Tuesday, September 26, 2006



Every have a situation in which you are inundated with reading material, all of which promises to be fascinating, and you don't know where to start? At this moment, that's me. Here's the blow-by-blow of what sits in a pile on the floor next to my side of the bed. Great tripping material, if nothing else.

I got the new Wired magazine in the mail two days ago. This is one of the few magazines I'll read cover-to-cover. (Discover is another one.) Wired helps me pretend to be at least a modicum up-to-date on digital technology. (A girl can dream, even though she knows she's woefully behind and always will be.) Wired uses a clever technique each month that encapsulates the major theme of its magazine. Next to the date, there's a little box with a snappy descriptive line. This month (the October 2006 issue), the line is "Take With Food." The cover story is called, "The Thin Pill: How Big Pharma turned fat into a disease - and then invented a drug to cure it."

On Monday, one of the books I had placed on hold came into the library and I was able to pick it up. This book is one I've been chomping to read. When I placed it on hold, it was still being barcoded and brought into the library's collection, so I believe I'm the first one to check it out. (God, that sounds like boasting! But, really, I'm just incredulous.) The book is called "The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More." It's by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. I read one of Chris' articles in Wired and was really impressed. When I saw he had a book coming out on the same topic, I knew I had to read it. It's just pulsating with energy, begging me to pick it up. But, alas! There's that Wired mag to read, along with . . .

Two books by Seth Godin, marketer extraordinaire, and one book by Jay Levinson and Seth Godin. The book by Jay and Seth, which I'm almost through, is called "Get What You Deserve!" The books by Seth are "Free Prize Inside" and "All Marketers Are Liars." The latter shows Seth peeking up from the bottom of the book while wearing a Pinnochio nose. I can't wait to see what he has to say in this one.

And, finally, I was missing reading some fiction, so while I was at the library picking up "The Long Tail," I checked out a book called "The Syringa Tree" by Pamela Gien. The story, according to the dust jacket, is set in South Africa. When I was in college simply ages ago, I had a social studies class in which each student was assigned a country to follow in the pages of the Christian Science Monitor. I was assigned to South Africa. This was shortly before Apartheid was dismantled. I can't recall the details of what was going on. I just remember getting my Christian Science Monitor every day and pouring through it looking for articles on South Africa. My interest in the country went into dormancy until this past year, when I found myself writing a short story that featured the Boer War. (Specifically the second Boer War.) Now, here's where it gets a little weird. My grandpa died this past spring at the glorious old age of 95. He was an artist and I identified with him very strongly in this interest. It wasn't until he moved into a nursing home a couple years ago that I discovered he was a writer, too. After he passed away, my sister had me sort through some of his short stories and I found one he wrote about . . . drumroll, please! . . . the Boer War!

There you have it. I'm inundated. It's purely my fault and I thoroughly enjoy it. It's waaaaay better than having nothing to read.

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