One of the great things about being a blogger is that people send you free books. I’m getting a lot of books these days. These 2 really stood out for me for their inspirational content. Books make a meaningful holiday or birthday present that won’t break your wallet.

First is Markos Moulitsas Zuniga’s new book Taking on the System: Rules for Radical Change in a Digital Era. This book is right on time as we are all fighting for radical change in America right about now. With over 80% of Americans convinced that the country is headed in the wrong direction, we have an opportunity to re-build our country and re-align our priorities so they work for real Americans. Markos, as you know, is the founder of Daily Kos and his blog is an example of radical change in action — Daily Kos has upended the mainstream media through its revolutionary community. I enjoyed reading Crashing the Gate, Markos’ first book with MyDD’s Jerome Armstrong. But to me, it felt more like an analysis of the rapid shift in political dynamics than a guide to be the change you wish to see in the world. It was a great book to give to your boss, your client, or your mom: anyone who might have been seeking to understand the netroots. This is a book for you.

There’s actually a couple of passages talking about the new black leaders emerging from the net. Neither Baratunde & I nor any other JJP bloggers are mentioned in the book. Yet your efforts and those of black bloggers around the nation building a wave of national support around the Jena 6 controversy receive prominent mention (around page 136). Check it out.

The other book is less a guide to success in a new socio-political paradigm from a master of the game than a gorgeous coffee table book. The American Journey of Barack Obama from Life Magazine is for that major Obama fan who needs more Obama porn in their life. There are tons of great Obama family photos here with stories of course. Most of the pics are ones you probably haven’t seen, including many from his youth. My favorite is one from the back showing Obama modestly toting his own roller bag luggage down a hallway with his staff. Yes, the man actually insists on carrying his own luggage. For some reason, that photo told me more about Obama the man than any I’d seen before. Great raffle item for your next Obama fundraiser.

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