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So flattered to have been asked, so bewildered about what to say

November 29, 2007 03:19 PM

Oh Crap.  I've been asked to participate in a literary roundtable and recommend a bunch of books for the Christmas season at a popular website read by a bunch of smart people.  I feel kind of like the airhead celebrities they profile in Vanity Fair and ask, "What's on your nightstand?"  And they come up with something like Elfriede Jelinek's Einar that their publicist googled and had them say when they filled out Vanity Fair's form and which we all know is total b.s.

Do I just come right one and say uhh... well... I haven't actually, you know, been reading a lot of what you might call "books" lately.  What with the new job and the baby and, um, you know...  all of that.  Also I kind of maybe only have a two minute attention span anymore because of blogs.  So.... I'm not really down with all the latest editions and, like, it's been a while since I've been in a bookstore except to get to the cafe at Joseph-Beth.  You know, so maybe my contribution wouldn't be exactly what you're looking for, which is what people like National Review and New Criterion contributors are reading these days, because that's the kind of people who are contributing to this thing. 

Do I just come right out and say that?  Or should I just recommend Elfriede Jelinek's Einar?  Suggestions, please!


Need any children's book recommendations or theological books? Otherwise, I can't help you.

Jordana   ·  November 29, 2007 05:11 PM

I'd just fake it.

Anonymous   ·  November 30, 2007 01:39 PM

Turkey Trot? That should bring the house down

ollie   ·  December 2, 2007 06:24 AM

OK, I'll bite. I'll recommend this book until I'm blue in the face.

The Places In Between - Rory Stewart. Non fiction. It's a couple of years old but still relevant. A young Scottish diplomat decides to walk across Afghanistan just after fall of the Taliban. Beautiful, scary. I laughed. I cried. Et cetera. Between starvation, exhaustion, wild dogs, blizzards, snipers, and the locals it's a wonder he lived. Sober, non partial portrayal of the awesome task Western hard & soft power face in that part of the world. The Brits made him Deputy Governor of a good part of southern Iraq in 2003 and eventually granted him OBE.

west bay einstein   ·  December 2, 2007 12:16 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, gentlereaders. Westbay E, that book in particular sounds great.

nbs   ·  December 3, 2007 09:03 PM