Why does the world exist?
Behind the magic that is Citizen Reader.*

It's New York Times Notables time!

And no, I'm really not that excited about the announcement of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year. I'm mainly amused because every year when this list comes out I like to play a little game I call:

"How Lowbrow Am I?"

This is in honor of the fact that, even though I do a lot of reading, I read very few books that are considered "notables." The top score possible, of course, is 100, which would mean I am, in fact, very highbrow. But what did I score?


Holy cow, that's embarrassing. My score is usually low but that's a new low, even for me. (I should have checked before starting this post!) And what's even more embarrassing? The one book I've read on the list is a novel, Richard Ford's Canada. (And I did enjoy it.)

However, I am going to award myself two half-points (for a grand total of 2!) for two other titles: Paul Tough's How Children Succeed, which I read half of before stopping (I thought it was rather poorly done, frankly, more on this later) and Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist, which I didn't read at all, but which I did note would probably pop up on lots of "Best of" lists this year.

The rest of the list? I've got to tell you: meh. There's like three titles on it about the Obamas, for one thing. After that election year, who could stand to read three more books about the Obamas? Not me. So, I'm sorry, but you'll just have to call me your friendly neighborhood lowbrow (VERY lowbrow) nonfiction book blogger.