I possess the bad habit of reading constantly. That might seem like a virtue—or a lame rhetorical device to get your attention—but it has developed into a minor problem.
My tendency towards bookishness doesn’t just limit itself to the classic “chubby-bespectacled-kid-reading-in-the-car” stereotype, although that’s true. Ever since I got my first smartphone (a beautiful Lumia I picked up for $32.23 running the Windows Phone OS, well after Windows lost any kind of developer support) in 2016—I was very late to the game there—I can’t stop reading articles, op-eds, news stories, fiction, eBooks, and the like wherever I am.
That doesn’t make me particularly more intelligent (or interesting), but it has exposed me to some writers who are. More specifically, I’ve come to learn of a number of writers and websites whose writings are provocative, engaging, daring, and fun.
So much of what we read and consume online and in print media is dull, predictable, and morally indignant. There’s a great deal of lifeless writing and commentary, and it’s frustrating to read writers—on the Left and the Right—who fall into the same grooves.
The Left is full of examples, as they doctrinaire Leftists aren’t allowed to say anything outside of the fashionable-for-the-moment-until-we-condemn-it-in-a-few-years orthodoxy. If one of them ever-so-slightly speaks out of turn, they’re kicked out of the club.
The ones that bother me the most are writers on the Right who have fallen into predictable patterns (the biggest offender that pops immediately to mind for me is National Review‘s David French, the most noodle-wristed combat veteran I’ve ever read; with all due and much-deserved respect to French’s heroism and service, he’s grown increasingly lame and ineffectual as a writer). I understand writers have to carve out their niche, and that they shouldn’t violate their principles just to be different, but I want to see some gutsiness.
On that note, and in the spirit of my 2016 TPP Summer Reading List, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite writers, the ones that I clamor to read when I see they’ve written something new in my RSS feed (disclaimer: I don’t agree with all of these writers’ conclusions—of course!—which should go without saying):
1.) Patrick J. Buchanan – Pat Buchanan was President Trump’s John the Baptist, the voice crying in the wilderness at the dawn of a globalist era, warning of what was to come, and foretelling the coming of one greater than himself (please, don’t think I’m comparing Trump to Jesus; the metaphor breaks down at that point). Buchanan was calling out the shortcomings of massive free-trade zones and the like since the early 1990s. His book Death of the West is a must-read for every American—if you’re not worried about massive, unchecked immigration now, you will be after reading this prophetic tome.
Buchanan is more isolationist than I would be on foreign policy, but he brings an important perspective to the discussion of international relations. Buchanan has colored, if not entirely changed, my views on tariffs, family policy, immigration reform, and foreign policy.
He’s nationally-syndicated and appears on a ton of websites, including Taki’s Magazine, the home of several writers on this list, such as…
2.) Jim Goad – Holy crap. Talk about a gutsy, controversial, in-your-face writer. After reading one of Goad’s acerbic pieces, you practically have to wash your brain with holy water. But, damn, can he write.
Goad is the grandfather of modern dissident writers. He cut his chops as an ultra-edgy zine publisher in the early 1990s, back when weirdos who couldn’t fit into mainstream society could publish bizarre stories and borderline-pornographic material and become part of a cool counterculture.
Goad doesn’t pull any punches—he wrote a whole book called The Redneck Manifesto—and I can’t do better than to recommend you read him for yourself. Just make sure you’re not at work.
3.) Ann Coulter – I cut my l’il conservative teeth reading Ann Coulter, who was a hard-hitting conservative polemicist before it was cool. She completely and unabashedly called the 2016 election with an audacious level of confidence.
Coulter catches a lot of flack because she’s a.) super conservative and b.) incredibly caustic. Her writing is so satirical and witty, most Lefties often miss (or willfully misinterpret) her clear-as-a-bell message. I once got into a minor Facebook dispute with an ultra-hip progressive musician (buy his music; he’s an amazing songwriter) who drew the conclusion that Coulter was racist, even though she was denouncing racism in the very paragraph he posted. It was to no avail (but you really should buy his music).
Yes, she’s a bit prickly. Yes, she gets carried away with her political endorsements sometimes (she’s publicly stated her regret for being an early fan of disgraced New Jersey Governor Chris Christie—it’s okay, Ann, me, too). But, like Goad, she doesn’t pull any punches, and she will take the conservative message into the lion’s den and back—fearlessly.
Coulter’s two chapters on the French Revolution in her book Demonic consist of one of the best overviews of the topic I’ve ever read. Written in typically Coulter-ish style, she goes into macabre detail to illustrate how truly evil the French Revolution was. There are many excellent scholarly works on the French Revolution, but few offer so much intense, damning clarity to the calamitous 1790s.
4.) Gavin McInnes – current CRTV host and Vice co-founder Gavin McInnes is my hero. He’s single-handedly made traditional family values punk. McInnes possesses a boyish, mischievous spirit that public schools and soy-rich diets have bred out of modern men. His memoir, Death of Cool, had my sides splitting with every paragraph. If you want to know how to live hard and survive, pick up a copy.
McInnes is the son of Scottish immigrants to Canada, and he grew up pretty much doing whatever he wanted in a poorly-supervised suburb of Toronto. When his first child was born, he became a Christian—he’s Roman Catholic—when he saw her heel. He asked, “How did that come about by accident?” That was after a life of founding and losing several fortunes; sleeping—in graphically depraved ways, according to his telling—with what seems to be hundreds of women; taking lots of drugs; and fronting several popular Canadian punk bands.
And everyone says conservatives are boring old white dudes.
I don’t know if McInnes is writing now that he’s with CRTV, but you can find his archives on Taki’s Magazine.
5.) Christopher DeGroot – Rounding out our list is Christopher DeGroot, another regular at Taki’s Magazine. I don’t know much about DeGroot’s background, but he’s one of the best writers on issues of gender relationships out there. There’s a whole “manosphere” dedicated to promoting and discussing ideas of traditional masculinity, but a great deal of that world is dominated by pick-up artists (PUAs) and sex addicts—and even racists (real ones, not just normal conservatives who get called racist because we want people to have less government intrusion into their lives).
DeGroot is a wordy, philosophically-minded writer, and you can tell he thinks deeply about everything he pens. Most contributors to Taki’s write—I would guess—around 700-800-word essays, maybe hitting 1000-1200 now and then. I’m pretty sure everything DeGroot has written is at least 1200-1500 words. Talk about getting more bang for your buck.
Again, all I can do is recommend you check him out.
That finishes up this list. It’s certainly not exhaustive—I will have to do a “Part II” at some point—but it’s a good, quick look at who I’m reading on a daily or weekly basis.
One parting warning: I’m not responsible for blown minds from reading the works of the above writers. Draw your own conclusions, and share your favorite writers—non-fiction, fiction, poetry, etc.—below!