Thursday, September 29, 2005

Why read when you can TiVo?

Poll worker hours run from 6 am to 8 pm. Polls are open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. During that time on Tuesday we had 75 voters in the precinct (2,300- plus on the books) bother to come by. I managed to get close to 300 pages read in On Beauty--not as much as I'd expected, but it was so cold in the school gym that I had to devote a lot of the time to walking around trying to keep warm and work the crick out of my neck. Serves me right: I knew to bring a jacket and I managed to leave it at home all the same.

But I left with an increased appreciation for all my fellow bloggers and internet buddies because after the fourth time of being asked what I was reading I had to realize that describing a book as "an updated Howards End" carries no meaning outside a relatively small group of people. Mentioning Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins doesn't help matters; people either don't recognize their names or if they do they think you're talking about English butlers.

So it clearly doesn't matter that this is Banned Books Week, and nothing's sillier than someone's efforts to remove a book from a library's shelves or a school's curriculum. Why ever did Kirkus Reviews bother to assemble its reviews of the Ten Most Challenged Books--no one's reading anything these days anyway.

Excuse me. Except for Dan Brown and John Grisham.

Mary Lee Settle died Tuesday.

Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman are interviewed.

Bill Watterson is interviewed.

Janet Maslin reviews E.L. Doctorow's The March, which is now waiting for me at the public library.

World Literature Today compiles a list of the 40 most important works in the world. I've read only five of them, and own another nine. Someday.

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