we are bequeathed on earth one very short life, and it might be good, one of these days, to make sure that we are living it (p 152)I raised an eyebrow in a few places, notably when the author assumes a level of ignorance in her readers which seems out of place. Thus, in the final essay, "We are talking about Story of O, a famous French novel from the fifties about sadomasochism" (page 257) and again, "Venus in Furs, written in 1870 by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch" (page 259). These turns of phrase either imply that New York is not so much a cosmopolitan city as a bit of a Sunday School or that the habit of writing for the Internet (which Katie Roiphe does) leads all of us to avoid easy cultural assumptions since our audience could be anywhere. I know that whenever I look at my Google dashboard, I make a mental note that half the time I am not being read in the countries where I assume I would be read.
Looking at that Dashboard I can see that I have published over 800 Blog posts on my three on-going Blogs. On top of that, there's a website with sixty plus essays from my past. Sometimes I imagine putting together a book of my own very much like Katie Roiphe's - thirty selected essays, the lines on the page widely-spaced (thirty to the page in this book), so that it feels easy to read. Curiously, I imagine this at the same time as thinking that my Blogs probably have more page views than a book would have readers. Ah, yes, but the book would have more Reviewers. Indeed, you might say that the secret ingredient of Katie Roiphe's book is that it lends itself to being reviewed.