12.15.11: the dirty dozen +2 {mystery train, part II}

it's been awhile since i last challenged you to guess what my fellow new-york-city-subway-riders are reading, though i find myself wanting to write about people i see on the train all the time (particularly when i've cleaned out my bag and forgotten to bring my own read). part of that is my reluctance to bite coverspy's moves (i want to tip my hat, not pick their pockets), and part of it is that 2011's the year i forgot to talk about books on the internet. beastly!

let's try again: here are fourteen riders and the fourteen books they were reading. who's learning english (or turkish)? who now knows that kelly cutrone became, at age 11, the first female umpire in her small town in upstate new york? are ipads the new girl with the dragon tattoo? as before, if you correctly pair a book with its reader, i'll update the lists. guess, guess!

[final update: as of 01.05.12, there are no survivors! see below for the pairs and killers.]

{the peeps}

01 M, 70s, thick, tufted white hair, white linen suit with fraying jacket hem, red crewneck sweater over white oxford shirt, black wire-rimmed glasses, tasseled oxblood loafers with black socks, B train [name and address: an autobiography, t.s. matthews - holli pegged him]

02 F, 20s, long red braid snaking out over shoulder from tie-dyed green baseball cap, silver nose ring, armful of silver bangles, large silver crucifix, F train [you are a little bit happier than i am, tao lin - georgepocalypse victim I]

03 F, 20s, grey slouched beret over sideswept chestnut bangs, tropical-snake-length plum scarf looped around neck like five times, black buckled boots, long navy coat, F train [@ontext, cory doctorow - georgepocalypse victim II]

04 M, early 30s, blue suede adidas with yellow stripes, c. 1972 cleveland browns knitted pom pom hat, white ipod buds in ears, heavy tortoiseshell glasses, neatly trimmed beard, F train [breakfast of champions, kurt vonnegut - victim of a gracie/valya double-team]

05 F, 20s, short, tightly-curled black hair, pearl earrings, black hooded puffer, black studded rebecca minkoff hobo, black plaid tights, green ipod nano, black shopping bag, ballet flats, B train [the lying days, nadine gordimer - rob studies, then strikes]

06 F, 20s, asian, hair with shaved sides, black coat, black-and-tan golf umbrella, black-and-green rain boots, black plaid tights, M train [if you have to cry, go outside, kelly cutrone - rob spots the PR hatchling]

07 F, 50s, brown faux-fur-trimmed puffer, caramel-colored polka-dotted scarf on head, wide-legged brown slacks, brown orthopedic shoes, camel scarf, B train [langenscheidt's universal dictionary (english-turkish, turkish-english)] - also rob; seriously, keep an eye on these guys who run marathons between distilleries in the middle of the night]

08 F, 30s, long camel coat, maroon tights, black dress, gold breastplate necklace, long brown hair, large black purse with heavy gold hardware in lap, F train [the unmaking of israel, gershom gorenberg - georgepocalypse victim III]

09 M, 40s, yarmulke, heavy black pea coat, black turtleneck, black slacks, rectangular tortoiseshell reading glasses, soft brown leather briefcase between feet, B train [the drop, michael connelly - MDF ID'ed my pulp-loving neighbor]

10 F, 30s, gauzy black-and-white paisley scarf, open black pea coat, grey slacks, small orange bag on knees, slim wedding ring, twisting curly hair around finger, F train [fathers and sons, ivan turgenev - georgepocalypse victim IV]

11 F, 20s, feathered red hair, tiny diamond nose stud, oatmeal-colored cashmere fingerless gloves, flat black folded-down boots, F train [the boleyn inheritance, philippa gregory - georgepocalypse victim V]

12 F, early 30s, short hair, short-sleeved buffalo plaid coat over long grey sleeves, short black dress, black tights, black boots with spats, dirty grey leather messenger bag, A train [death be not proud, john gunther - i flashed MDF and jacob]

13 M, 30s, curly brown hair, moustache with flecks of white, full beard, rust-colored shawl-collar sweater, beige all-stars, leather-trimmed navy canvas weekender between feet, tweed slacks, tortoiseshell glasses, continental airlines boarding pass as bookmark, F train [the cave, josé saramago - MDF profiles the traveler]

