Teaser Tuesday: Dear Committee Members

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Julie Schumacher. Photo credit, Catherine Smith
Dear Carole:

This letter’s purpose is to provide the usual gratuitous language recommending a student, one Gunnar Lang, for a work-study fellowship.  Lang–a sophomore with a mop of blond dreadlocks erupting from the topic of his head like the yellow coils of an excess brain–tells me that he has applied, unsuccessfully, for this same golden opportunity three times and that this is his final attempt to satisfy our university’s endless requests for redundant documentation.  He needs a minimum of eight to ten hours of work-study per week–preferably in the library rather than the slops of food service.  Deny him the fellowship and he will undoubtedly turn his hand to something more lucrative, probably hawking illegal substances between the athletic facilities and the Pizza Barn.

This is a short excerpt from the novel Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher.  The novel is a satire of life in academia and would appeal to academics, especially those in the beleaguered departments of humanities.  The novel is written as a series of recommendation letters.  Fortunately for the readers, the main character, Jason Fitger, writes letters that are completely inappropriate and laugh-out-loud funny.  This is the funniest book that I have read in a long time.  It is also, as the best humor is, very sad.

Read it, all right?

This post is a contribution to  Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.  Here are the rules.  And yes, I cheated by including four sentences rather than two.  Sue me.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Come Tease Me!

TeaserTuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/teaser-tuesdays-june-10/

Thanks to MizB for starting this meme (and many others as well)!

My teaser for June 10 is this:

“We have seen that Daoism provided a channel for that other, more romantic side of Chinese human nature which was not satisfied by the pedestrian code of Confucianism. Although the full range of developed Confucianism did take account of the spiritual aspirations of man, in much of its practice it was confined to an ethic handbook for the scholar official and had little message and no solace for the common peasant or small merchant, whom it counseled to behave well and keep to his subordinate position.”

This comes from page 75 of China: Its History and Culture, 4th Edition by W. Scott Morton and Charlton M. Lewis.

I’d recommend this book for people like me who don’t know much about China and want a general introduction that is not too long.  I like the way they organize the book.  As with most histories, it proceeds chronologically. But in addition to including the facts of changing dynasties, wars, etc., each chapter also includes a section on cultural developments (such as religion, art, philosophy, literature, etc.)

Click here for the Amazon description.

What about you?  What are you reading?  Feel free to tease me with a couple of sentences!