Summer Reading to Keep You Slim

Looking for a light summer read? An “important book,” maybe, but also “a funny book, in a lot of parts”? That’s how Bernard Goldberg hypes his latest, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America (And Al Franken is #37), in an interview with Ed of Captain’s Quarters (though Goldberg doesn’t mean “to come off as smug or self-centered or anything”). Despite his book’s “importance,” Goldberg explains to Ed that the New York Times “won’t touch it,” in part, he says, because “the book review section is probably the most biased part of the New York Times.” Oh, and there’s also “the obvious reason” — the Times’ publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. is “way up there” on Goldberg’s list of people wrecking the country (just behind #1, Michael Moore).

And then there’s Senator Rick Santorum’s new volume, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, which, to hear certain bloggers tell it, sounds like quite the beach book. Capitolbuzz sums up It Takes a Family this way: “In Santorum’s world, slavery wasn’t so bad, diversity is bad, and Wal-Mart is NOT bad.” Andrew Sullivan offers this quip: “The senator from Pennsylvania explains his views on the role of women. Benedict XVI — and a few mullahs in Iran — would approve.” Suburban Guerrilla, too, gives us a harsh review of (a handful of selected excerpts of) “Little Ricky’s” book. The Guerrilla does not like what Santorum has to say about “radical feminists” and “their propaganda campaign” which, according to Santorum, “succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.” Guerrilla notes that two income households are “for most families … not a choice” but a necessity — though not for the Santorum family, she notes, unable to resist the obvious dig, thanks to Mrs. Santorum’s “nice fat insurance settlement (pre-tort reform, of course).”

Sadly, readers will have to wait for some future summer to get their hands on When Smart People Do Stupid Things: Limericks and Lavatory Humour at Oxford, which Oxblogger (and Oxford scholar) Patrick is pitching today, “for any publishers who happen to be hovering around” Oxblog. Seems Patrick has “unwisely entered into a limerick war via text message with a friend” and “would be very happy upon application to produce a volume” of said limericks for the top bidder.

For summer reading of the online variety, head over to Slate’s new blog, Not Dead Yet, written by former Clinton policy advisor Bruce Reed. According to Taegen Goodard, the blog is about “returning Democrats to power.” What really brings Reed to blogging? “In the old politics, the losers could only fail every four years,” Reed writes. “Now, thanks to the blogosphere, we can fail every day.”

That’s a big task, but we think Reed can handle it.

Liz Cox Barrett

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.