14 M, 30s, ash-brown tintin hair, green brooklyn industries messenger bag slung across chest, grey overcoat with popped collar, neutral plaid scarf, heavy brown leather slip-ons, leaning against door and balancing book on belly, D train [the secret soldier, alex berenson - MDF, TCB]

{the books}

fathers and sons, ivan turgenev
breakfast of champions, kurt vonnegut
if you have to cry, go outside, kelly cutrone

name and address: an autobiography, t.s. matthews
the lying days, nadine gordimer
you are a little bit happier than i am, tao lin
death be not proud, john gunther
the drop, michael connelly
the boleyn inheritance, philippa gregory
the secret soldier, alex berenson
the cave, josé saramago
langenscheidt's universal dictionary (english-turkish, turkish-english)
the unmaking of israel, gershom gorenberg
©ontext, cory doctorow


woolandmisc said...

you have 15 books and 14 people.

kidchamp said...

curse these webbed hands! let me sort that out and get back to you.

kidchamp said...

sorry, bel-ami guy: apparently i forgot to transfer your scribbled description from the receipt for my christmas tree to my gmail drafts. no guy de maupassant this round. thanks for the catch, gracie. 

g said...

04 is reading ©ontext.  that is my only guess.

babyjo said...

if you're #12, i sincerely hope you're not reading phillipa gregory. the other queen was one of the whiniest books i've ever read.

rachel (heart of light) said...

07 with the philippa gregory. 
and take the obvious route and guess 09 for the gorenberg. 

you know i love this game, but my brain can only handle 5 or so at once. it is frazzled. 

holli said...

#2=English/Turkish Dictionary
#14=Tao Lin

getting them all wrong would just make me sad

woolandmisc said...

01 the secret soldier, alex berenson
02 death be not proud, john gunther
03 the cave, josé saramago
04 breakfast of champions, kurt vonnegut
05 if you have to cry, go outside, kelly cutrone 
06 you are a little bit happier than i am, tao lin 
07 the boleyn inheritance, philippa gregory
08 the lying days, nadine gordimer
09 the unmaking of israel, gershom gorenberg (trick question?)
10 name and address: an autobiography, t.s. matthews
11 langenscheidt's universal dictionary (english-turkish, turkish-english)
12 @ontext, cory doctorow
13 fathers and sons, ivan turgenev
14 the drop, michael connelly


valya said...

04 sounds like G's alter ego (or college ego?), so I'm going to guess he's reading Vonnegut.

kidchamp said...

@g: bzzt!

@babyjo: i am in fact number 12, and i am not reading p-gregs. are the movies whiny, i wonder?

@rachel: nope for both! i feel you on the difficulty of juggling so many at once; as gracie demonstrated, i can't even count them properly. guess again when some have gone down! it's what a hunger games contestant would do. (i wouldn't make it very far in the hunger games, either, probably.)

kidchamp said...

the gentleman in the white suit was indeed reading matthews! in hardcover, no less. he was my favorite reader: let's bring hardcover books and old-school menswear back to the MTA, yes? 

i like the idea of the yarmulke-wearer reading the turkish dictionary (think globally, lower east siders!); his actual text was at the lowbrow end of the spectrum, though, weirdly, it was also in hardcover.

i was not reading the vonnegut, though i probably should. 

kidchamp said...

gracie and valya, you both have the vonnegut-reader right! val, well done on the ohioan identification; i hadn't thought of him as a grantalog, but i imagine they would get along quite well, now that you mention it. 

gracie, you're in the right neighborhood with both 13 and 14; the plane passenger had a worldly text, and the belly-balancer, in turn, probably bought his book at an airport (or the supermarket).

_M_D_F_ said...

2: the Gorenberg; concerned about it 3:the connelly; loves murder 5:the turgenev; loves nihilism 6:the Saramago; misremembered and thought she was ordering Gass's The Tunnel but still enjoying it 7:the berenson; loves modern suspense 8: the dictionary; loves Turkish dates and dates with Turks 9: the gregory; loves stories drawn tight as a lute string 10: the doctorow; exasperated luddite 11: the gunther; humming P.Y.T.? 12: the gordimer; coetzee's okay but 13: the lin; will read this and "untitled third novel" only, because he loves lin but hates Melville House Publishing more for some reason 14: the cutrone; pops her collar three 6 mafia style

holli said...

i shouldn't say DAMN! because #1 was the only one i was really sure of. I spaced out after guessing 5 or so...

