I picked up Jared Yates Sexton's The Midnight Kingdom not knowing what it was about, but trusting I'd enjoy it based on the author's previous book The Man They Wanted Me to Be, a memoir about masculinity in America.
This one is a history book that helps explain the interesting times we are living in. Some of it is religious history, looking at the origins of Christianity all the way through to contemporary conservative evangelical beliefs. Some of it is a history of race, racism, and white supremacy. And a great deal of it is about the history of capitalism, with a focus on neoliberalism there toward the end.
The Midnight Kingdom is history popcorn if you have progressive politics. If you aren't out here on the lefty side of things, you'll probably hate this book, sorry. And while many of the ideas were familiar to me, I was grateful to have a cohesive narrative laying out the story of how we've reached a point in history that feels, to me anyway, fragile.
I can't pretend this book made me feel better, haha no, humanity keeps repeating the same goddam mistakes only now we've got AI and Elon Musk is the most powerful person in the world, this is exceedingly not good. Also there's climate change.
But I appreciate being better informed. That's something, right? That is still worth something
When Covid first hit, I started doing book talks on social media as a way to keep in touch with people. I never got out of the habit. I don't discuss books by my clients, and if I don't like a book, I won't discuss it at all. While I will sometimes focus on craft or offer gentle critical perspectives, as a matter of professional courtesy, I don't trash writers. Unless they're dead. Then the gloves come off.