Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh, the heat

I'm glad to read (and see -- great pictures) running has been nice in Chicago and Brooklyn! We had 96 degrees in Louisville, and that doesn't capture the heat radiating from the road -- so substantial I couldn't ride long in the so-called aero position (which places the head closer to the ground). I dried up completely, napped for 20 minutes 5 miles before the end of the bike leg of the triathlon and called it a day without running a step. I'm pretty bummed, but at least I'm in good company. Some 30-40% of the professional triathletes in the race failed to finish, many giving up before the end of the bike. On the other hand, thousands of people finished the race, including some who were just finishing the bike and embarking on their marathon 11+ hours after the race start. Now, that's an Ironman.

Trying to resurrect something out of my failure, I wondered if this helps my analysis whether to give mid-term exams, or use some other form of a two-part exam structure. It is heart-breaking to spend months devoted to success at something and have the day just fall apart. I've always rationalized that "that's the way it is in the real world," as if the real world is all preparing for a single court argument or client meeting. But of course that's not so. Nowhere but in endurance racing (which is unique because you can't just get back on the horse the next week) and law school exams are people judged by what they do on one day.

Now, I have to decide whether long-course triathlons are in my future. As I said to somebody before the start, I really do enjoy running 10Ks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Running: New Routes on Both Sides of the East River

Okay, so today was a milestone run in lots of ways.  First of all, it was one of those prayed for cool clear fall days.  It is also likely the last one for a bit, as the weather is about to turn hot again.  Second, it was a day where I really had to start ramping up my long runs, or give up on the idea of the Philadelphia Marathon.  My longest run since June has been 11 miles, and I like to do 3-4 20s before my Fall Marathon.  That means I need to run my first 20 in 3 weeks.  Yikes!!  15 today was an absolute necessity.  Mission accomplished.

More important, though, it was a day where a couple of new, and wonderful running routes opened up.  Michael Cahill and I basically ran our usual loop of the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, but as we arrived at the East River, we saw that a new section of waterfront bike path had opened up.
Above is a picture of the path looking back toward the Williamsburg Bridge.  Below is a picture of the path looking North.. 

We couldn't resist adding a couple of miles extra, just to check out the views.  That's Cahill in the red t-shirt, politely waiting for me to finish taking pictures (not!). 

Then once we were back in Brooklyn, I decided to add the necessary miles by running through Cobble Hill, and then down Atlantic Avenue to the new Pier One.  This new part of Brooklyn Bridge Park opened a few months ago, and is quite spectacular. 

Up until now, it hasn't worked as part of a run, because it didn't connect up with anything, but the folks building the Park just opened up a makeshift bike path that connects with the other newly constructed part of the Park at Pier 6. 

I'd have taken a few pictures of Pier 6, but when I got there, I bumped into a friend who was about to get into a kayak to paddle about in the new Kayak cove.  I got distracted.  

Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier post, New York is slowly but surely beginning to make better use of its waterfront.  Lucky me. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bike Ride

So today was gorgeous, and I went for a longish 50 mile bike ride with a BLS alum.  We've been promising to ride together for about six years, and finally found the right morning.  Boy was it the right morning.  Clear blue sky, cool temperature, no wind.  Of course, I overslept, couldn't find my gear, and dashed out of the house in a hurry, but thanks to IM, nobody ended up waiting long.

We rode up the West Side, over the George Washington Bridge, up 9W to Piermont.  This is a pretty standard ride for New York City dwellers, and there are always lots of cyclists.  Frequently, you can hop onto a pace line, and pretty much everybody stops at Bunbury's for a muffin and coffee before turning around.  This is one of the things I've always liked about cycling.  Runners often talk among themselves, but rarely end up talking to unfamiliar runners.  Cyclists form temporary packs, share pacemaking, sometimes try to drop each other, and frequently end up chatting -- usually about gear.

It's interesting that two basically aerobic sports can have workout cultures with very different "vibes."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just Plain Running

I plan to write something semi-profound about why I run over the weekend. Suffice it to say, my reasons and motivations are different from both of my fellow bloggers. Nor can I wax eloquent about triathlons since I have never done one. (Was signed up for a sprint one once but it was thunder storming that morning so I went back to bed).