and YOU! i haven't a clue. but i do see you've read the hunger games trilogy... i'm embarrasingly obsessed & would like to know how you liked them?

kidchamp said...

hunger games i got at the airport and nearly finished on the flight out to arizona a few weeks ago; i adored it and forced my mother-in-law to take me to walmart (the only bookstore in their small town) to buy the other two. i spent money at walmart! catching fire and mockingjay didn't quite live up to hunger games - the pacing was a little weird? - but i think the movies have the potential to be boss. jennifer lawrence could really kill it as katniss. and, i won't lie, i'm excited about the clothes.

kidchamp said...

i wish i could switch over to the gordimer to help you out, man. 0/12!

holli. said...

I saw the clothes link on your pinterest a week or two ago- I think the 2 Christians are the only designers who actually read what she wore! I'm excited for the boots. Boots, boots, and only boots. I hear she's going to be wearing the new Frye Veronica Lace Talls... and I may or may not have ordered them (and they may or may not have been returned because they're tight as hell). All right, enough of this. Holli out.

kidchamp said...

the tibi sketch kills me. how the hell would you hold and/or fire anything more than a yard from a bow like that?

in archery news, i'm still a bit gutted that joe's not interested in today's archery groupon. who doesn't want to see their wife dominate a bunch of staten island bow hunters? i used to teach that shit.

those veronicas are sick. i'll have to recommend them to baby jo, who complains of slim calves (all boots fit her with room to spare, poor thing). 

Jacob said...

based on a hazy memory that you once asked me about saramago (i had not read him), i will guess that you (#12) were reading the cave. 

Jacob said...

and i'll guess, based on your hint and my own hunch, that #13 was reading the gorenberg (by the way, his last book on the growth of the settlements after the 6 day war was quite good, if perhaps too detailed for the casual [read: me] reader). and i'll guess that reader #14 was reading the connelly; again, based on your hint.

kidchamp said...

i am not reading the cave, though i probably should (it sounds good!) - i was so nice and global when the year started, and somewhere half a dozen books ago i got lost in the land of thrillers and mass-market silliness. it's a fine land, mind you, but i probably didn't need to read, like, mockingjay 45 minutes after i read catching fire. you chose well based on the clues, but - alas! - missed that gracie had guessed the connelly. 

Rob S. Parham said...

9=Tao Lin

kidchamp said...

dude, you thought i'd read that boleyn nonsense?!

in other news, hell of a hat trick, there. you're right on the gordimer, cutrone, and dictionary readers. 

Rob S. Parham said...

As soon as I read the discription I thought it was you reading it. With 3 more down and my guesses it should be pretty simple to figure out a lot of the others.

anonymous said...

i'd be better at a logic puzzle.

"The girl with the long braid, who was NOT reading Kurt Vonnegut, got off the L at Graham Avenue...." etc.

kidchamp said...

it's simply a different logic puzzle, cookies.

anonymous said...


_M_D_F_ said...

02: Turgenev-crucifix 03: Lin-beret 08: Gregory-hardware 09: Connolly-between 10: Gorenberg-twisting 11: Doctorow-fingerless 12: Gunther-soda 13: Saramago-rust 14: Berenson-belly

jacob said...

you (#12) were reading death be not proud. which i realize is cheating, since it's listed on your most recent read-books list. jacob be not proud, but we need to get to the next mystery train.

jacob said...

ok, a couple of other guesses. #14, given the description, is most likely reading a hardcover, so i guess the gorenberg book. and i will be amused and happy if #9 is reading the thriller set in saudi arabia, the secret soldier. 

jacob said...

oh god, i've twice guessed the already-guessed reader #14. 

kidchamp said...

your patience is appreciated! i didn't want to put the spoiler up there, but kidchamp be not proud, either.

kidchamp said...

we will be moving shortly! throw momma, 09, 12 (obvs), 13, and 14 from the train.

kidchamp said...

you were right about the hardcover, though.

kidchamp said...

sweet christ, there are still five to go. i need to stop picking incongruous readers because i think they're funny.

g said...

Take solace in the fact that the process of elimination has to take care of the rest soon.

02 Tao Lin
03 Doctorow
08 Gorenberg
10 Turgenev
11 Gregory

kidchamp said...

mystery train II is dead; long live mystery train 3! 5/5.