From Sharon Astyk
July 30, 2009 Ukiah Valley, Mendocino, North California
I’ve got a lot of books I’d love to review at length, but somehow there’s always something more urgent to do. So I’ve decided that I’m going to try and post regular (I doubt it will be every day…no, I’m sure it won’t be every day) short book reviews of a paragraph or so until I’ve done 365 of them. I know it’ll probably take me a lot longer than a year, but at least it is a way to get conversations going about my favorite books without having to take a month to write about them.
I’m not promising that every single one will be on a relevant topic to the main themes of this blog – in fact, again, I promise they won’t be. Everyone needs good escapist or imaginative literature sometimes, or simply to learn everything they can about something interesting, even if it has no direct application. Besides, it is very rare that I find I read something truly great and never use it again – it always shows up somewhere in my thinking.
Ok, the honor of being the very first book worth reading goes to Saul Alinsky’s superb book Rules for Radicals→ – I picked it up at my school library when I was 14, and it was perhaps the first most important book I’ve ever read. I try and go back and look at it once a decade, at a minimum, and it keeps on being relevant. Alinsky gave us a model for how to do what needs doing long ago, when he wrote,
“The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals was written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”
What more urgently needed knowledge is there than that?