the dirty dozen {mystery train,* round VI}

how times change! i worried in the fifth installment of this guess-who's-reading-what series that the male reader was going extinct; in 2014 he is all up in my trains, and he is spending a lot of time on personal care (male reader all up in my trains, i salute you). he's still wildly outnumbered by the commuters playing candy crush on their smartphones, of course, but he's there, he's earnest, and at some point he'll make it to the second page of the pale king (sweet, bearded thirteenth reader who just missed my count this time, i salute you as well).

as in previous posts, i've linked the title of each book to descriptions and cover images, mostly from powell's.** when a book and its reader are paired correctly, i'll update the lists; if you need hints, i'll compose haiku on request. who's the urban farmer? what do the people in headphones play as they read? where were the schoolchildren headed? is all of this facial hair here to stay? if amazon were a buffy-the-vampire-slayer-universe monster of the week, what sort of monster would it be? i await your responses!

{the readers}

01 F, late 20s, long, straight brown hair under bumpy knitted cream beanie, black knee-length puffer with fur-edged hood, double gold ring on left middle finger, thick solid gold ring on right middle finger, short black nails, black tights, high-heeled buckled brown booties, black prada bucket bag in lap, B train [sharp objects, gillian flynn - anon comes to life like a filmic killer]

02 M, late 30s, smooth tan knit skullcap pulled low on forehead, heavy olive green hooded puffer over popped black denim collar and paisley silk scarf, slim black trousers, black socks, cap-toe black oxfords, B train

03 M, late 20s, floppy dark hair, trimmed beard, black pea coat with copious pockets over green hoodie, thick brown scarf, blue topo designs backpack bristling with pens worn on both shoulders, cuffed raw denim jeans, brown moccasins, D train

04 F, 20s, wavy black pixie cut with purple ombre bangs, high silver ear cuffs, blue puffer with white-fur-trimmed hood and antarctica patch, rust scarf, black slacks, two-tone brown leather oxfords, raw leather messenger bag, pen in hand, F train

05 F, late teens, two-tone rectangular glasses, pink-streaked light brown hair in folded bun, flowered scarf, brown coat with white polka dots fading into pink roses, dark jeans, high-heeled brown leather boots, B train [the double helix, james d. watson - anon, TCB w/r/t DNA]

06 M, early 30s, teal rectangular glasses, black mustache and goatee, back-of-the-head black neoprene earmuffs, green army jacket, dark jeans, white pumas, F train

07 M, 20s, shiny black oversized headphones, floppy brown bangs, short beard, blue and rust plaid shirt buttoned over black tee, open khaki jacket, slim grey jeans, orange and blue lace-up vans, padded black backpack between legs, B train

08 M, late 60s, short, wild white hair, rectangular rimless glasses worn low on nose, open black puffer coat, sunglasses tucked into neck of black tee, black messenger bag around neck, legs splayed, black basketball shoes, D train [july 1914: countdown to war, sean mcmeekin - jacob spies the urban soldier]

09 M, about 8, short ash brown hair with magnificent cowlick, yellow P.S. 10 tee, cargo pants, blue-, orange-, and yellow-shark-patterned backpack with pikachu keychain resting on feet, F train [flat stanley, jeff brown - i imagine valya's boys have a copy as well]

10 F, about 8, dark brown hair in braided ponytail with glittery silver rubber band, black pea coat and magenta cardigan over yellow P.S. 10 tee, light blue jeggings, black-and-grey paisley backpack between knees, F train [the field day from the black lagoon, mike thaler - per lisa, who's known me since we were both about that tall]

11 M, late 20s, long brown hair in high folded bun, mustache and narrow goatee, black collarless leather jacket zipped to chin, red chinos, white ankle socks, red slip-on vans, A train [delirious new york: a retroactive manifesto for manhattan, rem koolhaas - anon IDs the russian karim rashid]

12 M, late 20s, black headphones over pomaded hair, mustache waxed into curls, kelly green hooded down coat over tails-out striped oxford shirt, black slacks, maroon canvas sneakers, black backpack, holding stainless black antelope thermos, B train [ham on rye, charles bukowski - anon, greasespotting]

{the books}

ham on rye, charles bukowski
the administration of fear, paul virilio
delirious new york: a retroactive manifesto for manhattan, rem koolhaas
dune, frank herbert
flat stanley, jeff brown
flu: the story of the great influenza pandemic of 1918 and the search for the virus that caused it, gina kolata
sharp objects, gillian flynn
july 1914: countdown to war, sean mcmeekin
greenhorns: 50 dispatches from the new farmers' movement, zoe ida bradbury
salt sugar fat: how the food giants hooked us, michael moss
the field day from the black lagoon, mike thaler
the double helix, james d. watson

*tip of the hat, as always, to coverspy.

