Let’s Take a Field Trip: College Students in the Local Bookstore

After a few semesters of not taking my students across the street from St. John’s University to the bookstore, I’m back at it again. In preparation for the activity (what a job I have!) I went over for an hour and browsed for myself. I had ideas of what we’d do but going into the space added a few more. Here’s a few of the books I noticed:

Kiss, reading, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ken Sharp, metal, rock

Nothin to Lose: The Making of KISS (1972 – 1975).  I’ve got no business reading this with all the other stuff I ought to be reading, but I’ve decided that my running and commuting time is not to be filled with attempts to listen to intellectually demanding books. I do much better with Rod Stewart’s autobiography and Rob Sheffield’s Turn Around Bright Eyes than I do with Einstein’s Cosmos: How Albert Einstein’s Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time. When I think of the band Kiss, I think of my friend Kevin “Law Dog” Tankersley, and us cruising town in his brown Toyota Celica while singing along to “Do You Love Me?” I mean, tell me this isn’t poetry: “You really like my limousine / You like the way the wheels roll.” Okay, maybe not poetry, but Tank and I sang it with great enthusiasm.

To Save Everything, Click Here by Evgeny Morozov.  The author does a lot to unpack that amorphous phrase “the internet” and get me thinking about individual companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook and what their interest might be when it comes to the notion of a “free internet,” as a place with limited government interference. A golden line from my reading:

“…the best predictor of students’ intellectual success in college is not their major or GPA but the amount of personal, face-to-face contact they have with professors” (Falk in Morozov 9).

Distraction Addiction, internet, concentration

The Distraction Addiction: Getting Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging You Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. The title before the colon grabs my attention. I get more skeptical when I read “the information I need” and the “communication I want.” If I read this book, I’d want some things to think about when it comes to everything that grabs for my attention. Hmm. Here’s the chapter titles: Breathe, Simplify, Meditate, Deprogram, Experiment, Refocus, and Rest. The appendices look light highlights, especially “Keeping a Tech Diary,” and “DIY Digital Sabbath.”

Fakebook: A True Story. Based on Actual Lies by Dave Cicirelli. From the book’s cover: “One October morning, Dave announced on Facebook that he was quitting his job and heading West. He was lying. He wasn’t going anywhere, but his digital self would be. For better or worse, Dave was about to fictionalize his own life…”

Two other books I plan to read:

  • Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante. From Zimbabwe to North Philly. Catch the author on Twitter @mkasante

  • The Facades by Eric Lundgren

Here’s the handout I used in conjunction with the activity.

Citation Information

Cicirelli, Dave. Fakebook: A True Story, Based on Actual Lies. Naperville: Source Books, 2013. Print.

Morozov, Evgeny. To Save Everything Click Here. Philadelphia : PublicAffairs, 2013. Print.

Soojung-Kim, Alex. The Distraction Addiction. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2013. Print.

Stanley, Paul, Gene Simmons, and Ken Sharp. Nothin’ to Lose: The Making of Kiss. New York: Harper Collins, Print. 2013.

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