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Posted at 12:50 PM ET, 10/31/2007

'Lost' Book Club: Time for 'Time'

By Jen Chaney

After weathering the challenging but mercifully short "The Turn of the Screw," Book Club regulars might assume our November choice to be easy and breezy; something to set the tone for the onset of the holiday season. Perhaps the Sawyer fave "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" or the well-worn high school standard "Of Mice and Men" so we can all fake it a bit.


No such luck. As we close in on February's season opening shows, we owe it to ourselves to kick our literary sleuthing up a notch. So like Juliet, who downed the drug-laced orange juice to find her way to the island, or Locke, who didn't let reason prevent him from blowing the hatch wide open or Matthew Fox, who bravely allowed the make-up department to spirit gum a patchy beard to his face in last season's finale, we too must push past our fears and face the November's "Lost" Book Club selection: Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time."

Why We Chose It: Clearly we are actively trying to make people's heads explode (Starting with mine. -- Liz). But there are other, more academic reasons for selecting this 1988 best-seller that attempts to explain various complex scientific and mathematical theories in a way that even dum-dums like us (She means me. -- Liz) can understand.

"A Brief History of Time" has a brief history on "Lost." Specifically, it popped up twice during season three -- once during the "Not in Portland" episode and later, on the desk of none another than Benjamin Linus in "The Man From Tallahassee." On both occasions, the book was tied to The Others. We want to know why.

Secondly, Hawking's book attempts to explain things like the Big Bang theory and time travel, a concept that could be crucial to understanding all those flashbacks and flash forwards. Seriously, there's an entire chapter in here called "Wormholes and Time Travel." And if that doesn't get every "Lost" and/or "Donnie Darko" fan's blood pumping, we don't know what will.

Finally, and most importantly, we are actively trying to make your heads explode.

Why You Should Read It: If your head does not explode you will be able to casually acquaint people with the fact that you read Hawking.

And because any "Lost" scholar worth his or her salt should at least attempt to understand the scientific principles the "Lost" writers may be exploring. And if any book can explain them, Stephen Hawking's is it. Also, Stephen Hawking once cameo'd on "The Simpsons." So, uh, there you have it.

Carry on. We'll gather to discuss our revelations on Wednesday, Nov. 21 Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Noon ET.

-- Jen and Liz

By Jen Chaney  | October 31, 2007; 12:50 PM ET
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oh come on liz, it's not a hard book to read... plus its short... and if that video of stoned britney is any indication then i'm sure she's read it...

Posted by: Quintilus Varus | October 31, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh great Liz! Thanks for the hard a** pick- my head is exploding just thinking about reading Hawking's book. This is starting to feel like school all over again.

Posted by: plamar1031 | October 31, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I love how I get blamed. Please direct at least 50 percent of this outrage at Jen!

Posted by: Liz | October 31, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

wow. it's a good thing i wasn't a member of this book club because this book would have knocked me out, cold.
good luck readers!

Posted by: methinks | October 31, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Jen (and Liz), but I think you selected the wrong book. Instead, you should have gone with 'A Short History of Nearly Everything,' by Bill Bryson.

It took me three attempts (over a period of five years) to get through the Hawking book, and I still don't get half of it.

Bryson's work, on the other hand, explores many of the same (or similar) topics, and does so with great wit and minimal pain and suffering. I got through A Short History on my first attempt, and actually enjoyed much of it.

Posted by: Helena Handbasket | October 31, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

MRS. P.: I've been reading this giant book about how to put your budgie down.

MRS. C.: Why? Is it not well?

MRS. P.: No, we just don't like it very much. Anyway, the book says you can just hit it there [GESTURES] between the eyes, or drop the book on it.

Posted by: Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion. | October 31, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Aw, c'mon, no fun Halloweeny list like last year's "How to Survive a Horror Flick"? Poo. :(

Posted by: :-( | October 31, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

yes! please, Liz, post a link to last year's "How to Survive a Horror Flick!!" man, that was wicked-funny. I still think about it!

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Next Month's Book needs to be Stephen King's The Stand.

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