Monday, January 26, 2009

List of the Day: The Guardian's 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read

A new list! The Guardian newspaper just published a list of 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read:
Selected by the Guardian's Review team and a panel of expert judges, this list includes only novels – no memoirs, no short stories, no long poems – from any decade and in any language.
The list is organized around seven themes: love, crime, comedy, family and self, science fiction and fantasy, war and travel, and state of the nation. I will never read all of these (too much sci fi for me and it includes American Psycho, which I will not read), and I will likely never post the list on this blog. But a new list is always exciting and I will keep lackadaisical track of my progress here. Hat tip to Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies for bringing this list to my attention.


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Issue of the Day: Sam Adams

Rose City Reader is a book blog -- not a political blog. I generally avoid politics here. But the Sam Adams thing has me riled up -- The Oregonian even published a Letter to the Editor that I submitted. And while this is a "political" issue, it is not a partisan issue, so pardon this brief departure from books. Sam Adams is the mayor of Portland. He now admits that, when he was 42 and a city commissioner, he had a romantic relationship with a 17-year-old (who described a couple of dates and make-out sessions), which became a sexual relationship only after the kid turned 18. Adams lied about the whole thing before last fall's election, not only denying the accusations, but accusing anyone who believed them of, essentially, gay bashing. Most people seem pretty outraged by the whole thing, but some take the position that it is no one's business if a 42-year-old public figure has sex with an 18-year old. I fall into the majority camp. Call me a prude, but I don't think 40-somethings should date high school students. And when a particular 40-something is an elected official, I think it is fair to expect them to be on their best behavior. Portland already had one mayor who had sex with a teenager, which is one over our quota. Is there something in the water at City Hall? We are going to get a reputation as a pedophile-friendly zone. True, I may be more sensitive to pedophilia issues because most of my law practice involves representing the victims of childhood sexual abuse in lawsuits against the perpetrators and institutions that turned a blind eye to such abuse. But just because I am overly sensitive, does not mean I'm wrong. Here is the letter that The Oregonian printed:
Adams Seduced Teen Sam Adams used his position and age -- and the glamour that came with them -- to seduce a teenager. Whether or not Adams waited until Beau Breedlove turned 18 to have sex with him, the relationship he nurtured when the young man was 17 is what gave him the opportunity and authority to seal the deal. In my line of work (I represent the victims of childhood sex abuse in lawsuits) we refer to a perpetrator's befriending and "mentoring" of a young victim as "grooming." It's key evidence used to prove a case of child molestation. Does Portland really need a mayor whose pastime is grooming teenagers for sexual adventures?


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