Stephen Reads a Book

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This is my son, Stephen. He says he will read a book. He does not say he will read a big book. But he says he will read a book. His mother is happy. "See? Stephen reads!" she will say. "Stephen reads a book!" (She knows Stephen can read. Stephen can even write. Stephen can, in fact, even edit. But now, now, now he will read a real book.) "Hot dog!" says his mother. "At last!"

I was listening, as I do every week, to the delightful National Public Radio Pop Culture Happy Hour. I think everyone who enjoys popular culture would enjoy this experience - but I confess there's extra fun for me because one of the participants is my very own son. And it's sort of like attending a party at his house without my having to travel many hours to get there. In any case, this time, he was waxing philosophical (as much as he does) over the fact that (without referring to notes) he had commented in passing on Slap Maxwell and Hooperman - and had had a discussion with friends over the most obscure details of Insane Clown Posse - but he (he said) hadn't read a book. (This could be substantiated, by the way, in an earlier NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour [that I won't link to] in which a mention of Death of a Salesman was followed by Stephen's quickly commenting, "I don't read books.")

(Let me say that he has occasionally read books in the past - just in case you wondered. But he has certainly not made a habit of it recently.) In any case, the lad now declares himself motivated to participate in "a project in which I read a book." [Show host Linda Holmes quickly suggested How to Win Friends and Influence People and added a possible vote for something by Miss Manners.] The point is that Stephen has actually taken the step of reserving for himself an e-mail address for the project: And he has, moreover, expressed hopes that the book suggested might have some relevance to popular culture so that he could discuss it on the podcast.

I should point out that his 9-year-old son has read many books, recently completing the "Percy Jackson & the Olympians" series by Rick Riordan. In fact, that might be a place to start, Stephen: with a book that Jonah is reading. Wouldn't a father-son read-off be nifty? And, if Jonah still hasn't begun the "Harry Potter" series ... Well, what'd be more pop culture than that? With the forthcoming film about to whip Daniel Radcliffe fans into a frenzy? Think of Happy Hours filled with references to Muggles and Snape and Quidditch and He Who Must Be Obeyed ... Wups! Nope! Sorry! I blended my pop cultures there. But think about it, Stephen. Just saying ...


Tony Isabella September 6, 2010 at 6:44 AM  

I recommend he read 1000 COMIC BOOKS YOU MUST READ by Tony Isabella, still available via Amazon, the publisher, and fine comic-book shops and bookstores everywhere. I'm just saying.

Brent Frankenhoff September 7, 2010 at 7:41 AM  

I'll second Tony's recommendation.

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