All I can offer for the moment is a lovely 10 miler as I prepare for the Chicago half-marathon in a couple of weeks. I was a little bored running up and down the lakefront so I zigzagged my way south west through the back streets of various neighborhoods on my way to my turn around point in the middle of Humboldt Park. This is the old immigrant neighborhood which Saul Bellow made famous in The Adventures of Augie March ("I am an American, Chicago Born..."). It also happens to be where my dad grew up. The park itself is gorgeous and the neighborhood was begun to gentrify particular on the east and north sides. Sadly that gentrification has swallowed my dad's former home, which is now a Walgreen's.

It was glorious weather, a good pace even with occasional breaks for traffic, and plenty of neighborhood sights. Given that Chicago is a basically a grid with few diagonal streets (and none running the proper way on my way home) I didn't have to worry about distance and once I hit my turn-around, I could take any combination of streets home. The feet held up nicely even on all pavement, which was an important test for the Chicago half which is an awesome race but all streets.

Armchair empiricism and triathlon

Further obsessing about this weekend's race, I conducted my own empirical analysis of my success in triathlon. My n is about 10. I conclude that a good run equals a good triathlon and the rest is all set-up. I've had some good rides (for me) in a few races -- in the DC Triathlon this June I had my strongest ever 40 km ride, and in the Great Illini in September 2008 I rode my personal best for the bike leg of an iron-distance race. But in neither was my overall result satisfying. I had a great swim in Cozumel last December (I think the course was short, and we had a strong current for most of the swim -- on top of which, I was watching clown fish playing beneath me!), a moderate but not great bike, and tanked the run for a disappointing result. But there is a 100% correlation between my having a strong run leg and a pleasing result, at the Olympic distance (Luray, Virginia triathlon two weeks ago) and the 1/2 iron distance (two races in Oregon in the past few years). I've never had a good run in an iron distance event, so I have no idea if the result adheres. But the race plan for this weekend is to enjoy the swim, if that's possible in the Ohio River; relax on the scenic but rather hilly bike course; and make a mental commitment to a strong run. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's Not About the Race

Max raises an interesting question -- why do we race.  This is a good year for me to ask that question.  Last year I added triathlons to my routine.  Instead of running a marathon each Fall, and a few races the rest of the year, I trained for my first Olympic distance tri in 2009, and completed a half ironman in 2010.  Along the way I did a number of sprints for practice.  I also ran the Dublin Marathon with Spencer and Max.  That's a lot of racing.  So, I must like racing, right?  Short  answer is that I'm somewhat ambivalent about races.  There are things I like about races:  The energy at the start, the sense of accomplishment at the finish, the elation after a day has gone well.  But there are other things I don't like: the crowd scene at the start, the frustration about opportunities missed, or training errors that manifest in mile 18 . . .

The part I like, pretty much unequivocally, is the training.  I like the freedom of long runs, the conversations with friends, the variety of swimming, biking and running.  The reason for races is that they organize and motivate my training.  Without a race to train for, my workouts lack focus.  Without races, I can't measure my progress.  Without a race to train for I would not have the lurking fear of the "wall" to get me up each morning for a long workout.  The race is the end that motivates the means.  Or is it the other way around? Training is the end, and the race is the means??

Why I Race

With one of my target races for the year coming up this Sunday (coinciding with the beginning of the semester, which sounded like a good idea at the time), I thought I'd post an edited version of this slightly long musing I came up with last year. Because it really is a musing, I've not taken the obvious next step of annotating with references to the economic literature on search costs or cognitive psychology literature on decision-making.

This has been a big racing year for me. My wife Patricia once asked (perhaps hiding her exasperation) what I get from running races. I lined up to start the Austin marathon in 2009 and thought it over. What was I hoping for when the starting gun sounded?

I get from a race singleness of mind and purpose. For the time I am running, I have no purpose in life, no goal, no raison d’etre, but to finish the race. When the gun sounds, I have ahead of me more than three hours of none of the complications or worries of life.

It only works in a marathon, or, I suppose, something longer. I think the task has to be daunting enough that no brain space is left for anything else. Running shorter isn’t easier, but it requires less mental effort, or at least mental effort exerted for a lesser period of time. There is room for worries to slip in. There’s the rub, too. If I do it too much, will the marathon cease to be a substantial enough event?

