Books on My Bedside Table

According to an article in the Baton Rouge Advocate, Laurinda Calongne and Woody Jenkins recently answered questions about their reading habits:

"Both keep the Bible by their bedside. Calongne said she sometimes gets up at 4 a.m. to read the Bible. Jenkins said he tries to read the Bible in bed at night but usually falls asleep because he’s tired. Calongne said she also reads whatever her school-age daughter is reading. Jenkins said he likes biographies."

That's interesting. I also enjoy biographies and juvenile/YA books.

After reading the above article, I made an inventory of the books I have on my own bedside table. Here's what I found:

Three bibles (one NAB, one KJV, one NIV)

  • Obviously, this proves I'm three times as holy as either Jenkins or Calongne.
Louisiana: A History

  • I think it was the textbook that was assigned (almost 18 years ago) for my college Louisiana history class.
Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's The Illuminatus! Trilogy (in one volume):
  • The Eye in the Pyramid

  • The Golden Apple

  • Leviathan
Five issues of Juxtapoz magazine

T. Harry Williams' Huey Long
  • I've always been interested in Louisiana's more colorful politicians.

Jay Chevalier's Earl K. Long and Jay Chevalier: "When the Music Stopped"

  • See above entry.
Michael Zatarain's David Duke: Evolution of a Klansman

  • See above entry.
The LSU Law Center yearbook from my 2L year

  • Good times.
Kelpie Wilson's Primal Tears
Kevin MacDonald's Jewish trilogy:
  • A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy, with Diaspora Peoples

  • Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism

  • The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements

Hunter S. Thompson's The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

  • An anthology of several of Dr. Thompson's shorter writings.

Martin Ottenheimer's Forbidden Relatives: The American Myth of Cousin Marriages

A copy of Interview magazine from September '04

Ben Edward Akerley's The X-Rated Bible: An Irreverent Survey of Sex in the Scriptures

  • Regarding the Bible, Mark Twain said, "It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies." Akerley's book examines the obscene parts.

Volume 1 of the Louisiana Civil Code

  • There's lots of useful information in there. Every Louisianan should read it. There's a free version online.

I feel like I should clarify, though, that those books are on my bedside table just because I either refer to them often or enjoy skimming through them or have taken them down from the shelf recently for some particular purpose and haven't yet gotten around to putting them back.

Here are the books that I'm actually in the process of reading right now:

A.J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

  • Jacobs' previous book (The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, in which he chronicled the adventures he had and the things he learned while reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica) is one of my favorite recent nonfiction books. This one's also very good. As the title states, he tries to follow all the rules in the Bible for a year.

Mitch Cullin's Tideland

  • It's a novel about a little girl who spends a summer alone in an old house on the Texas prairie. I liked the movie, so I bought the book.

Charles Murray's In Our Hands: A Plan To Replace The Welfare State

  • Murray suggests that we should replace all our welfare programs (including farm subsidies, corporate welfare, etc.) with a guaranteed minimum income of $10,000 a year. It's a fascinating idea that makes a lot more sense than our current system.

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