Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book club at the White House

Mary mentioned to me that the President's reading list included one of the books I read and mentioned on the blog. I was surprised for several reasons.
A. Mary actually read and remembered what I blathered about a book I read...that it was written by a guy who wrote for The Wire even. (And going back to read the post, I am clearly not a book critic or reviewer. As I recall, I really enjoyed reading this book and it's a little hard to tell from what I wrote. Still, I think Mr. Price will be OK.)

B. I read it in April. I can't remember what I read last week.

C. This time, I was able to pull the title (Lush Life) but not the author, from the stack of books that have occupied my brain. (Maybe he was buried under Jim Butcher/Harry Dresden. I am so eclectic, right?)

D. And now a president's reading it too? So, like, if I were invited up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when I'm in the neighborhood, I could discuss with Mr. President the benefits of telling the story from so many points of view, how dialogue contributes to character development and story, or maybe even what makes a hero a hero? Right. After I managed to stop giggling the nervous laughter of someone completely outclassed and outsmarted and outcooled, we could totally talk books. We have this one in common.

E. Still, we have this one in common. And I could read the others in time for the book club. Really, I could. I think. If Mr. President can do it in a week (I think someone said 300 pages a day), I probably can too. I don't have the world to run, but I might have to turn off the television.

Here's the list:
The Way Home by George Pelecanos
Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman
Lush Life by Richard Price
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
John Adams by David McCullough

And if you search the internets, you can find a collection of posts on what this list means, why it isn't true but a spin developed by Obama's people, a comparison of Obama to Bush (more literary) and Clinton (a little less literary), and one critic even fears Obama might turn out to be another "drippy dreamer" (Jimmy Carter if I read the story correctly) because of the amount of fiction on the list instead of improving nonfiction that men his age should read (I'm going to go humor, but it's hard to tell sometimes).

I say:
This is another reason I'm glad not to be the leader of the free world. I reads what I wants, when I wants. I don't even have to tell 'em what I'm packing for vacation if I don't want to.

And how cool would it be to one of those 5 writers?

I should thank Laura Castoro for this overlap since she read part of Lush Life in a workshop and I was hooked from there. Probably she should be in the book club too. Then she could talk to him and I could sit in the corner and just be. And listen.

And also, I'm completely available for book club discussions, Mr. President. Seriously. Just give me a week or so to catch up. And 2 or 3 hours to kill the nervous giggles. And could we start with the Pelecanos book? I'd sorta already decided to check it out. Or Plainsong will work. I'm a little more drippy dreamer myself and choose fiction first, especially when I'm on vacation.

I have a vacation coming up...I should see what that have at the library. Just in case I need to be ready quickly. I'll probably tell you what I'm reading, but don't judge me for it, 'k?

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