Citizen Reader on hiatus.
Letting someone else do the writing.

Hiatus from the hiatus.

Okay, who knew it was going to kill me to stop blabbing my stupid book opinions for more than one day? The dandelions will just have to wait a minute, primarily because I have a question for you.

Believed Has anyone out there ever read a Wally Lamb book? He's the author of the Oprah books She's Come Undone and I Know This Much is True, as well as the new novel (based partially on the Columbine school shootings) titled The Hour I First Believed.

I've never read any Wally Lambs (as I typically stay well clear of books longer than 500 pages, which all of his are), but I'm about halfway through The Hour I First Believed. And here's my question: Would it be fair to describe him as trumped-up, literary Jodi Picoult? That's just a feeling I'm getting, and it may be unfair, but I wondered if anyone else had ever had that feeling as well.

Last but not least, please excuse me while I use the blog as a title dumping ground for nonfiction books from the library that I don't have time to read right now but definitely want to get back in the future. I recognize this will be largely an exercise in futility, as by the time I come back to these books, roughly a million more nonfiction books that I will want to read will have been published, but you can't blame me for trying. So here's a few hiatus quick reviews:

The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters, by Rose George. This book looks so, so awesome I don't even know where to start. I'll just start where she does, quoting a Nepali sanitation activist: "Just as HIV/AIDS cannot be discussed without talking frankly about sex, so the problem of sanitation cannot be discussed without talking frankly about shit."

The Pessimist's Guide to History, by Doris Flexner and Stuart Berg Flexner. A compendium of horrific and horrifying historical events arranged by year. I totally want to make a line of "What was Happening When You Were Born!" birthday cards listing historical events from this book. But then, I am a pessimist.

The Thoreau You Don't Know, by Robert Sullivan. If any author rivals my love for William Langewiesche, it is Robert Sullivan, author of the superlative micro-history Rats. I love him. I couldn't care less about Thoreau, but I'll follow Sullivan wherever he leads.

Becoming Queen, by Kate Williams. Beautiful and readable looking British history, about the life of Queen Victoria. A must-read for Anglophiles everywhere.