Big Brother Book Club: Dictionaries, Dostoevksy, and Detective Comics


It was a good week to be a book spy. Dictionaries are everywhere we turn lately, so we shouldn’t have been surprised when The Professor and The Madman turned up in our subway station. We had no idea that so many of the words that we use were defined by a murderous mental patient. Now we want to know more.

Despite how everyone complains about the classics, they made a strong showing this week. We were proud to be sitting next to the woman reading Dostoevsky’s The Idiot , surprised to see a copy of Candide sticking out of a hipster’s pocket and completely intimidated by the old man reading Character Analysis . We were pretty sure that a man across the cafe at lunch was reading Steinbeck, but when we slid past him we realized it was in Russian. We’ll never know for sure.

Things got ideaological with The Consequences of Ideas and Classic Ideas and Current Issues in American Government — all in one subway car — and then turned a little less thinky with Jodi Picoult and Lisa Jackson (no judgement). And to finish it off, a friend just sent us a picture of themselves buying Detective Comics#854 — the first issue of the classic comic book to be helmed by the revolutionary (read: redheaded Jewish lesbian) Batwoman.

Nice job New York, quite a week.