I just started god is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.
Brian Lehrer interviewed Christopher Hitchens last week on NPR , the morning after his debate with the Reverend Al Sharpton at the NY Public Library. While I tend to think Hitchen’s voice sounds a bit too much like Alan Rickman in Harry Potter—”Potter, God did not make us, we made God!”—I am seeing his well articulated point. Watch this Anderson Cooper interview and hear Hitchens-Snape defend secularism (and John Donne):
I paid $27 for the hardback. I can’t remember the last time I paid $27 for a book. $27 is 30 minutes of bodywork at the Chinese massage place next door to the theater, or 27 $1 PBR’s at Anytime , or a weekly Metro Card.
Which brings me to the train. I am not only lugging around a cumbersome book but a controversial one. What happens if I sit beside a Hasidic Jew on the G? I’ve already gotten a few off-putting looks. Some people, believe it or not, do not want to share subway space with the girl reading “god is not Great.”
So I made a list of my train intolerables. These are the books I simply will not stand for—or rather, will stand for, as in: I’m moving seats, this is creepy, I’m uncomfortable.
#10 Life After Prison
Chances are, they’ve already read “Life During Prison.” And had a long time to do so.
#9 Giant Millipedes: The Enthusiast’s Handbook
“Enthusiast” and “Millipede” do not belong together. Especially not with “Giant.”
#8 Always Talk to Strangers: 3 Simple Steps to Finding the Love of Your Life
I don’t want to be that stranger.
#7 Train Wrecks: A Pictorial History of Accidents on the Main Line
Come on! We’re on a train!
#6 Head Lice to Dead Lice
I suspect this isn’t a prevention book, but rather aimed at those who already have head lice.
#5 Angry All the Time: An Emergency Guide to Anger Control
What if I’m listening to my showtunes too loud?
#4 A Night Without Armor
Poems. By. Jewel.
#3 The Professional Stage Pickpocket
It’s never a good idea to sit too close to a pickpocket actor who is probably in a low-budget adaptation of a Charles Dickens’ novel and needs the money.
#2 National Socialism: Vanguard of the Future
Hitler: The rise of Nazism.
#1 Sexiest Soles: Erotic Stories About Feet and Shoes
It’s mid-May. I’m wearing sandals.
What books have made you do a double-take on the train?