Monday, September 12, 2011

Literary Matters

WARNING! This edition of our hated regular feature "Literary Matters" contains material of a graphic nature about the sex life of seahorses. I think! I am not kidding! DO NOT READ if you feel that would upset you. And now, a number of literary matters. 1) I was at Square Books today laughing at a book called POSEIDON'S STEED, because it seemed like such a hilariously overblown title for a nonfiction book about seahorses, which is what it was. Then I noticed that it was written by someone named Helen Scales! That made me laugh too. (The blurb on the back from THE ECONOMIST called her "an aptly named marine biologist." The blurb from NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC referred to the volume as "A compelling book about seahorses," which also tickled me with its aggressive mildness.) I noticed that POSEIDON'S STEED had a "prelude" rather than an introduction, which again I found humorous in its pretension. And then I looked in the index for Aquaman, because he used to ride a giant seahorse. He was not in there... BUT! (bawdiness alert) "aquasperm" was. WHAT IS THAT? I DON'T KNOW! Finally I recalled that I had a sort of coupon for Square Books in my wallet... so, reader, I bought that seahorse book! Laughter at some point had turned to wonder. I will let you know any interesting seahorse information I find. 2) Another book with an owl in it! "a bannerman holding Ingtar's Gray Owl banner": what can that be from but one of those crazy Robert Jordan novels? WHY am I reading another one? Can it have anything to do with my supposed "sprawling fantasy epic," or is that a sad joke doomed to failure... LIKE MY LIFE? It's none of your beeswax. Leave me alone! Are you trying to make me cry? Because MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! 3) Speaking of Square Books, 22 books have now sold from my famous recommendation shelf! That includes, most recently, the great Bill Mauldin's post WW II cartoons WILLIE AND JOE BACK HOME and a Lynda Barry book, which, once it sold, I replaced with the SAME Lynda Barry book, a practice which is COMPLETELY against my strict recommendation shelf rules, but who cares? Because EVERYBODY SHOULD READ LYNDA BARRY ALL THE TIME. 4) Also speaking of Square Books, guess what Michael Bible is reading? That's right! CHRISTIANITY: THE FIRST THREE THOUSAND YEARS. Good guess! He is the only person other than I who has taken a stab at that book. So expect some enlightening discussions between fascinating idiots! 5) The other night I dreamed that Gore Vidal came over to the house to talk to me about a new book he had written called THE PEPTIDE DIARIES.