Thursday, September 16, 2010

What Section has Malcolm Gladwell, Chuck Klosterman, Naomi Klein, and perhaps Greg Graffin's New Anarchy Evolution

During my visit to Brookline last month, I was doing my obligatory time at Brookline Booksmith, when I came across the section Modern Inquiries. What is this? It's sort of like Boswell's social criticism section (a hold-over from Schwartz, though I we are more into carving up beast into subsections), only I spot books from our business section, urban planning, and even pop culture.

While buying my book purchase (see earlier blog), I stop to talk to Mark, who sort of maybe recognized me from his year's at Barbara's. He explained that this was a new incarnation of their cultural studies section (we had one of these too, back during the first years of the Shorewood Schwartz), but also encompassing subsections like sociology.

I'm more of a subsectioner than an emcompasser, though my grand plan for more fiction sections has hit some philosophical roadblocks. Philosophically speaking, Greg Graffin's Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God could as easily go in the Modern Inquiries section as it could in religion, philosophy, or science.

I've always felt like anti-religion books do not belong in religion, as much as anti-environment books don't belong in the green section. I'm not making a statement about that; it's just like thinking like a merchant, the advocates for these books are not likely shopping that section and the folks shopping the section are only irritated.

Certainly since Boswell started, but even before that, we've been trying to make sure our atheism books go in philosophy, but it's been on the table to have a small subsection, as there are clearly enough books out there to make a decent shopping experience, with Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens (and now, apparently Stephen Hawking) driving sales.
So sort of to mark Greg Graffin's appearance for his new book, Anarchy Evolution, we have sectioned out the atheism books (the code is RPA), still as a part of philosophy.

Graffin's event is very special, for several reasons:

1) It's at a special time, Saturday, October 9th, at 6 PM, before his show

2) We're asking questions to be limited to the book only. Questions will be submitted to a moderator.

3) He's signing the book only; no other stuff.

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