Two years ago I was having a conversation with my advisor for my MFA. I was explaining my love for Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. We were discussing her views on capitalism and he was trying to understand whether I was truly that “right wing”.
“It’s all about the individual - the power of the individual and how you can truly only help others by first knowing and taking care of yourself . . .” I’m sure I rambled on for some time, trying to phrase my speech convincingly.
“Her view on capitalism was about this as well - that true capitalism rests on the individual consumer . . . that they wouldn’t buy something unless it were worthy of their money, thereby helping out the seller through helping themselves.”
At a certain point he started smiling and nodding, and bursted out: “You’re an anarchist!”
I was too stunned to reply. “Aren’t you?” he encouraged. I looked away, searching for how I felt about the label. For some reason I felt myself swelling with pride.
“I don’t know . . . I guess I just believe only in the power of individuals.”
“YES! You’re an anarchist!” he stated it this time with more conviction.
I’ve thought about that conversation ever since then. It changed me to have someone so openly and enthusiastically yell “you’re an anarchist” at me. I felt like a deep, unspoken truth had finally bubbled to the top.
This year, I decided to find out for sure though. In January, I resolved to create a themed booklist. I spent a few weeks thinking about what the theme should be, and this conversation inevitably recurred to me. I needed to know, for certain, that I fit in with this group of people. So, I created my 2016 booklist with the theme of anarchism.
Through some searching, I found some of the “highest praised” books with the themes of anarchism on such sites as GoodReads. I also threw in some books from the Buzzfeed list 27 Most Exciting Books Coming In 2016. I’ve always been in-tune with the classics, but I want to make an effort to read what contemporary authors are putting out there as well.
If you missed my review of The Dispossessed, you can find it here. This was the first book on the list I read, and I was not disappointed. I am also currently reading the Girl With A Dragon Tattoo series, which fits into this theme perfectly as well, and I also highly recommended reading those.
2016 Reading List - Anarchy
Are there any books you would include in this list? Please share!