09 October 2006

And what have you been reading lately?

An almost-outdated post in U.S. News and World Report (August 28, 2006, page 38) notes that our Commander-in-Chief, I kid you not, has read 60 books so far in 2006.

Aside from the fact that any President reading that much is clearly not running our country (please, resist the urge to make the obvious joke…), G.W. must be doing some graduate school-like exam cramming.

Oh, but here are some of the titles:


Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar

American Prometheus (Robert Oppenheimer bio)

Several baseball books (Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth, etc…)

Surprising (?):

Mao: The Unknown Story

Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Wisdom (listed by a polich hack?)

And…drum roll:

The Stranger, as in, yes, that mid-century existentialist classic, about, as The Cure sublimely note, “killing an Arab.”

Aside from (again, resist the urge...) the obvious issues with this list (my father suggests that the other texts must be short children's books…), is anyone else in the “book business” strung out on reading?

By the time I make it through student papers, editorial mss., and books I am teaching or reviewing, I have precious little energy for those good old pleasures of the texts.

Please tell me I’m not alone...or at least pass me some Camus.