My train ride to work takes about 17 minutes.
Normally, it annoys me. That's 17 minutes too long.
But for the last few days, it's been pissing me off because it's too short. Too short for me to finish reading "Who Hates Whom" by pudu-aficionado Bob Harris. It's subtitled "Well-Armed Fanatics, Intractable Conflicts, and Various Things Blowing Up: A Woefully Incomplete Guide."
This book is just wonderful. Clear, conversational, and hilarious. What's that? Funny? How can a book describing civil wars, genocide, and power-mad dictators be funny?
But somehow it is. And somehow, in spite of describing bleak situations from Zimbabwe to Sri Lanka, from Somalia to Haiti, somehow Bob Harris makes the world out to be kind of a hopeful place. Or at least a place with a good sense of humor. After all, how bad can a place be where one of the Guineas was once called Poo?