Zócalo’s 2022 Summer Reading List Charts New Waters

From Poets to Politicians, Our Friends Suggest Intellectual Travel Companions as We Set Sail for the Season

We at the good ship Zócalo are setting sail for another summer of intellectual exploration. As always, to aid us on this important voyage, we’ve recruited an intrepid crew of friends and contributors and asked them to recommend their favorite (mostly) nonfiction titles.

The 12 books on this list traverse turning points in history, and navigate the headwinds of the future—with a port stop or two at Whimsy Island along the way. With subject matter ranging from Buddhist meditation for the age of anxiety to Africa’s central place in world history, …

Why Do We Love ‘Choose-Your-Own-Adventure’ Stories?

From the I Ching to an Upcoming Netflix Romcom, Interactive Fiction Dares Us to Decide What Happens Next

The new Netflix original horror movie Choose or Die turns on an interactive computer game called “CURS>R,” which resembles a classic ’80s adventure program in which a user inputs text …

Where I Go: Afropalonia | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Afropalonia

Writer and Poet Rashaad Thomas Imagines 'a Planet Only for Black People'

eath sits next to me, hip bones touching mine on a twin bed in the center of a revolving room in Arizona that’s progressively increasing in speed. Frequency numbers, lifeless …

A Fictional Calexit Scenario Offers a Real Warning | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Fictional Calexit Scenario Offers a Real Warning

Conservative Writer David French Argues That if Americans Can't Live by Pluralism, the Country Could Split Apart

It was gun violence that finally drove California to secede from the United States.

A series of mass shootings culminated in a savage, Columbine-style attack on a Sacramento-area school that killed …

In Venezuela, Dystopian Fiction Hits Close to Home | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

In Venezuela, Dystopian Fiction Hits Close to Home

J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise Shows What Happens When a Liberal Democracy Crumbles and Its Worst Vices Take Over

There’s a certain absurdity that comes with trying to explain—in calm, simple, and objective words—a life that has become too strange to be real. At least, that’s how I feel …