Monday, May 27, 2019

Six books that may help you understand yourself

Karen Rinaldi is a professional preacher of the gospel of suckitude. Before she found surfing, she sucked at plenty of things, among them skiing, horseback riding (which almost ended tragically), boxing (she doesn’t want to talk about it), running, rollerblading, cycling (for which she boasts the least suckiness.) Along with her side hustle of suckitude, Rinaldi has spent 20+ years in publishing and is the publisher of Harper Wave, an imprint she founded in 2012. Her first novel, The End of Men, was the basis for the 2016 feature film Maggie’s Plan, directed by Rebecca Miller and starring Julianne Moore, Greta Gerwig and Ethan Hawke. Her book, [It’s Great to] Suck at Something: The Unexpected Joy of Wiping Out and What It Can Teach Us About Patience, Resilience and the Stuff That Really Matters, is a non-fiction deep dive into the joys that sucking can bring.

At The Week magazine, Rinaldi shared her six favorite books that will help you understand yourself. One title on the list:
The Origins of Cool in Postwar America by Joel Dinerstein (2017).

Dinerstein, who curated "American Cool" at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, explores how the concept of cool both occludes and elucidates. His deep dive into cool and its relevance in jazz, existentialism, literature, and pop music seems at first glance academic, but it is a riveting read, giving brilliant insight and context to one of the most elusive and misunderstood cultural concepts. It's totally cool.
Read about another entry on the list.

My Book, The Movie: The Origins of Cool in Postwar America.

The Page 99 Test: The Origins of Cool in Postwar America.

--Marshal Zeringue