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Monday, October 24, 2022

Proposed 'Natural Law' reading group schedule

When I read Natural Law Or Don't Put A Rubber on Your Willy And Other Writings From A Natural Outlaw from Hilaritas Press before it came out early this year (I was a volunteer proofreader), I thought it was really a good book. I hope that the new online reading group I announced a few weeks ago will serve to bring the book to the attention of more readers. I really do feel the book deserves a good reception, and the reading group is one of my efforts to aid the title. 

My proposal is to start the Natural Law reading group on Nov. 28, more than a month from now, and to cover the book in 18 weekly installments each Monday. 

The book consists of the original long Natural Law essay, once published separately as a long essay but a short book from Loompanics, and 12 additional pieces selected by Chad Nelson, the editor of the book. Although the 12 comprise most of the book, none are as long as the title essay. At the front of the book is a reprint of John Higgs' piece on Maybe Day, originally published in the Guardian newspaper in Britain on July 23, 2009, and Chad's introduction. 

Chad has agreed to write something  to kick off the reading group, and then I will take over, although I'm certainly open to guest bloggers.

So my proposal is to start Nov. 28 with something from Chad, then on Dec. 5 do a weekly post on the Higgs and Nelson pieces in the front. I think the long essay ought to be covered over three weeks,  with weekly blog posts from then on for each additional piece in the book. The last item in the book, "I OPENING," seems pretty significant to me, so I want to cover it with two blog posts, one from me and one from Chad, who has told me he also wants to write about it. 

If I am counting right, that comes out to  18 blog entries for a book that's 230 pages long in print -- a reasonable schedule, I think. I may not follow the schedule rigidly -- I reserve the right to make changes as we go along if the need arises -- but that's the plan. I'm certainly willing to listen to feedback.

A note on the availability of the text: For previous reading groups, readers have often been able to track down a library book, or to find a cheap used book of an older edition from New Falcon.

For Natural Law, I'm thinking these do not seem like options;  I doubt many public libraries carry the book. I can't find any evidence that it's in a library in Ohio, where I live, and Ohio is a big state that funds its public libraries more generously than any of the other 49 states. 

So you'll likely have to buy the book. It's $23 on Amazon and there is still no Kindle yet. 

As for the usual ebooks offered by Hilaritas, well it's complicated. There's no Kindle and Hilaritas has been working for months to straighten out a problem with Amazon on the matter.

There is an ebook for about $9 from Barnes and Noble, but that's a problem, too. I don't know how the file looks  on a Nook tablet, but on the Nook app on a smartphone, it's terrible, with lots of spaces that mess up the ability to read it normally. I have verified, however, that buying the ebook means you can read it on the Barnes and Noble website. Rasa has been trying to fix this, too. 

So unless you are OK with reading the book on  your computer, you may have to buy the actual paper book. If the Kindle or Nook situation gets fixed, I'll let you know. 

For more on the book, please see my interview with Chad Nelson and my shorter interview with Rasa. And thank you to Rasa for the book group graphic. 


Spookah said...

Thank you Tom Jackson for setting up this group.

I am not familiar already with Natural Law, so this will be my first time reading the text. And of course, this new edition features all the additional articles as well.

I already secured a paper copy, and I find this new Hilaritas edition very nice looking. The minimalist cover art, I find both relaxing and subversive. Zen koan-like, there's more to it than meets the eyes, which seems to fit the 'guerilla ontology' tag.

Looking forward to this new group study!

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Thank you Spookah, appreciate your support. The cover artist, @amoeba, has said he was trying to reach people who weren't already RAW fans, and I think you've picked up on that.

Chad said...

The cover art as relaxing and subversive, love it! I agree. I hope the text hits those notes for you too @Spookah.

There is more than one grass reference in the text to enjoy too (;