I found myself discussing the military with another. He said he could see the attraction of joining up. That was a startling revelation. S_____ is quite free-willed. I think I would struggle under the constrictions of military life. He would be a disaster. I told him so. He was serious, though. The military offered something attractive. What was it? Maybe the same thing: singleness of mind and purpose. In the military, like the three-plus hours after the starting gun in a race, there is nothing to do but the task at hand. Never do you have to decide, for yourself, where you will go, how you will eat, where you will sleep, or who you will follow. Complications of life are shut out. (I haven’t talked about going to prison, but I suppose that fits, too.)

If the military serves this purpose, why should the luxury be limited to those in uniform? Does it not apply to the populace at large? What if we did not need to run marathons to remove complications from our lives? What if the government did that for us? Of course, I am describing a totalitarian regime. I am discussing the Soviet Eastern Bloc or the fundamentalist Muslim world. There is empirical support for the idea of totalitarianism as utopia. When capitalism entered Eastern markets in the 1990s, consumers were overwhelmed by choice. Some believed it was not a good thing. Why should they decide what cereal to buy – wasn’t that an unnecessary complication? If choice were removed for us, a necessary corollary is that bad choices would go away. (Knowing I am starting to sound like a certain law professor-cum-regulator, I’ll wrap things up.) Lack of choice doesn’t mean circumstances are optimal, it just means the energy spent worrying about it is placed elsewhere.

I have now come a long way from running marathons, I realize. I don’t think extinguishing choice is a solution. But I voluntarily do that to myself with regularity. I enter the place where the only way to go is forward, and the only thing to do is to run. These were my thoughts, that day in Austin. My thoughts on the run.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Writing: How I Spent my Summer Vacation

Soon I have to turn in my report of my summer scholarship justifying my summer research grant. No school I am aware of actually ties summer research grants strictly to what one accomplishes in the summer. Instead, it seems to function as a salary supplement for those actively involved in scholarship throughout the year. But since summer is normally the longest uninterrupted period for writing, I suppose some report of how one used that time isn't a bad idea.

Every year I envision a magnificent uninterrupted vista of prodigious productivity and every year I am disappointed. Exams take longer to grade than I expect , small projects crowd out bigger projects, some how administrative tasks linger on into the summer, etc. This raises the perfectly sensible question of at what point do I actually change my expectations?

Then at some point I write it all down and it doesn't look so bad after all. So for the summer of 2010 it goes something like this. I drafted 5 separate 1,000 word blog entries for Danny Sokol's Antitrust and Competition Policy Blog ranging from stuff about our antitrust institute to a review of David Gerber's new book on international antitrust. I also prepared a two part condensation of an earlier article on Justice Stevens and the Rule of Reason for the FTC Watch newsletter. As always, I did an annual update of my treatise.

But that isn't why deans hand out stipends or what they expect in return. I do have a decent 60 page rough draft on corporate governance and competition policy, a topic that much to my amazement almost nobody writes about. The problem is that I know a lot more about antitrust than corporate governance, so it's been slow going. But if all goes well, I will finish the manuscript by the middle fall, send it out for lots of comments, present it a couple of places, and submit in the February/March cycle. Then I start all over again with a new piece, a new summer, and the unrealistic hope of being more productive and more rested all at the same time.

Running: Paying Attention

This morning I did four miles of what passes for speed work in my universe. Normally, I am just lost somewhere in between the ozone and my ipod paying virtually no attention to my surroundings. But today, I was more tuned in. Running south to the North Avenue beach, I actually noticed and waved to a bunch of Jordan's former classmates who were out for a pre-season cross-country training run. I passed the new soccer field by the Latin school with a pre-season field hockey session going strong. Then it seemed like senior citizen day with a variety of healthy old folks out for runs and walks. I particularly liked the serene handsome older lady jogging in an 1980s teeshirt reading "Who Gives a S&%T what Frankie Says?".

