I went to the library last night to return The Secret Life of Bees and found myself perusing the 2 1/2 aisles of books on cds section looking for something new to listen to. I bypassed the Clive Cussler and Jodi Piccoult novels and hesistated in front of Dickens but moved on. Here is what I ended up coming home with:
Team of Rivals - about Abraham Lincoln's brain trust (is that what it's called?)
Sense and Sensibility - I've seen the movie, now I will listen to the book while I drive
King Lear - I don't know what possessed me other than I saw "Kenneth Branagh" on the cover and decided "what the heck? I could use more culture in my life"
Tunnels - young adult suspense I think
Dreams from my Father - narrated by the author, Barack Obama
I am admittedly uninformed about the current presidency. I just don't follow current events or politics or sports or anything that normal people my age who are literate probably follow. That is sort of shameful to admit, but its the truth. In my defense, I don't read People or Perez Hilton or any other celebrity gossip stuff either, so I think I balance out in a neutral, uniformed, jello-ish sort of middle.
At various times in my life I have made conscientious efforts to be up to speed on current events, but it is so easy for me to slack off. I'm lucky if I read the headlines on CNN.com each day, let alone click through to an article. There are only two topics that really capture my imagination: 1) interesting legal cases and 2) international articles about places that capture my imagination - doesn't have to be travel necessarily as long as it is about an interesting place that strikes my fancy.
So anyway, back to the President, when I was debating which book to start in on first, his book was the one I reached for. I don't hate him, I don't love him - frankly I don't feel like I know him or much about him or his policies. And I want to know him. Isn't it a God-given trait for every american to want to know who is supposedly leading them and their country? He wrote this book back when he was in law school and that makes me feel like I have some sort of a connection with him. It is not some pompous thing he wrote after ascending to office to tout his success or anything, so that also helps me feel a little more kindly toward the book. I'm looking forward to getting to know a younger, less experienced Obama through the words he captured when he was maybe more at my age and stage of life.
So far I'm enjoying Dreams from my Father. The writing is descriptive and almost fanciful at times - the settings of Kansas, Hawaii and Indonesia and the time period of the 1930's and 1960's all lend to interesting depictions of people and circumstances - and the stories have a rich chewy kind of quality to them that makes me want to stop the cd and ponder what I just heard. Like a good cookie makes me want to chew a bite a little bit longer before swallowing and taking the next bite.
I also think it is healthy for me to taking a break from all of the fiction I've been indulging in. Maybe reading/listening to this book will inspire me to be more politically minded and socially conscious.
Barack, I'm looking forward to learning more about you. Let's you and me be friends, m'kay?