Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Book Thread

Just for the heck of it (and to remind me to read as well as blog), I've added a new little sidebar item ("What I'm Reading"). The idea is, if you too are reading the same thing(s), or have recently read them, or want to read them... etc.... you can click the link and it will bring you to this book thread to discuss. (Of course, at the moment this post is at the top of the page, but it will ultimately scroll away.)

Sy Montgomery's The Good Good Pig

I've only just begun this, so no comment yet.


I've been reading Barack Obama's book for the past... almost two months, perhaps. I'm not sure why I'm finding it so difficult to get through, since it is extremely well-written for this type of political memoir/policy outline. Plus, he's funny. My favorite bit is still this, from the second chapter, where Obama describes meeting President Bush at a social gathering on the day of his swearing in to the U.S. Senate (just after hungrily stuffing his face with hors d'oeuvres) :
"Obama!" the President said, shaking my hand. "Come here and meet Laura. Laura, you remember Obama. We saw him on TV during election night. Beautiful family. And that wife of yours-- that's one impressive lady."

"We both got better than we deserve, Mr. President," I said, shaking the First Lady's hand and hoping that I'd wiped any crumbs off my face. The President turned to an aide nearby, who squirted a big dollop of hand sanitizer in the President's hand.

"Want some?" the President asked. "Good stuff. Keeps you from getting colds."

Not wanting to seem unhygienic, I took a squirt.
That's really what I like best about Obama: that quiet irreverence that sees the humanity in everybody regardless of position.

[Update]: And the way he talks about his wife is so sweet you'll have tears in your eyes. After reading the section on foreign policy, though... I'm finally starting to accept that he may not be my primary candidate. Damn.

[Update 2]: He wants to be president... but can he handle the goody bags?
It is left to Michelle to coordinate all the children's activities, which she does with a general's efficiency. When I can, I volunteer to help, which Michelle appreciates, although she is careful to limit my responsibilities. The day before Sasha's birthday party this past June, I was told to procure twenty balloons, enough cheese pizza to feed twenty kids, and ice. This seemed manageable, so when Michelle told me that she was going to get goody bags to hand out at the end of the party, I suggested that I do that as well. She laughed.

"You can't handle goody bags," she said. "Let me explain the goody bag thing. You have to go into the party store and choose the bags. Then you have to choose what to put in the bags, and what is in the boys' bags has to be different from what is in the girls' bags. You'd walk in there and wander around the aisles for an hour, and then your head would explode."
My dearly cherished hope is that my
next book will be Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle... if only everybody else would hurry up with it at the public library.

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