Big Brother Book Club: Author Stalker

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Spotted this week: When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein. We’ve seen a few books related to finance riding the rails lately. Not being investment wizards, we’re curious if books about the economy written before October 2008 are still relevant. Lowenstein has commented more recently on “the way we live now.”

Of course, some readers are looking to escape during their commute. We saw the first book in Steven Ericson’s fantasy epic series, Malazan Book of the Fallen , wearing an ill-fitting home-made brown paper jacket. Wish we had thought of that grade school fashion flashback for the copy of Jamaica Inn we were toting a few weeks back — great book; embarrassing, poorly designed romance novel cover. We could feel the judging eyes. A more intellectual subway rider than ourselves had Devils by Dostoevsky strapped to the top of his…mini-cooler? DJ case? Hatbox? What was that thing, dude?

On the C train, we saw two books at opposite ends of the religious spectrum: He Came to Set the Captives Free , and Are You There Vodka? It’s Me Chelsea . In the former, Dr. Rebecca Brown describes her personal battle with Satan for the life of a patient. In the latter, Chelsea Handler gossips about her sexual adventures and brief time in prison. Other books that fell under Big Brother’s gaze last week were The Lovely Bones in library binding, a big fat volume of Sherlock Holmes , and Term Limits by Vince Flynn — “a truly awful story that tries to pass off a rightist political manifesto with Fascist underpinnings as an entertaining thriller.” The reader was awfully young. We hope she’s reading better books in English class.

Bonus Author Stalker: On a train going over the Manhattan Bridge, we were admiring the fine silver threads in a gentleman’s abundant black hair and ruminating on the growth of our grays, when we realized his coif was actually familiar. The initials on his signet ring (GS — it belonged to his dad, Gilbert) confirmed it was experimental fiction writer Christopher Sorrentino. We would have been psyched to see what book he was reading, but alas, he was only carrying the New York Times.