If I had all the time in the world, I think I would spend every weekend watching every minute of Book TV on CSPAN2. In case you don’t know about it, it is mostly readings and talks by authors of non-fiction books, which are mostly but not entirely related to politics. I find it fascinating.
Since I don’t have all the time in the world, this past weekend I watched 2 hours worth. One was Alan Weisman discussing his book The World Without Us, which is a look at what nature would do if there were no people around, one of the assumptions being that there were no dead human bodies for nature to deal with. It was quite humbling realizing how fast nature would take over. Mr. Weisman is a very engaging speaker, and is well-versed on the subject.
The 2nd hour I watched Edwidge Danticat both read from and discuss her new book Brother I’m Dying. It is a reminiscence of the troubles her 81 year old uncle had in trying to come to the US. He claimed political asylum, and Ms. Danticat tells all the problems he had in convincing US government officials that this was necessary to save his life. Ms. Danticat read in a calm but still passionate manner, reflecting on the difficulties of immigration, as well as the trials and joys of Haitian life.
They do almost no fiction or poetry on Book TV, but even so, every time I watch it I come away with a feeling of how wonderful these authors are, and how much they put into their books and how enlightening they can be.
Check it out–Book TV on CSPAN2 (available only on cable.) But don’t blame me if you can’t turn it off!