Living Columns & Blogs

It’s smart to start small (so ignore my biceps)

Some titles are reading enough.
Some titles are reading enough.

In last week’s column — already revered as far away as Uranus — I had fun with Mrs. Cool Kid’s friend Sue Anne, who made the laudable, yet laughable, decision “to take up reading” now that she’s reached the age of 39 or thereabouts.

I didn’t want to make too much fun of Sue Anne, just the appropriate amount. She’s a gentle soul. And, sadly, has but a sole sole among her many pairs of shoes. And only two pairs of pears now that she’s pared down her fruit sanctum.

Being a veritable Am-heh of virtue and youthful virtual verdure, I’ve decided to help Sue Anne on her quest.

Hey, Sue Anne! There’s the door. It leads to wonder. Or Bitter End, Tennessee. Depends on which way you turn.

She’s gone. And thus begins another tale of epic questing sure to end with a minotaur.

No, wait. She’s back. Everything’s quicker these days, even epic questing. Especially epic questing. I did eight last week. Did too!

But I’m through with all that. And because I’m a veritable Ginnungagap of virtue and dreamboat virtual verdure with time on my hands and, especially, feet, I’ve decided to help Sue Anne take up reading.

But I’m going to ease her into it. Instead of recommending books for her to read, I’m recommending titles. After a couple of years of title reading, she’ll be ready for narrative.

Before I started listing the titles below, I took a break. Me and Mrs. Cool Kid went to Captain D’s. The drive-thru menu listed one piece of fish as costing $1.99 and two pieces as $3.99. I kept trying to explain to the voice in the metal box how odd that was, but the voice just kept saying with a sigh, “Does that complete your order?”

I maintain that it’s odd.

And now to the titles for Sue Anne.

▪  “The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures” by Immanuel Kant

▪  “Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38° 54’ N, Longitude 77° 00’ 13” W” by Harlan Ellison

▪  “Thud!” by Terry Pratchett

▪  “The Tough Coughs as He Ploughs the Dough” by Dr. Seuss

▪  “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein

▪  “Faced” by Randy Waters (my uncompleted, yet still much-reviled novel)

▪  “The Fortunate Mistress: Or, A History of the Life and Vast Variety of Fortunes of Mademoiselle de Beleau, Afterwards Called the Countess de Wintselsheim, in Germany, Being the Person known by the Name of the Lady Roxana, in the Time of King Charles II” by Daniel DeFoe

▪  “Toilet Paper Origami” by Linda Wright