I began to focus in more on my surroundings as I circled the new boardwalk nature walk around the South Pond and through the Lincoln Park Zoo with the sleepy lions, restless cheetahs, and serene giraffes out for their morning routines. Continuing north I took a short nature trail around the east side of the North Pond and found dozens of ducks and geese on the grass on both sides. Jogged in place at the spot by the North Pond with the best view of the park and downtown where they shoot all the picture postcards for the tourists. Then home past the gold leaf statue of Alexander Hamilton and the unnaturally buff and half naked statue of Goethe. It was one of the few times I wish I ran with a phone with a camera a la Ted.

Monday, August 23, 2010

School Running Club (Brooklyn)

Hi Max!! Welcome to the Blog. 

I have periodically thought about starting a student running club, but never pursued it.  I frequently run with colleagues, and usually very early in the morning (6ish).  Our training schedule and student sleep schedules just don't mesh, so that has been the end of it.   I will admit, I've also had some reluctance, even though it would be fun, for several reasons.  The principle one is that it appears to create a form of access that is possibly gendered and certainly unavailable to many students.  The second one is a fear of looking foolish: (1) because I am slow; and (2) because I look rather ridiculous in running shorts (just ask Spencer).   The third is that I have a big mouth, and it becomes bigger when I run (just ask Spencer).  

The one time I have run with students is during the annual Race Judicata.  This is a race organized by our Student Bar Association in honor of a former colleague.  I run it whenever I can, and also offer to pay an extra dollar to the charity for each student who beats me. That always turns out to be a great day.  So, maybe I should just get over my reluctance . . .

School running club

I wonder whether others have tried this. My colleague Peter (tax) hatched the idea. Peter is a pretty serious runner, with several well-under-three-hour marathons to his credit. The club is not at all serious. We tend to run a five-mile loop twice per week, holding maybe a 10-minute pace, and drop people near the school as their own level of fitness requires. But I think it's pretty nice. We're an urban commuter school, and students (and faculty) show up when they need to attend (or teach) class and leave when they don't. A club like this brings people together at times they otherwise might have gone their separate ways. But there are challenges. Last year, if Peter or I did not show up for a club run, it would not take place. My own participation is limited by my travel schedule, so I usually make one of the two weekly meetings. Conversation can lag if one is not careful, although there was decided improvement toward the end of last year, when regular attendees got to know each other better. Certainly I believe the educational process, even in professional school, is more involved than discussing the finer points of Article 9 for 1 hour 15' per week. The running club is a nice addition to the school community. We hope that over time it will involve alumni, helping to keep them involved in the school and to develop relationships with the student body.

Running: When Temperature and Humidity Fall

There is a day in the late summer or early fall when the temperature and humidity fall and running again becomes a pleasure rather than a chore. That day was yesterday. I went out for my long run around 5:30 PM and ended up going 9 rather than the 7 I had planned. Probably a good thing too as I need to get ready for a half-marathon on September 12th. I ended up taking a slightly different route at the north end of my run leading past a dog beach at Foster Avenue and a public beach house with a little cafe at the north end of the Hollywood beach that I had never seen before. Averaged about 9:30 a mile and felt great except for that nagging leftover heel pain that appears to be a lasting souvenir of my last race with my co-bloggers.

Reading: Open Books

There is a fabulous organization called Open Books which is headquartered in my wife's office building. Open Books promotes literacy throughout the Chicago area and runs a large airy and well laid out used book store as one of its funding sources. This past weekend Open Books ran its annual clearance sale with a special Friday sneak preview for teachers and members. Law profs qualified although we probably weren't what they had in mind.

I opted for filling a tote bag or $25 and left happy with new used additions for my book shelf at the office of Edward Chamberlin's Theory of Monopolistic Competition, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nation and several standard references and histories about the New Deal. For the home shelf, a hard cover edition of Proust to replace my fraying paperbacks, a French grammar book, a couple Neal Stepehensen sci fi books, and assorted books I thought Laura and Jordan would like. It was an hour that reminded me why e-book readers aren't going to take over in my house any time soon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Running: New Route (Brooklyn Bridge Park)

I moved to Brooklyn in 1998.  At the time, the waterfront below the Brooklyn Heights Promenade was a set of nondescript warehouses.   Progress has been slow, but Empire State Park opened a year or so later.  In the Spring Pier 1 opened as a landscaped island in the East River.  Soon after that Pier 6 opened with a world class playground.  Now, a bike path has opened connecting Piers 1 and 6.  The symbolic significance of this cannot be overestimated.  Much of the Park is still a work in progress, but now one can run from the base of the Manhattan Bridge to the foot of Atlantic Avenue without leaving the waterfront.   This creates tremendous opportunities for linking up formerly disparate running routes, and it is yet another sign that New York City is slowly learning how to make effective use of its abundant waterfront.

