Done and done: Middlesex is now officially one of my favorite reads. There may be nothing better than a well-written five hundred page novel. (Besides, of course, a nine hundred pager.) Next up to bat is Amanda Davis' Wonder When You'll Miss Me. McSweeney's is home to the Amanda Davis Hirewire Fiction Award (founded in 2004, in her memory) and is something I'd apply to in a heartbeat if not for the terrifying requirement of sending "a work in progress, between 5,000 and 40,000 words." So, let's change that to: I'll apply to it in maybe five years, after a million or two heartbeats, when my roman à clef notes have liquefied into something tangible.
You know what I always think is funny? Stores that usually only sell one commodity, but then start throwing a couple of other ones in for good measure. For instance, we were in a small bookstore after dinner tonight, ninty-five percent stocked with heavily dog-eared books, and then there's one swiveling rack of DVDs in the front, featuring maybe twelve movies at the most. I basically interpret it to say, "Your kid/spouse doesn't like to read? This should do the trick – much less commitment required."
There were also three plastic snakes on sale near the childrens' books, wrapped in crinkled cellophane, tongues permanently jutted out.