Required Reading

A wave of literacy has sprung unto me like a tsunami caused by the earthquake of learning. A little over a month ago I picked up the new McSweeney’s, Wigfield, and Tim Krieder’s The Pain. It was the most reading I’ve done since I was stuck in jury duty for a day, where I read my copy of Nine Stories for the billionth time and then learned what the ladies really want from a 1998 issue of Cosmo.

I admit that most of my free time is spent being lulled into ignorance by the soft blue light of the cathode ray. Reading is a rarity for me, despite what my nerdly vocabulary may suggest. I blame the futon, whose design is much more conducive to dicking around than curling up with a decent book. Damn you Sir Isaac Futon and your wretched invention!

After hearing good things from places I cannot recall, I decided to pick up the latest offering from the writers of the Daily Show. And it is awesome. It’s similar to the print offerings of the Onion, but incredibly well thought-out and even more well-written.

It’s a faux textbook, very similar in format to the books I had to read in high school. It might also be similar to the textbooks liberal arts majors are familiar with, but I was an engineering student. Our textbooks had no frills and were frequently populated by hundreds of tables that made you question the existence of a just and merciful god.

If the writers can put something like this out every year, I will abide the weeks of vacations the show seems to go on. If you like the Daily Show, seek this book out anywhere you can find it. I put the Amazon link up because I’m a whore and can use any bit of cash, but feel free to poke around for a deal. Or perhaps if you bribe me with a sandwich and don’t have a reputation for losing shit, I will let you borrow my copy.