Big Brother Book Club: Dawkins, Desai, and others


Waiting for the F train at Broadway/Lafayette, we spotted The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins’ first book, about “selfish genes” and “altruistic individuals.” Our curiosity was piqued, and we checked our borough library for a copy. All five were checked out, and two were overdue! Considering the book was first published in 1976 and the 30th anniversary addition over two years ago, what’s up with the sudden Selfish love?

On the N train going over the Manhattan Bridge, we saw folks reading Lambda winner Autobiography of a Family Photo by Jacqueline Woodson, Homer’s Odyssey, and Sherman Alexie‘s collection of poetry The Summer of Black Widows, in which “The elders knew the spiders/carried stories in their stomachs… We lived in the shadow of a story trapped in the ceiling lamp… Before sleep, we shook our blankets and stories fell to the floor.”

We read a Revolutionary Road over a few shoulders; we were talked into seeing the movie before we had a chance to read the book. Also spotted: Luc Sante‘s testament to old New York, Low Life, and Kiran Desai‘s The Inheritance of Loss, which has been on our to-read list since it won the Man Booker Prize (in 2006… guess we’re not making good progress on that list!). Finally, on a packed downtown 6 train, we saw a young woman reading Rachel’s Holiday with such an intense expression, we can only conclude that Marian Keyes‘ portrayal of addiction must be pretty realistic, in spite of the lavender cover.