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

1. Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired—-and Secretive—-Company Really Works, by Adam Lashinsky.
A confidante of mine won a 32 GB iPad 1 at work last year. We kept it around the house for a few weeks, not sure what to do with it. Then, we figured out how to play “Words with Friends.” We played that on and off for a few months, then put the iPad on, ironically, the bookshelf, and forgot about it. Then, last week, I took the iPad off of the bookshelf and sold it to someone on eBay who inexplicably paid $360 for it, plus $20 for shipping. This isn’t the future I imagined in 1982, the year I turned five, when I thought about 2012, the year I hopefullly will turn 35. Back then, I thought there would be space travel, time travel, and flying cars. Instead, there’s Facebook, Twitter, and tablet computers that become trash three years after their release. Awesome.

2. Into the Garden with Charles, by Clyde Phillip Wachsberger.
This book’s about a repressed gay guy who finds love with another gay guy partially because, I think, they share a love of gardening. That’s heartwarming, poignant, moving, and really, really, really gay.

3. Life Sentences: Literary Judgments and Accounts, by William H. Gass.
I once read Carpenter’s Gothic by William Gass, and it required endurance. Real reading endurance. The kind of reading endurance you develop perched on the toilet with a copy of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations or Karl Marx’s Capital perched on your goose-bumped lap. The kind of reading endurance you develop struggling with Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and Jeremy Bentham in your college dormitory after everyone else has taken special K and passed out for the night. The kind of reading endurance you develop plowing every Stephen King book (yes, even Danse Macabre). Was it worth it? Was all that time spent reading just wasted? Are the books that fill the bookshelves of my house just future garbage? Who am I? Why am I here and where am I going?

4. The Great American Cereal Book: How Breakfast Got Its Crunch, by Martin Gitlin and Topher Ellis.
If Cinnamon Toast Crunch isn’t represented here, it’s a crime.

5. Vicky Swanky Is a Beauty, by Diane Williams.
This short story collection has a very cool cover.