I'm Liz, and I'm a librarian (duh)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

How to be BAD: the handbook

Golly, as we get further into the year here, the challenges just keep getting more challenging! Anyone who knows me will tell you, crafts are not my thing. It's really kind of sad--on the rare occasions I am responsible for doing crafts with storytime or something the kids are always better than me. Coloring inside the lines is about the limit of my crafting ability, and that's only if I concentrate. I do have hobbies, or at least interests, but overall when faced with the theme for this month I was at a total loss, partly because I have read quite a few memoirs/biographies lately, and I wanted to branch out a little for the challenge. So maybe I'm stretching the definition of craft here, but I decided my book this month would be Peter Sagal's The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them). I admit I do listen to Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me on NPR, so I was partially drawn to the book out of thinking Peter Sagal is a pretty smart and funny guy, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little curious about the subject matter. And I have to hand it to him, he does deliver--there are chapters devoted to swinging, strippers, gambling, consumption (of goods), eating, lying and pornography. But it's not enough to just talk about these things--you need to define your terms, which he does in the introduction. I mean, how do you know you are engaged in some honest-to-goodness unsavory behavior? Basically, it comes down to three things--you know you aren't supposed to be doing it, you enjoy doing it, and you feel shame about it (when you get caught). I am writing this in the wake of the Eliot Spitzer scandal here in the NY tri-state area, and thinking this would have been a good book for him to read about 10 years ago. Anyway, it goes without saying that more than one of the chapters in this book take place in Vegas, and Sagal interviews all sorts of people (both professionals in the fields and avid amateur pursuers of each pastime alike) to get as comprehensive a look at some of these vices as possible. As fascinating as some of these stories were, I still was left feeling like I didn't get why people would do pretty much any of these things--and Sagal basically feels the same, as summed up in his afterword. But it takes all kinds to make the world go around, and who am I to judge?

1 comment:

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