Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Media and literary criticism

mediacontrolMedia Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda (2nd edition)
Noam Chomsky
(UK: Seven Stories, 2008; USA: Seven Stories, 2002)

Chomsky’s classic back-pocket primer on US government propaganda and media bias is the Open Media Pamphlet Series’s best-selling title of all time, with more than 100,000 copies in print. Arguably more important now than ever, this newly expanded edition furthers Chomsky’s analysis with his January 2002 comments regarding media coverage of terrorism and US foreign policy in the post-September 11 world.

Recommended by:
Christopher NorrisJolabokaflod Book Campaign

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda)

drinksdeadpoetsDrinks with Dead Poets: The Autumn Term
Glyn Maxwell
(UK: Oberon Books, 2016; USA: Pegasus, 2017)

‘I am walking along a lane with no earthly idea why…’ Poet Glyn Maxwell wakes up in a mysterious village one autumn day. He has no idea how he got there – is he dead? in a coma? dreaming? – but he has a strange feeling there s a class to teach. And isn’t that the poet Keats wandering down the lane? Why not ask him to give a reading, do a Q and A, hit the pub with the students afterwards?

Soon the whole of the autumn term stretches ahead, with Byron, Yeats and Emily Dickinson, the Brontës, the Brownings and Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Wilfred Owen and many more all on their way to give readings in the humble village hall. And everything they say – in class, on stage, at the Cross Keys pub – comes verbatim from their diaries, essays, or letters.

Drinks With Dead Poets is a homage to the departed, a tale of the lives and loves of students, a critical guide to great English poetry, the dream of a heavenly autumn. Nothing like it has ever been written.

Recommended by:
Jane Johnson

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Drinks with Dead Poets: The Autumn Term)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Drinks with Dead Poets: A Season of Poe, Whitman, Byron, and the Brontes)

understandingmediaUnderstanding Media (2nd edition)
Marshall McLuhan
(UK: Routledge, 2001; USA: Gingko, 2016)

When Marshall McLuhan first coined the phrases ‘global village’ and ‘the medium is the message’ in 1964, no-one could have predicted today’s information-dependent planet. No-one, that is, except for a handful of science fiction writers and Marshall McLuhan.

Understanding Media was written 20 years before the PC revolution and 30 years before the rise of the internet. Yet McLuhan’s insights into our engagement with a variety of media led to a complete rethinking of our entire society. He believed that the message of electronic media foretold the end of humanity as it was known.

In 1964, this looked like the paranoid babblings of a madman. In our 21st-century digital world, the madman looks quite sane. Understanding Media is the most important book ever written on communication. Ignore its message at your peril.

Recommended by:
Christopher NorrisJolabokaflod Book Campaign

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Understanding Media)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Understanding Media)

ifyourcareerIf You’re Talking to Me, Your Career Must be in Trouble
Joe Queenan
(UK: Picador, 1994; USA: Hyperion, 1995)

The hilarious and scandalous book that skewered Hollywood. Infamous Tinsel Town journalist-“hatchetman” Joe Queenan presents the interviews and essays that made him persona non grata among Hollywood’s stars and movie moguls.

Recommended by:
Christopher Gawor, Tutor

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (If You’re Talking to Me, Your Career Must be in Trouble)
Available in the USA via Amazon (If You’re Talking to Me, Your Career Must Be in Trouble: Movies, Mayhem, and Malice)

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