The Chronicle round-up of college reading materials is always depressing. Sufficient evidence: Mitch Albom and Jon Stewart are always on the list, and now Barack Obama has joined him. The American college reader clearly values, in those respective examples, 1: Soppy Sentimentalizing, 2: Faux Wryness and Cynicism, and now 3: Platitudes A-Plenty. The question is, are these the same readers, or do they each make up a sub-demographic? And who are the people reading John Grisham?
For One More Day, by Mitch Albom
State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III, by Bob Woodward
America, by Jon Stewart (or more particularly “By the Writers of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart) The Memory Keepers’ Daughter, by Kim Edwards
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova (“The story opens in Amsterdam in 1972, when a teenage girl discovers a medieval book and a cache of yellowed letters in her diplomat father’s library.”)
The End: Book the Thirteenth, by Lemony Snicket (Read It, or Wait for the Movie!)
The Innocent Man, Murder and Injustice in a Small Town, by John Grisham (probably a movie someday)
Running With Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs (Now a Major-Motion Picture Quasi-Indie Hit!)
The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama-Kennedy-Lincoln-King Jr.)
Son of the Witch, by Gregory Maguire (Follow-up to the Broadway Smash Wicked!)
Everyone’s reading. And Christmas is Coming.