**we'll be making a pilgrimage to the pearl district mothership this july, and i am already weeks into hemming and hawing over which pair of underwear to throw at the rare books section.


LL said...

i would die of happiness if person 10 was reading "the double helix" (young female science nerds unite!) but i will guess "the field day from the black lagoon". which honestly, would be nearly as cool.

lauren said...

i have full confidence that it'll end up on her bookshelf; she was a badass. correct!

valya said...

If 09 wasn't the "Flat Stanley" reader then I just don't know. Hooray for kids' books on mystery train; I'd request more, but I'm guessing you don't see them too often.

lauren said...

he was indeed! i too was exceedingly pleased to see the wee ones reading on the train.

babyjo said...

I'm terrible at matching. I just really enjoy your descriptions of strangers.

lauren said...

the guy with the man-bun dressed like a third member of the white stripes was russian. he was pretty amazing.

MDF said...

01: Greenhorns [Love those ornamented birds!]
04: Salt Sugar Fat [Underlining stuff to eat later]
05: Ham on Rye [Underwhelmed by sandwich-related content, natch]
0?:Gwendolen. [Examines diary through her lorgnette carefully.] It is certainly very curious, for he asked me to be his wife yesterday afternoon at 5.30. If you would care to verify the incident, pray do so. [Produces diary of her own.] I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train...

lauren said...

@MDF bonus points for oscar wilde; i'd be reading earnest if i were on a train right now. was on a train right now? this weekend has deprived me of things. your guesses, alas, are incorrect!

Anonymous said...

Ham on Rye was in the hands of #12, I'll warrant. And anyone who sees C.B. as a god is undateable. Si, si mysogyniste.

lauren said...

@Anonymous ding ding ding!

Katherine said...

Young Mlle. #05 was holding "Sharp Objects," I'll warrant.

lauren said...

@Katherine a solid guess, but she was team nonfic. the key to this game is probably figuring out which pairings i as the subway creeper find amusingly stereotypical and/or incongruous, which makes it difficult and deeply unfair, but what isn't, really?

unrelated: i dreamed last night that the missus and i visited seattle again. for the first time in more than a decade! it has been far too long.

Anonymous said...

jacob says:

this elaborate facial hair trend needs to end, is what i'm taking from this. can that and bacon be shown the door?

oh, and #11 for "greenhorns," #8 for "july 1914," and #5 for "dune" - i'll try to play to stereotype.

lauren said...

@jacob correct for #8 / july 1914!

i've never read dune, though i have read a letter paul wrote me on a long paper towel while he was watching dune. that was a fine letter.

BACON MUST GO. unsurprisingly, i'm also getting pretty down on chicken - not that i've ever been up on chicken, really, but now that i work with little chickens on a regular basis it feels especially violent to work on a story in which they're roasted or hacked into nuggets.

Anonymous said...

#1 was reading Salt Sugar Fat I reckon

lauren said...

a fine guess, anon, but incorrect! she was one of the fiction readers.

Anonymous said...

#1 reading Sharp Objects.

lauren said...

@anon ayup!

valya said...

it would be nice if 05's nonfic were either "salt sugar fat" or "greenhorns." hope for the next generation?

lauren said...

@valya she had neither, but her book was pretty boss nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

#2 is dune.
#3 is delirious new york.
#5 is the double helix.
#11 is virilio (and virile, lolol)

lauren said...

@Anon correct on #5! apologies for the lag there. was commuting from the west coast.

Anonymous said...

#2 is salt
#4 is dune
#7 is greenhorns (going on the plaid alone)
#11 is rem koolhaas

lauren said...

@Anon 11 is indeed koolhaas! i like the idea of plaid-based deductive reasoning, as well.

Anonymous said...

#4 cares about flu epidemics past, and supports lady writers, to boot

lauren said...

i suspect #4 does indeed, Anon, but she was not reading gina kolata; for sure she supports lady writers, though.