Publicly 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.