So Speed Reading Ain't His Strong Suit:
Briefly noted: In the Washington Post, there's a picture of President Bush from this past Wednesday, May 11, from his bike ride of ignorance in the woods of Maryland. He appears to be holding the book I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. It's a big damn book, nearly 700 pages.
Still, perhaps it ought to be mentioned that the Guardian newspaper on February 22 made note of the President's reading choice on a trip across the Atlantic: "Reporters accompanying the president on his European jaunt have been informed that he is reading Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons."
And it bears mentioning that a Los Angeles Times article from February 13 moved the timeline back somewhat: "Bush divulged just before last month's inauguration that he'd read Wolfe's new novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons, and found the novel, a graphic romp through the sex lives of college students, 'somewhat shocking.'" Bush's reading of the novel at this time is also mentioned by Elisabeth Bumiller in the New York Times on February 7, in one of her White House mash letters.
What conclusions can we draw? That Bush liked the "shocking" book so much that he had to read it again? That he never really finished it in the first place? Or that, like so, so much about this president, the Tom Wolfe book is just another prop, another brick in the wall between the reality and the illusion of our own leader.