John Hodgman's "The Areas of My Expertise" Last book you read: John Hodgman's "The Areas of My Expertise"

By Spider on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 04:21 pm:

    Actually, this isn't the last book I read, but I discovered (too late *sob*) last night that John Hodgman (of NPR and Daily Show fame) was giving a reading/booksigning at my area bookstore! I discovered this as I walked by on the way to a restaurant (at 7:10 pm -- reading started at 7:00). The store was much too crowded to even try to listen to him -- in fact, the stairs leading to the basement (where he was) were completely stocked with sitting bodies.

    But, after dinner, I walked by again and peeked in and saw him signing books. He's very, very cute.

    The book is really cute, too. 700 hobo names are included.

    The real last book I read (just finished this afternoon) was Joe Meno's The Boy Detective Fails. I loved it. The writing style reminded me a lot of Stephen Millhauser's -- very clear, very concrete syntax to describe very surreal and comic-strip-like happenings. And gently sad characters. And an exploration of the nature of good and evil. If we ever decide to do a group book read, this should be offered up for consideration.

By Danielssss on Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 01:47 pm:

    thanks for turning me on to Molemen as a subject. Have you read "Bowling Alone" by sociologist and abscure academic Robert Putnam?

By Danielssss on Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 01:47 pm:

    thanks for turning me on to Molemen as a subject. Have you read "Bowling Alone" by sociologist and abscure academic Robert Putnam?

By Spider on Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 03:32 pm:

    Wow, I had forgotten I had created this.

    He really is very, very cute.

    Also, "The Boy Detective Fails" does not stand up to a second reading.

    I have not read "Bowling Alone." Is Robert Putnam very, very cute?

By Danielssss on Thursday, October 30, 2008 - 09:50 pm:

    No, he is an obscure academician, and I have never met him. But Bo Bernhard of the UNLV, a friend sociologist, suggested I read Putnam. Blows you away. Also, I like the Culture of Fear and Founding Mothers as well as the People's History of the US to all be read at once and simultaneously. Taken together, it's like reading the notes to Bach's fugues and playing each part in my head.

    Bach was cute. Bo is cute (recently married in May however). There are so many unknowns of cuteness. I have not read the Boy Detective; should I?

By Rowlfe on Friday, October 31, 2008 - 03:17 am:

    i found a torrent of this book on CD. I'm downloading it now. I simply feel I need to hear it in his voice.

By heather on Friday, October 31, 2008 - 05:34 am:

    boy detective made me very sad

By agatha on Friday, October 31, 2008 - 03:13 pm:

    We're going to see him next Thursday night. Squeee! Also, if you all sign up for Twitter, you too can be John Hodgman's Twitter friend!

By droopy on Saturday, November 1, 2008 - 02:15 pm:

    i was just listening to john hodgman on "wait wait don't tell me". it's the only place i've ever experienced him outside of the mac commercials. just based on his voice, i can see what spider sees in him. just a few minutes of listening to him talk, and i wanted him. really.

By Spider on Saturday, November 1, 2008 - 04:54 pm:

    I don't doubt you. He stealthily cloaks his humor with a soothing, well-modulated voice.

    The end of his chapter on presidents and vice presidents:

    Given this new arrangement, [John] Adams lost interest completely in empowering the vice presidency. And so it remained the ceremonial deathwatch it was designed to be, with very few major changes over the years In 1804, the 12th Amendment did away with the runner-up scheme. And of course we have now fully abandoned the use of the Fetus Jar. Since 1950, most vice presidents have been encased in Lucite until they were needed, which is much more comfortable and hygienic.

    The exception, of course, is Dick Cheney, vice president to George W. Bush. While Bush is largely forgotten now, Cheney in his time was considered to have been the most powerful vice president in history. He not only exercised unprecendented influence upon Bush's policies, but also added to Adams's suggestions (and cape) a bold initiative of his own: The vice president should be draped with cobras.

    But whether this bodes a lasting change in the vice presidency or not remains to be seen. As an office with few formal obligations, its purpsose is written and rewritten by each who holds it. But it is almost certain Cheney will take the cobras with him when he goes. They are the only creatures he loves.

    Don't you want to fling your underwear at his feet?

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