Picture it: I’ve finished The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and am preparing to settle back into the depressive (yet interesting) world of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation, which I started two books earlier.

I’m also cleaning my apartment. And it is as I’m doing some task that my phone rings and I hear my roommate on the other end. Despite the fact that she’s maybe ten minutes away from home, she is calling to tell me that she bought a book she’d wanted to read two years earlier. Since I will read it more quickly than she, she says, I MUST READ IT OHMIGOD DO IT.

Both Michelle and I dig our books, so for such an enthusiastic outburst, I will put aside what I’m reading. Especially when Wurtzel has had yet another breakdown and she’s yet to graduate from Harvard. I shift to take on John Hodgman’s The Areas of My Expertise.

First of all, most random juxtaposition EVER. Hodgman has created an irreverant, cheeky, just plain false almanac of information that left me cracking up on the T during my morning and afternoon commute. Everything you never thought up about the US, werewolfs, hoboes and presidents is here. Footnote-happy people will die of glee (true story: I almost did). It is the most random book I’ve ever read, but I’m planning to buy the followup when next I make my way to a bookstore.

Hodgman? Genius.

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