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

1. The Obama Diaries, by Laura Ingraham. Mean political commentary, whether generated by the Left or the Right, is easier to read when meditating on the fact that, when one dies, one will slide out of this existence as if sliding out of an ill-fitting pair of shoes.

2. Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway, by Matt Dellinger. Interstate 69, if ever completed, will run straight south from Canada to Mexico, sparking tedious debates about free-trade between greedy corporations and laid-off union members. A bigger question: Will this highway’s rest stops exclusively sell low-rent, incontrovertibly gross Pepsi soft-drink products (Pepsi, Mountain Dew, assorted Lipton Teas) at iron-fisted, mean-spirited, Pepsi-affiliated fast food outlets (Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut), or will there be room for classier, tastier Coke products (Coca-Cola, Sprite, Barq’s, Dasani) in America’s bleak postindustrial landscape?

3. The Mama Bamba Way: The Power and Pleasure of Natural Childbirth, by Robyn Sheldon. Even though I’m a healthy young woman and there’s probably a cheaper, cleaner way for me to give birth in my own home on my own terms, I’m scheduling my C-section four to six months ahead of time so I don’t miss the Uptown premiere of next “Harry Potter” movie, whatever it is.

4. Linger, by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s a miracle that, in 2010, anyone is trying to peddle a book or film that exclusively focuses on were-culture. I’m still reeling from the shocking, unsolicited revelation made by some yucksters around the water cooler that they are proud, uncloseted members of “Team Jacob.” Come on—-Team Jacob? Didn’t anyone learn the lesson of the failed Benicio del Toro vehicle The Wolfman? Doesn’t everyone know that pale, sexy, emo, Cure-loving vampires are way cooler than werewolves with bad tattoos who probably spend any weekend night that’s not a full moon downloading Lynyrd Skynyrd bootlegs while watching Jay Leno? I’d rather make out with a gaggle of GOP ghostwriters than join Team Jacob. I’d rather watch every episode of Home Improvement in reverse while writing a book report about Jon Gosselin’s memoir than join Team Jacob. I’d rather relose all the hair I’ve already lost than join Team Jacob. (Actually, that’s a lie. I’d join Team Jacob in a second to get my hair back. Better a silky-haired, exuberant member of a werewolf team than a bitter, bald member of a vampire team.)

5. Aristocrats: Power, Grace, and Decadence: Britain’s Great Ruling Classes from 1066 to the Present, by Lawrence James. The acclaimed prequel to Aristocats, starring Matt “Joey from Friends” LeBlanc as the hypoglycemic prime minister whose lips wouldn’t move, even when trying to prevent the decolonisation of Rhodesia.