Utne Blogs > Media

From the Stacks: Time Enough At Last

by Staff


Tags: zines, book reviews, reviews, Time Enough At Last,

Time Enough At LastPublicly ranking one’s favorite books, films, and albums seems to pass for critical blessing these days. Truth be told, I’m not so sure that making recommendations in list form is a new phenomenon—the Ten Commandments have a whiff of recommendation, don’t they? Still, most contemporary publications love to offer top-ten lists or best-of-the-year lists. (Hell, read any issue of Mental Floss.)

And then there’s Time Enough At Last, A.J. Michel’s “reading log 2007,” a zine she assembled simply to share—in just a few sentences—whether she loved, liked, didn’t mind, or couldn’t finish a particular book, comic, or zine. Michel’s month-by-month breakdown of what she’s read offers no snarky rankings, but it’s sassy enough to be pretty entertaining. She sensibly sticks to the basic premise of a few sentences’ worth of evaluation. After all, she can’t waste time reviewing when she ought to be out trying to satisfy her insatiable need for reading material:

Plane trips and vacations are a nightmare because not only do I have to pick and choose what books to take, I have to decide if to stow them in checked luggage, or carry them on. What happens if the plane is stuck on the runway for six hours and I finish not only the books I have with me, but also the airline magazine, and SkyMall catalog? Do I start hitting up other passengers for books? Best to be prepared.

If you have a similar need, perhaps Time Enough At Last can be your guide.

Michael Rowe