Reading myself to sleep with:
- Sophie Kinsella’s newest British escapade with Becky Brandon (this is the seventh) – Shopaholic to the Stars
- The latest installment of the Maggie Hope mystery series by Susan Elia MacNeal – The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent
And when I feel serious, I thumb through Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, as sobering as promised in his interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show – a book about the inevitability of death. Despite modern medicine, we all die. Just as Stewart balanced the interview with humor, I counter the heaviness by alternating with the escapades and adventures of Becky and Maggie.
If you are a fan of the Daily Show, you will like Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race. Not a comic (or graphic) book, this textbook has real pictures, side notations, even quizzes. You may not learn anything new, but you’ll appreciate Stewart’s usual satiric take on everything from fungi to Meg Ryan’s new lips.
The audience for the information is not you; this book is for E.T. (extraterrestrials) when they find the planet deserted of life form, presumably because we’ve finally blown ourselves up. Just so they’ll know what they missed, Stewart and his staff explain humans and the world they lived in – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in reverse – with pictures.
Better than a coffee-table book, but with that same flavor. Just open it now and then, especially on a day when you need to restore your sanity.