Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Five: 5 Best Things Kaya Oakes has read recently

Kaya Oakes is the author of Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture. She's also teaches writing at UC-Berkeley, founded the magazine Kitchen Sink and also has a book of poetry, called Telegraph. She can be found on the interwebs here.

Read our review of Slanted and Enchanted and then buy it here. After doing that, read the five best things Kaya has read recently...

1. Kelefa Sanneh "Revelations", The New Yorker, February 8th, 2010
Saneh's essay on the gay gospel singer Tonex's decision to come out of the closet is a fascinating look at contemporary gospel music, the power struggles within the black church, and an inquiry into our contemporary notions of faith and sexuality.

2. Steven Johnson, The Invention of Air, Riverhead, 2008
I've just started reading this, but Johnson's nonfiction investigation into the life of Joseph Priestly, who discovered oxygen, co-founded the Unitarian church, and hung out with a group of guys called the Lunaticks (they only met during the full moon) is a pretty enjoyable read even for science-phobes like myself. The fact that Priestly was kind of a nutcase helps keep things interesting.

3. College Wriitng R4B essays, UC Berkeley, Spring 2010
I'm teaching two sections of this research writing course. The course topic is "adventures in the musical underground" We began by reading about Dylan's passage from the folk underground into superstardom, segue into American punk and indie rock, and wind up examining the rise of hip hop. My students write a lot of essays. I read all of them. Many of them are quite good.

4. Neutrogena T-Gel Stubborn Itch Shampoo packaging; Scalpicin Extra Strength lotion packaging; Flunocinide Topical Gel packaging
Eczema is a bitch. When will this crap start working?

5. Kaya Oakes, untitled nonfiction book proposal, 2009-2010
Can't tell you what this is about, who might publish it, or when (or if) it'll see the light of day, but like a lot of writers, I find myself opening this document over and over again, going in, tinkering, re-tinkering, sighing, cursing, re-tinkering, cursing a lot more, sighing, closing it, walking around, opening it again, cursing some more.

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