Read Me, Seymour

Mr. Shakes and I were recently at a Barnes & Noble and found ourselves in front of a table of tiny classics—books like Dostoevsky’s The Idiot and Camus’ The Plague printed in what couldn’t have been more than a 7-pt font to make them pocket-sized and thereby attractive to some dummy who wouldn’t otherwise read them. Or something—I’m not sure what the goal was, to be honest; I would no sooner attempt The Iliad in 7-pt text than try to cut an acre of grass with a dull butter knife. Anyway, there were probably 50 titles or so, and after we had finished wondering why they were so tiny, we figured out how many of them we’d collectively read. Between us, we’d read all but 3. (I can’t remember what they were, but I’m pretty sure one was Ulysses—ugh.)

So, the point is, Mr. Shakes and I like to read. In fact, we’re voracious readers, with each of us generally having no fewer than three books going at any given time. There are books all over our house, on every topic imaginable, and both of us have the strange habit of rereading books that we love over and over and over, thereby ensuring that our moans about needing to live 200 years to read everything we want to are increasingly accurate.

I was thinking last night that probably a few of the people who like to drop in here are also devourers of books, so I had the idea to start a book club, where people could all read the same thing and discuss, but I’m too scattered—I’d never hold up my end of that deal. My compromise, then, is to suggest a regular book recommendations thread, where we could all pitch in ideas of things we’ve read recently that others might like. I tend to enjoy fairly esoteric stuff, which means I’m always looking for good recommendations of books one wouldn’t normally hear of, and there are so many great political books out there now; if someone’s read one that is great (or not great) and would share their review, that would help thin the list.

Any interest in this?

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