Five Books on my TBR List (And why I want to read them)

It’s no lie that I read a LOT of books. But for every book I read, there’s many more that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. One of the saddest things that I think about is how I can’t read all the books that I want to read in my lifetime. Alternatively, I know that I’m never going to run out of stuff to read. So, I’m going to talk about a few books that I’m eager to read (as soon as I finish the books I’m reading now). These aren’t really in any particular order, just the first five that I felt I had something to say about.

1 To Serve God and Walmart by Bethany Moreton. I found this book while I was shopping for my textbooks one semester. I was fascinated. It’s essentially a book about how the history of Walmart is intertwined with evangelical Christianity in the United States. It’s a history that I want to learn more about, so I thought it would be worth a read.

2 In Vino Duplicitas by Peter Hellman. After reviewing the documentary Sour Grapes late last year, I’ve wanted to dig even deeper into Rudy Kurniawan’s scheme. It’s a shame that he decided to use his clear talent fraudulently, as honestly, he could have started a business selling replica fancy wine at reasonable prices. It’s an interesting situation that I want to read in more detail. I’m doing a reading challenge with a relative of mine, and perhaps I can convince her to read this for her true crime book.

3 The Emoji Code by Vyvyan Evans. I’ve been fascinated by the linguistics behind emoji (emojis??) for a while now. I saw a recent twitter thread talking about people’s favorite strings of 2-4 emoji and what they meant, and it was honestly one of the most interesting things that I had read in a while. A while back I found an academic paper all about the use of emoji in communication and I couldn’t help but snicker. Not that a paper was talking about using emoji to communicate, but just at the thought of a bunch of old academics publishing a paper that was at least 30% emoji. The whole discussion around emoji use is a prime example of how people react to the changing world around them. Do they dig in their heels and complain about the Youths or do they take the effort to try to understand these brand new concepts? I want to learn more about the linguistic impact of these little pictographs, so I think The Emoji Code is something that I really want to read. Plus, formatting a post about the book is likely to be a fun challenge.

4 Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs. This one I’m going to read sooner rather than later. Currently, I’m reading Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of her Father. I don’t necessarily want to compare the books since their relationships with Jobs are different and I’m not sure how fair a comparison that would be. I don’t necessarily want to see which one is better but I do want to see how these two people’s perspectives on the same person differ. How is a Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir, a book filled with her personal recollections and perspectives, going to differ from an authorized biography that Jobs himself asked for? I don’t want to make any judgments on either one yet since I haven’t finished Steve Jobs and I have yet to purchase Small Fry. I’m merely curious as to what insights his daughter can provide on her childhood and what it was like to be Steve Jobs’ initially unwanted daughter.

5 How Everything Became War and Military Became Everything by Rosa Brooks. Honestly, I forgot about this book for a while. It wasn’t until I was going through the screenshots on my phone when I found a picture I saved from some online conversation where somebody mentioned this book. I’ve seen the United States military through a couple of lenses through my life, and I’m interested in the ways that the military is intertwined with American political policy. It’s no secret that military contracts are enormous sources of revenue for companies that make weapons, uniforms, and the other things that the military needs to function. I’d like to make time to read this book just to see yet another perspective on the American military-industrial complex.

As my TBR list grows longer, I sometimes forget about the books that I put into it. It’s nice to go back and think about why exactly I decided that I wanted to read these books.

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