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in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.

1. Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus, Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy. I’ve been scared of rabies ever since I saw Old Yeller in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Here’s what happens: Old Yeller is a cool, yellow dog. Then he gets rabies, and becomes a douche. Then, the dude who also played Davy Crockett on TV kills Old Yeller. A huge bummer, especially if you’re ages 3 to 7.

2. Henry Cowell: A Man Made of Music, by Joel Sachs. This book’s about a mystical dude who wrote freaky modern compositions like this one, then got arrested for being gay. That’s even more of a bummer than what happened to Old Yeller.

3. Paper Sons and Daughters: Growing up Chinese in South Africa, by Ufrieda Ho. Did I ever tell you about the time I took a class in South African history from a one-armed South African professor? We speculated that he’d lost his arm in the Boer War.

4. The Nervous System: A Dewey Decimal Novel, by Nathan Larson. Dude from Shudder to Think wrote this.

5. Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16, by Moshe Kasher. The brother of a dude who lived on my hall freshman year wrote this. Keep it real, West College.