Friday, July 21, 2006

Literary Oddsmaker

At the moment, I'm in the middle of three, count 'em three, books. I'm the type of guy who will start reading a bunch of books all at once, alternate between them, and finish some infintisemally small percentage of the one's he starts--not because he necessarily dislikes the books he leaves by the wayside, just out of laziness. So, the question I pose to TDL readers: Which book am I most likely to finish first?

The Candidates

The Price of Whiteness: Jews, Race, and American Identity, by Eric L. Goldstein (239 pages, not including end notes).

-Book hits at least three academic interests of mine: Race, Judaism, and the intersection between race and Judaism
-It was the first book I got of all of these--I've had it since May or so
-Because it relates to academic interests, I only read it when I have time to take notes on particular passage I like
-Of the three, I haven't picked it up in the longest time

The Good Fight: Why Liberals--And Only Liberals--Can Win The War on Terror And Make America Great Again by Peter Beinart (208 pages, not including footnotes)

-It's written by a New Republic writer
-I've blogged on the book, so I feel compelled to actually, you know, read it
-The blogosphere's moved on, so it really doesn't matter if I read it or not
-Will it hold my interest and still seem fresh after all the coverage I've read of it?

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn (262 pages)

-It's a break from what I normally read
-Any book that refers to a "desire to save the world" has got my attention
-It's "a break" because I almost never read or enjoy fiction
-It's the longest of the three candidates

Any bets?


Belle Lettre said...

I'm betting that you finish the Beinart book first, the Goldstein book second, and the Quinn book last.

I got that Quinn book as a present actually, but left it at home. Shame, for once we could have had a non-legal book club.

Then again, I'm more partial to Austen and Henry James, don't read race theory books as much anymore, and so....maybe there will never be a book club. Quinn is a good start though. Fiction is a great and noble genre. Be adventurous.

Stentor said...

Ishmael isn't quite fiction. It uses a bit of story to frame a lot of philosophical argumentation -- sort of like Atlas Shrugged, albeit with a completely opposite philosophy.

Anonymous said...

I'm still betting on the CRT book. "The Good Fight" sounds like most non-academic political analysis books ("current events" lit?) which is, in a word, bad. And Ishmael is just really boring.