02.11.11: the dirty dozen {mystery train}

the time has come to see if you've absorbed the subway reader patterns i've been broadcasting in my homages to coverspy. can one judge a reader by his or her text? do all mass market enthusiasts use industrial-strength product? is everyone so poor at this point that they're rereading the books they were too cheap to sell back to the bookstore in college? so many questions.

here are the latest twelve titles i spied on trips around town; who's reading what, smarties? if you pair a book with its reader, i'll update the lists; you probably won't win anything, but one never knows, now does one.

{the peeps}

[01] M, early 30s, reddish forelock, tortoiseshell glasses, tan and grey plaid scarf, navy pea coat with anchor buttons, black slacks, black capped oxfords, F train [the death and life of great american cities, jane jacobs - per george, as planners know planners]

[02] F, 20s, thick-frame black glasses, green fleece princess coat with hood up over sage green cap, silver nose ring, red fishbone messenger bag, fingerless gloves with LOVE knitted across the knuckles, F train [another country, james baldwin - good call, gracie]

[03] F, 50s, holding orange eyeglasses, black newsboy cap, lavender scarf, blue plaid shoulder bag, whole foods shopping bag, black faux-fur-lined boots, F train [sweet misfortune, kevin alan milne - george's need for order carries us forward]

[04] M, 30s, neatly trimmed red beard, smudged black writing on back of right hand, oatmeal fisherman sweater, khakis, tan hiking boots, F train [the dark is rising, susan cooper - that book scared the crap out of me when i was a wee lass, katherine]

05 M, 20s, thick black hair, charcoal coat, grey shirt, japanese denim skinny jeans, tan brushed twill bag with red zipper and a yellow bow on the handle, narrow black sneakers, F train

[06] F, 20s, fantastic black eyebrows, black ferragamo bag with gold hardware, black cowl-neck coat, black and white umbrella, caramel leather boots, F train [who can ride the dragon?: an exploration of the cultural roots of traditional chinese medicine - burninated by gracie]

[07] F, 20s, no makeup, ribbed knit eggplant cap pulled down to eyebrows, sky blue quilted jacket, acid green crossbody bag, running shoes, D train [the omnivore's dilemma, michael pollan - katherine knows her brooklyners]

[08] M, early 40s, rectangular glasses, black-and-white-striped saint james cap, black cotton varsity jacket, faded grey slacks, green manhattan portage bag, F train [main lines, blood feasts, and bad taste: a lester bangs reader, lester bangs - gracie strikes again]

[09] M, 30s, shoulder-length black hair, beard, long, double-breasted tan coat with faux shearling, kelly-green-and-white argyle socks, black loafers with bit hardware removed, F train [rich dad, poor dad, robert kiyosaki - george's OCD at work]

10 F, 30s, blue wire-frame glasses, earphones, dreadlocks in a high ponytail, red cloth trader joe's bag, black purse, bookmark with ivory cord, F train

11 M, 20s, gelled curly hair, chin strap with soul patch, black coat with faux-fur-lined hood and gold zipper, black jeans, black north face backpack between feet, D train

12 M, 20s, dirty hair, headphones leaking industrial rock, khakis, tan coat, jittery tapping foot, F train

{the books}

deception point, dan brown
[main lines, blood feasts, and bad taste: a lester bangs reader, lester bangs]
[sweet misfortune, kevin alan milne]
[another country, james baldwin]
brother, i'm dying, edwidge danticat
[who can ride the dragon?: an exploration of the cultural roots of traditional chinese medicine, zhang yu huan and ken rose]
[the death and life of great american cities, jane jacobs]
hegemony or survival: america's quest for global dominance, noam chomsky
la muerte de artemio cruz, carlos fuentes
[the dark is rising, susan cooper]
[the omnivore's dilemma, michael pollan]
[rich dad, poor dad, robert kiyosaki]


jacob said...

omnivore's dilemma for 03 should be right, but probably isn't.

kidchamp said...

nope, but a good guess - and you did get the gender right. 

gracie said...

