The Daily Book Beat

As a sometimes book reviewer for the Dallas Morning News and American Way magazine, I get sent books. Lots of books.

 I get books that I asked to see and many more that I didn’t ask to see. I get books that I care about, books that I can’t imagine anyone caring about,  books that lie far, far beyond the boundaries of even my fairly omnivorous taste.

 They arrive in twos and threes and somedays sixes, to be added to the stacks of the books that came in December and November, books that I cannot promise to read or even skim, but there they are.

Sometimes they arrive in strange and ironic groupings. Yesterday’s mail, for example, brought two tomes. The first  was titled The Levity Effect: Why It Pays to Lighten Up. According to the back jacket, the book “uses serious science to reveal the remarkable power of humor and fun in business.”

The next book was called The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict.

I put the two books side by side on my desk and looked at the covers. It was hard to lighten up about a $3,000, 000,000, 000 war.

Perhaps today I’ll get a book called Chuckling Through Disaster or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Fallujah.

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