Running: Rest Day

Okay, so I'm in the early stages of training for the Philadelphia Marathon (November 21).   Last week I did a short long run (11 miles).  I'm still cross-training pretty heavily.  This is partly out of habit, partly because I like the balanced workouts, and right now, largely because I seem to have some sort of a bruise or inflammation in my right heel/achilles.  It has not stopped me from running, but it hurts a bunch at the beginning, and even more at the end of each run.  I've been nursing it for about a month, and I keep hoping it will get better if I run every other day.   So far it has stayed pretty consistent.

I last ran Thursday.  I swam and spun Friday and Saturday, and had planned to run 13-15 today.  But, it's raining; my running buddies are all out of commission; and I've got a lot of work to do before the beginning of the semester.  So, I've decided that wisdom is the better part of valor and I ought to take a rest day.

I hate rest days . . .

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cross Training: Times 2

The hot humid dog days of summer have driven me away from running to the cross-training I should be doing more regularly in any event. Yesterday, I did a snappy 26 mile bike ride down to 63rd Street and back. Today, I did a lazy half hour 3 miles on the elliptical machine in my apartment building which has the advantage of both air conditioning and Oprah on the small tv screen attached to the machine. Both felt good, but not as good as my 5 PM nap yesterday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Running: Smartphone

I always try to carry my phone when out for a run.  When asked why, my usual answer is safety.  A few months ago, I joined the "smartphone" revolution.  Now there's another reason -- documentation.  So here's the first of what will probably become a series of "photos from today's run."  This is a shot from the pier at W. 10th Street.   I've been a regular runner in New York City for a dozen years.  There have always been great runs, but as the city makes better use of the waterfront, it keeps getting better and better.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Running: August and Global Warming

For the last couple of runs, I've gotten up each morning expecting to find just a touch of pre-Fall chill in the air during the run.  Each time, I've been bitterly disappointed.  Yesterday, for example, it was 73 degrees and humid.  It wasn't unpleasantly hot, but it was a bit stuffy.  As a runner, I live for crisp fall mornings in the mid-50s to mid 60s.  Okay, it's still August, but it has been a long hot summer, and I'm ready for the morning temps to drop into the 60s.

Because I worry about these things, I went to to look at the average figures for the month of August.  the predicted temperatures have been running consistently 3 degrees above average.  This is not earth shaking, but it does confirm my sense that we're overdue.  Hopefully it is not additional evidence that we've broken the planet . . .

Writing: New Blog Post

I posted a short review of my friend David Gerber's new book on Law, Markets and Globalization on the Antitrust and Competition Policy Blog as part of an on-line symposium about the book. My post and the others are available at The various reviews are all posted today and yesterday.

Running: Cool Old Guy

Yesterday I was starting to panic about the start of the new semester. I have a new casebook for civ pro and a swindling number of days until the start of a new semester. So instead of buckling down, I went for a late afternoon 7 miler on the lakefront to the Foster Avenue beach and back. Along the way, I saw an old guy carrying a crane while he ran. I was so taken aback that I jogged backwards for a while so I could see his progress. Sure enough, he ran as far as he could, then walked for a bit with the cane, and then starting slowing running again. He is my new running hero.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Running: Ground Zero Mosque

So this morning our run took us within several blocks of Ground Zero, and hence the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque."  This triggered an extended rant from me, about the state of our political discourse, and the fact that our nation has gone completely nuts.  I think I'll leave it at that for the moment.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Running: X-Training

Okay, so my achilles heel is sore, and Mondays are usually reserved for cross training anyway.  I managed about 45 minutes in the pool.  I usually just slog through 1500-2000 yards freestyle, but lately I've been trying to figure out how to do the back stroke without crashing into other swimmers and the wall.  I've also been experimenting with the butterfly.  I only do it when there aren't too many other folks in the pool.  The humiliation factor is just too great. . . .