OMFG, I matched ALL OF THEM, then logged in and it erased my entire comment. Damn your comment form.

rachel (heart of light) said...

oh my god. this is a lot of work for a friday. i think i need to print it out and cut it into strips and match that way. i can't do this in my head right now. back later.

kidchamp said...

i feel your pain, gracie, and i also feel Lady Six should have been reading lester bangs. (the actual lester bangs reader could easily have been her companion, i think.) 02, baldwin + nose piercing. ding ding! i wanted her gloves. i also think she should date the danticat reader.

hol. said...

6- deception point
11- rich dad poor dad

kidchamp said...

bzzt, holly. hint 2: deception point is a dude. 

Celia said...

my head just exploded. lauren, it took me about an hour and a half to realize i had my shirt on backwards this morning... so, yeeeaaaah. 

kidchamp said...

i split the elbow on my favorite steven alan plaid shirt this morning, so i am now up to two (2) items of clothing split this week, despite a month of virtuous eating and gymgoing. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, SCIENCE?

http://woolgatheringandmiscellany.blogspot.com/ said...

i love this comment. 

kidchamp said...

well done! somehow reading susan cooper goes hand in hand with, well, writing on one's hand. i have yet to read the pollan, but i imagine that when i do i'll wear my hat quite low. on Dark Reading, i...plan to reread dead souls when i finish war and peace, and as i recall it was rollicking? also the F train feels like it has a lot to prove. 

g said...

arg.  i don't want to match all of them, but i'm calling 01 for jane jacobs.

kidchamp said...

ding ding ding!

http://woolgatheringandmiscellany.blogspot.com/ said...

is 08 reading lester bangs?

http://woolgatheringandmiscellany.blogspot.com/ said...

06 is rich dad, poor dad?

kidchamp said...

08 is indeed  the lester bangs reader...reader. ten bucks says he works in publishing; another ten says he works for a men's magazine.  the rich dad, poor dad reader is superincongruous, or was to me, at least - not 06.

Amid Privilege said...

I could not even begin to try to do this. I think I can hold 5 things in my brain at once. Period. On a good day.

http://woolgatheringandmiscellany.blogspot.com/ said...

i'm kinda in love with 08. can i do a missed connections by way of you?

http://woolgatheringandmiscellany.blogspot.com/ said...

is 06 wondering if she can ride the dragon???

this is fun. i'm obsessed.

kidchamp said...

naturally; dragons have all the best accessories. also her eyebrows were magnificent.

vaguely related: the new yorker guillermo del toro profile had some fabulous quotes about dragons, such as 

“Dragon design can be broken into essentially two species,” he explained at one point. Most had wings attached to the forelimbs. “The only other variation is the anatomically incorrect variation of the six-appendage creature”—four legs, like a horse, with two additional winged arms. “But there’s no large creature on earth that has six appendages!” He had become frustrated while sketching dragons that followed these schemes. The journal had a discarded prototype. “Now, that’s a dragon you’ve seen before,” he said. “I just added these samurai legs. That doesn’t work for me.”

he totally drew trogdor.

kidchamp said...

despair not, celia and lisa! gracie has gnawed the list down to a mere seven; she's brutal.

kidchamp said...

i'll keep an eye out. i bet he knows amazing bars, but he might be a weeper. you never know with that kind.

Amanda said...

YOUR Valentine's Day swap is way harder than MY Valentine's Day swap.

kidchamp said...

au contraire! it can be attempted again and again, and at the last minute. (i hope your valentine arrived!)

anonymous said...

diss has head spinning, but i was also with you on _dark is rising_...but loved them, even so. that _greenwitch_ book was just weird, though.

g said...

ungffhh... lack of completion offends my OCD.

03 milne
05 danticat
09 kiyosaki
10 chomsky
11 fuentes
12 brown

i only feel strongly about 10 & 12.  the others were just filling in blanks.

kidchamp said...


kidchamp said...

he knows what he does not know, and does not know what he thinks he knows! the rich dad, poor dad guy was one of my favorites. something about the combo of the janky coat and the festive socks. 

Anonymous said...

05 is chomsky

lauren said...

alas, Anon, not chomsky for him!

i panicked a bit when i thought i'd lost the answer key for this MYSTERY TRAIN, but who am i kidding? i'm a borderline hoarder, i save everything (in gmail drafts, like petraeus).