What is the toughest decision we, as Americans, face on a regular basis? The Office or Grey’s Anatomy? Pepperoni Hot Pockets vs. Philly Cheese Steak Hot Pockets? Gap or Old Navy? None of the above.
We find the hardest choice to make while perusing the aisles of our local bookstores. Finding a great book to read is quite nearly impossible if you aren’t a member of Oprah’s Book Club (The Poisonwood Bible? Yeah, right, I could relate to that.)
What? You disagree? Well, nobody cares what you think. Go back to your Flavor of Love marathon.
Why is finding a good book to read so hard? I believe it is a lack of resources. Sure, you could listen to Oprah and you’d probably end up reading something worthwhile. But would it be worthwhile to you? Not likely. The problem is that Oprah is a disgustingly rich middle-aged woman and you have nothing in common with her; you’re drinking Folgers Instant and she’s stirring her shade grown Guatemalan with a severed unicorn horn.
The other resources aren’t any better, Oprah was just the first one to come to mind. Local Indy newspapers have middle-class-dads-of-three-kids-who-own-a-fishing-boat trying to tell me what to read. Co-workers and relatives are probably the worst sources, but usually the most frequent contributors.
Well, if you’ve read this far, then we probably have a few things in common. The most prominent being that you have entirely too much time on your hands. I guess what I’m getting at, albeit indirectly as of yet, is that I’m going to give you a few great suggestions for your late night reading and that you’re going to love it. Given your abundant free time and my unaccredited, but incredibly insightful opinion, I think we’ve got the formula for success. So, without further ado: welcome to the RandT Book Club.
The first book I’d like to recommend is for those of you that enjoy an entertaining read, but, most importantly, want to look smart while reading it on the quad at your community college. For this, I’m going to recommend an RandT favorite, the Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. It’s a great story of two Bali-wood actors, their personal religious revelations and their metaphysical transition to opposites ends of the good/evil spectrum. It’s well written, engrossing and just genuinely entertaining. The hook? The catch that will make you look smart for reading it? Because of the “blasphemous” subject material, a price was put on Rushdie’s head. Well, more accurately, it was a fatwa issued by the leader of Iran. It went a little something like this:
“I would like to inform all the intrepid Muslims in the world. . . that the author of the book titled The Satanic Verses, which has been compiled, printed, and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran, as well as those publishers who were aware of its contents, have been declared madhur el dam [“those whose blood must be shed”]. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them quickly, wherever they find them, so that no one will dare to insult Islam again. . . .”
Uh, yeah, that’s pretty freakin’ badass. So not only is the Satanic Verses a worthy alternative to your usual Inuyasha reruns on Adult Swim (really guys, just because it’s on Adult Swim doesn’t make it cool), but the very act of reading it is a silent protest to the artistically oppressive Islamic culture. That’s a win/win in our book.
Now, go forth and read the Satanic Verses, if only because we told you to.