Realizing that it would take some time to carefully narrow your many excellent nominations down to a manageable number, I locked myself in a room armed only with a laptop, a broadband connection, and a large caffeinated beverage. I emerged hours later, YouTubed out, but no closer to a viable field of candidates. It was clear that I needed another beverage and more hours at the MacBookPro before you, dear reader, would have your vote. Fortunately I was up to the task.
A week later, and this sweet labor is complete. Distractions were braved and many Bothans died* to bring you this selection.
I’d like to try something different this time around: I’m going to reveal the books in three groups of three, over the course of three days. I find the symmetry of this approach very appealing, and wish that our national elections could be as aesthetic as our book group’s selection process. le sigh.
Without further ado (whatever an ado is), here’s the first trio, which I shall call Religion gets Civil (or not):
Creating these groups is like naming panels at academic conferences: the connections are loose, at best. We shall imagine that these three books look at when religion spills over into the public space, and whether we should mop it up or turn it on like a fire hydrant on a hot Brooklyn day. One minus for this group: they are hot off the press. Their ideas are all the rage (that’s a limited, pacifist rage) and their covers are hard, which means that it may require taking out a few library patrons before you can reserve them. On the other hand, one of these would look tres chic as you peer over the top, sipping on a latte, listening to your fifth generation iPod. All the cool NPR correspondents have them, and so should you.
Remember kids, voting doesn’t begin until after all nine titles are listed, the day after tomorrow. But use the comments to stump for your favorites and sling mud at the others, in good American electioneering tradition. Bonus points for anyone who includes links to good reviews and interviews.
* No Bothans were harmed in the making of this post. Apologies to any Bothans who may stumble across this. We like Bothans!