Afternoon Inqueery

AI: What Everyone Should Read

Yesterday I asked on both my Twitter and Facebook accounts for my friends to recommend to me 4 books they wished everyone would read. I didn’t want to hear books they thought *I* should read, but the things they thought would benefit everybody. I got a ton of responses and they vary enormously (my friends come from a lot of different perspectives. I was thrilled that most of them were things I had not yet read so I have a lot of reading ahead of me.

My own 5 suggestions (I get 5 because I say so) were:
Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the World’s Largest Experiment Reveals About Human Desire by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam
Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless by Greta Christina

What are your top books that you wish everyone would read?

The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday,Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.

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Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes

Benny Vimes is a queer polyamorous transman, curious skeptic, and enthusiastic seeker of knowledge. He's an undergraduate student in his 30's and loves teaching people about alternative sexuality and gender issues.


  1. July 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm —

    Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos
    I’m trying to choose a Discworld book but I just can’t decide… by Terry Pratchett
    If they are interested (but only if they’re interested) Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

    • July 9, 2013 at 9:52 pm —

      I am a super over-the-top Pratchett fan (seriously. I’m obsessed) so of course I have suggestions. If you want them, let me know. But I’m sure there are no shortage of people who are suggesting options to you!

      • July 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm —

        Man, I’m currently in the middle of reading the whole Discworld series from the beginning, only having read a couple of them before. At the same time, I’m also watching all of Doctor Who from the beginning. I’m up to Pyramids and “The Romans,” respectively. That… should keep me busy for a while.

        • July 12, 2013 at 9:46 am —

          Pyramids is my least favorite Discworld book. Generally I think they get better as they go along (my favorite books are pretty recent). You have so many wonderful things coming up, don’t get discouraged by the early stuff!

          I am also a Dr Who fan (have watched up through the begining of the current season) but not obsessive like I am with Pratchett.

  2. July 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm —

    From a UK perspective, Chavs by Owen Jones is an important and dispiriting book about the demonisation and impoverishment of the poor and working class over the last 30 years.

  3. July 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm —

    The Hyperion Cantos (series of 4), by Dan Simmons. It’s sci-fi with a poetically-articulated point about the human condition that I find myself trying to make to people again, and again, and again.

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