Political Sign By Tobias Carroll, 131 pgs.

This is the first installment of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series that I’ve checked out: in each volume, writers ruminate on (you guessed it) specific objects. I’ve been thinking a lot about Political Sign as my wife and go on walks in our neighborhood: every day, a few more signs pop up along our route. I wonder whether the intended effect is to sway potential undecideds, to show solidarity, or to try and balance out other signs in the neighborhood—or all, or none. It’s issues like these that Tobias Carroll wrestles with here. Tobias is the editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn, a site tirelessly devoted to showcasing a diverse cross-section of the writing universe. Carroll consistently draws from far-flung corners of the writing world, so it’s no surprise that Political Sign draws seemingly disparate visions of what political signs are and do into a cohesive whole. Aside from the obvious, Carroll considers the roles of tattoos, clothing worn by athletes, and, yes, punk in both signage and politics. He’s made me reconsider the very notion of a political sign through his nimble examinations. Resonant long after the book was closed. –Michael T. Fournier (Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury.com)