Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December's Book of the Month

I love books. They're fun, educational, and they're great for smashing a wide array of bugs.

As part of my movie-watching routine, I frequently venture into New York for screenings. Part of that involves riding NYC's subway system. Subways get a bad rap. Yes, sometimes they are awful, especially during rush hour, where it feels like an egg trapped in a carton. And there's an excellent chance that you'll encounter a crazed/angry person, which has happened to me on more than one occasion.

The best part is relaying such a story to my mom, who thinks that every time I venture out of my suburban world that I'm in for a series of travel disasters straight from a Jon Krakauer piece. She never stops worrying, but that's what makes her great.

With that said (or written), this month's book is Subwayland by Randy Kennedy, which is his collection of New York Times columns on the NYC subway. It's a fascinating page-turner about the various quirks that make up the travel system: performers, passengers who read, passengers who sleep, announcements, and more. To excel at this kind of writing, you have to be equal parts fearless and curious. Do you want to wake up sleeping passengers and ask them why they sleep? Kennedy is more than happy to do that and more, which makes for a terrific book.

So, please check it out. And tell the librarian I sent you.

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