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March 16th, 2003

Judging a book by its cover

Shannon has often told me that he shops for his step-father by one simple rule: Bob will usually like any book that features a gun, an eagle, or a flag on the cover. (If it features all three, he's hit the motherlode.)

I've always found this amusing because I've long known of a useful book-shopping strategy for myself: I will usually like any book that features a book on the cover. This knowledge has often proven useful when I'm at the bookstore and just scanning the shelves.

This was how I originally found John Crowley's Little, Big (it had a lovely cover featuring Smokey Barnable and Daily Alice sitting at an outdoor table, surrounded by piles of books), Charles De Lint's The Little Country (which had one large book -- surrounded by Irish countryside -- on the cover), Martha Cooley's The Archivist (which featured a stack of antique books on the cover), etc.

Generally, I figure if the book is about books, people who like books, people who work with books, or events surrounding books, I'll probably like it: Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, Jose Saramago's The History of the Siege of Lisbon, A.S. Byatt's Possession, Italo Calvino's If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, William Goldman's The Princess Bride, etc.

Yeah. I'm such a book nerd that I even love books about books.

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The Theatah, Dahling!

So we went to Berkeley Rep tonight to see "Fraulein Else," which I liked quite a bit. But I noticed something. All the plays this season seem to be about crazy people. I'm not being flip ... all Berkeley Rep's plays this season seem to be about honest-to-goodness insane people.

It's a little disconcerting.

Anyway, I thought the play was quite good, though I fell asleep for a few minutes with my head on Shannon's shoulder. Apparently, I didn't miss anything in particular. There was full-on babble-angsting when I fell asleep, and full-on babble-angsting when I woke up.

I don't have anything especially exciting to say about the play, because I already discussed all my interesting thoughts with Shannon on the walk home. I don't feel like repeating them here in my journal, so just be assured that I did have interesting thoughts. And now they're gone. Something about the moral corruption of innocence, the commoditization of beauty and the human body, blah blah blah intellectual-cakes.

Shannon wore all black to the theatre. He said that if anyone asked him, he would say he was in mourning for democracy.

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