Mona Lisa Overdrive, William Gibson. Science Fiction, features a character who is the star of a reality show but feels herself increasingly trapped. How can she escape?
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers. For the MTV Real World audition chapter, and for the reality vs. fiction problem.
Watching Dallas, Ien Ang. Exactly what kind of pleasure do people get out of TV melodrama? What sociological conclusions can we draw from these shows. Nothing on reality TV here, but a good introduction to media studies.
Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia. An overblown and infuriating book, with absolutely no credibility, but it's fascinating in its depiction of the complex ways in which people use art and myth to create their personalities.
The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Erving Goffman. A game theoretical approach to the minutest types of everyday interactions. How we present ourselves, and how we examine other people's presentations of themselves for information.