Book Corner: The Book Talks Back

Another one of my heroes wrote to me!

This time it was Jonathan Haidt. Close to my heart most for The Righteous Mind, which I loved well enough to actually give a little lecture about it at my local library several years ago. I was listening to a 2020 podcast where he was interviewed by Fellow Noodle-Hero Julia Galef. (Double-hero-whammy, I love when that happens.) They were talking about the “sacred” as one of morality’s foundations (an important concept!) when he reached around for non-obvious “everyday” things one might find “sacred”, and he said, “Oh, say like even the Rolling Stones” (noodle ears perk up) “…Tattoo You…” (wha!?!) “…side 2.”

This guy is a fan of Tattoo You, the 1981 collection of throwaways only remembered nowadays for “Start Me Up” (which I understand is widely disliked for being overplayed) and “Waiting on a Friend” (more critically acclaimed/tolerated)! And not only that. SIDE 2!

I guess this guy gets a hundred emails a day through his website “Contact” link, but not many with the subject line “Tattoo You.” I basically told him how happy I was to now have one more reason to love him, and he basically said he was happy to hear it.

Reading books is so much a one-way street. When a writer’s ideas really resonate with me, and I put him/her up on my Pantheon shelf, and then something prompts me to reach out, and he/she actually replies, it just feels a little like god himself coming down from on high. You don’t expect it. People writing the books are in some higher realm communicating with you through the magical object, The Book. They talk TO you. You don’t expect them to talk BACK to you. Maybe it feels like the book talking?

Or maybe I’m just a squealing giddy schoolgirl at heart. MEEEEEE! HE WROTE TO MEEEEEE!

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