Other than my university readings, I’m currently reading a biography on Audrey Hepburn, re-reading Al Gore’s The Assault on Reason, and about to finish (again) The Catcher in the Rye. In a few days, I’m getting delivered a few more books that I’ve been wanting to read. Jon Stewart’s America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction – The teachers edition has been out for some time, however, I’ve never got around to actually buying it. I’ve flicked through it in stores often enough, and it looks like a good read. Somewhat related, I’ll also have a copy of Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (And So Can You!). It too has been out for a while (not as long a America), though I haven’t gone through it in stores. It’s supposed to be an ‘extension’ of The Colbert Report in that it’s a continuation of his character on the various topics Colbert covers on his show.
In I Am America, there’s an appendix devoted to his speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner where he gave a hilarious speech ridiculing George Bush, his administration, and various other media honchos. I remember getting caught up in the wave of excitement the day after the speech occurred, and I was hooked on Colbert from then on. The best part was, Bush was seated right beside Colbert as he was speaking. And it wasn’t a gentle ribbing either. You can find the speech on YouTube easy enough (though in 3 pieces because it’s a tick over 25 minutes long) because it was on public access television at the time. Apparently the person who booked all the speakers had only heard of how funny Colbert was and that he was a right-winger on T.V. No one told the booker that it was all a joke. I read in an interview with Colbert that he originally thought it was a satirical joke, when he got invited, and only accepted thinking he wouldn’t actually get the position. Fifteen minutes later, he was more famous than ever before. It is definitely worth a watch, if only to be part of the phenomenon (albeit 2 years late).
Also arriving is a copy of Keith Olbermann’s The Worst Person In the World and 202 Strong Contenders. Olbermann is a news commentator on MSNBC in the show Countdown with Keith Olbermann, where he discusses 5 news headlines for the day, and has a few other segments, including his list of who he thinks are the worst persons in the world. He’s been very critical of the Bush government, and even more so since it became a lame-duck. I first saw Olbermann a little before Colbert, and have been seeking his videos for some time. I’ve never seen his book in Australia, so I was waiting until I was order many items before I ordered it from overseas.
I’m also getting delivered a copy of Paradise Lost by John Milton. My favourite epic poetry, and one of my favourite stories of all time, I say to anyone I talk to about books that you have to read the 12 volumes before you die. I’ve found it difficult to find a good and cheap copy of it in Australia. Usually I end up tracking down over-priced editions that are the size of desks, and don’t have notations. It’s all about flashy pictures and that. While the pictures are generally good (especially any that come with Gustave Doré), I don’t want to be paying $200 for a single book. So I ordered one from overseas too.
They are all arriving soon, so I hope to be able to write about them (probably not Paradise Lost) eventually. They all fit into the political theme, so it might make for some good posts during the long primary break.