Friday, 20 May 2011

A real surprise from Huffington Post editors?

This morning, after a very late night trying to upload extracts from a couple of 1997 AFL games (one of which is of immense statistical interest) I found a list from the Huffington Post of its writers’ recent reading experiences:
  • Katie Bindley, Style and Culture Reporter: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  • Amanda Terkel, Senior Political Reporter: O by Mark Salter
  • Amanda M. Fairbanks, Education Reporter: Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • David Wood, Senior Military Correspondent: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Andrea Stone, Senior National Correspondent: The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
  • Shahien Nasiripour, Senior Business Reporter: Confidence Game by Christine S. Richard
  • Jon Ward, Senior Political Reporter: The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
  • Jen Bendery, Staff Writer: Just Kids by Patti Smith
  • Laura Gottesdiener, General Assignment Reporter: Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
  • Joy Resmovits, Education Reporter: Macbeth by Shakespeare
  • Lila Shapiro, Business Reporter: Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
  • William Alden, Business Writer: Thy Neighbor’s Wife by Gay Talese
  • Catherine New, Reporter: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Caroline Dworin, Culture Reporter: Here is New York by E.B. White
  • Elise Foley, DC Reporter: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
  • Michael Calderone, Senior Media Reporter: India: A Million Mutinies Now by V.S. Naipaul
  • Saki Knafo, Reporter: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
The list is very varied. Many of the books are heat-of-the-moment nonfiction that people will not be reading for anything - even biographical information - but the proportion that are not are very varied, which is the way I actually like it to be. There is, too, some historical works I could consider buying after a proper read, such as the one about Theodore Roosevelt and about the political problems facing India today.

The only two I really know much about - courtesy of Elizabeth Kantor and Wendy Mulford - are the two works of “classic” (by date) literature in Macbeth and Lolly Willowes. Lolly Willowes, of course, is the kind of work adherents of classic literature like Kantor will regard as a pre-PC godhead of feminism for its proto-Wiccan theme, whereas Macbeth is seen by such people as representing the real nature of men and women. it is, however, hard to see from the profiles of these two people why they would take an interest in such different works of literature: Shapiro is after all a business reporter!

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