prison in Cuba for more than a decade without proof of wrong-doing.
“The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” by Vincent Bugliosi, the California prosecutor who got a conviction for Charles Manson. Lays out convincing evidence against the former President.
“Homage to Catalonia,” by George Orwell, author of the classic “1984.” Politics and war in 1930s Spain.
“Young Men and Fire,” by Norman MacLean, author of “A River Runs Through It.” An investigation into the causes of the deaths of 12 airborne firefighters at Mann Gulch in 1949 Montana.
“My Reading Life,” by Pat Conroy. Books he has read and the English teacher that changed his life.
“Decision in Normandy,” by Carlo d’Este. A detailed account of the Allies invasion of Normandy during WWII.
“The Gentle Giants of Ganymede,” by James P. Hogan. Science fiction. How genetic engineering changed Earth.