on Getting intellectual nourishment

Working as a librarian in the busiest public library branch in Kentucky has gained me nearly unlimited access to every single book that has ever been published in English since the 1930s, which is great considering that my very definition of a paradise includes reading a good novel with the company of a few friends.

Starting from the second week of March, I have decided to start posting my own reviews of some books I have read - either those in the distant past or those I came upon recently. This new project of mine has nothing to do with any classes I am taking at community college.

Quite the contrary, I have been dying of thirst for intellectual nourishment...and enrolling in a small-town community college sates me none of that.

Hence my book reviews, which I will faithfully post every Saturday.

The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who at the dawn of the 1980s promulgated the notion of “cultural capital”: the idea that aesthetic choices are an artifact of socioeconomic position. He documented a correlation between taste and class position: The scarcer or more difficult to access an aesthetic experience is –literary world very much included- the greater its ability to set us apart from those further down the social ladder. This kind of value is, in his analysis, the only real value that “refined” tastes have. My book review project would hopefully help me in fulfilling my own need for reaching that aesthetic ideals.

Most will be fiction, some will be non-fiction, depending on whatever genre I feel like reading at the time. As a general rule, I would never post reviews on chick-lit or horror or Christian fictions, though I may find exceptions every now and then.

Unlike my old project of translating Indonesian songs once a week, I will not take suggestions from anybody on what books I should read or review. I will review the books when I feel like it, but one thing for sure, I can promise you a book review for your weekends.

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