Anyway, I find that swimming is not conducive to deep thought.  There's no way to talk, and most of my mental faculties are devoted to three recurring questions: (1) am I drowning? (2) what lap am I on anyway? (3) why does this look so much easier when other people are doing it??

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Running: Out by the Lake

Went for a 6 miler this morning with a neighbor who is an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. In less than an hour, we passed a driving range, two boat harbors, a bird sanctuary, tennis courts, a totem pole, softball fields, the play-by-play booth for a world class regatta match race, a nine hole golf course, various fisherman, a prairie nature preserve, and a beach. This is a world class place to run.

Writing: Oxford Comma

While we're still getting this site up and running, I thought I'd pose the following question: "What is our view of the "Oxford Comma?"

I have omitted it in the "blog" title, because it looks cleaner, but I usually use it in my own writing.  Some have a strong opinion.  My daughter, for example, who thinks a comma would look better.  I'm ambivalent.

Running: How best to start the first year of law school?

Michael Cahill and I did our traditional, medium long, Sunday run with Carol Salem, who gets a special shout out for being married to a law professor and being a tenacious runner.

Our first years start their semester tomorrow, and both Michael and I are teaching in Brooklyn's "Introduction to the Study of Law" program.  I've done it several times.  This is Michael's first time.  Preparing for the course got us to thinking and talking about what the appropriate goals were for such an introductory program.

Ours are ambitious, perhaps too ambitious.  Over the course of 10 contact hours, we work the new law students through a challenging set of materials on precedent and statutory interpretation.  On the common law side we show how a system based on precedent can evolve from a rule of caveat emptor to strict liability for defective products without ever overruling a prior decision . . .  On the statutory side, we hit them with the classic puzzles of textual interpretation: Does the weight of LSD include the sugar cube?  is a priest a "laborer?" Is an airplane a "vehicle?"

The cases are old, hard, and the pace is relentless.  The students love it.  I'm not so sure.

Are we doing our students a service by making their first experience of law one so heavily laden with the legal realist notions that precedents are malleable, judges enact their policy preferences, and statutory text is made of plastic?

Our tendency as law professors is to focus on the marginal hard cases where rules break down.  We tend to ignore the extent to which legal rules actually do constrain behavior because they communicate, well enough.  This is okay, on one level, because as lawyers we live our lives on that marginal cutting edge.  Where the law is clear, litigation is pointless, and counseling is easy (and therefore not particularly profitable).  But, should we be starting our students out as skeptics?  Shouldn't we be stating them out with a broader focus on how the system actually functions to articulate legal norms, and how legal norms affect behavior on the ground?? More importantly, if that's the goal, how should we teach it??

Then we stopped at our favorite bodega for Gatorade and the conversation switched to a discussion about which one of us was pushing the pace . . .

Reading: Young Adult Fiction

I'm with you Spencer on Phillip Pullman (though Emma didn't like it much).  My daughter has been interning for a publishing house this summer, so she appears to have banished the YA genre from her reading list, at least for the moment.  This makes me sad.   I no longer have an excuse to read Meg Cabot books . . .

Right now, though I'm in the middle of a genre straddling historical novel binge.  I started reading Wolf Hall (Hillary Mantel's take on Henry the Eighth through the eyes of his adviser Thomas Cromwell), and then forgot to bring it along on our trip to Canada.  I ended up stealing Emma's copy of the White Queen (Phillipa Gregory's new potboiler about the babes in the tower).  I suspect I may have to take on The Other Boleyn Girl next.  It'll be like Rashomon with Brits.  Gregory is all heaving bosoms and court intrigue.   Mantel (Wolf Hall) is analytic, positing Thomas Cromwell as a legal realist navigating the church/state line.  One story, entirely different perspectives.

The young adult in the family did not have much use for Cromwell and put the book aside after about 50 pages. . .

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Reading: Young Adult Fiction

Last week's New York Times Book Section had an essay about a high powered New York book club in the publishing world which reads exclusively young adult fiction. The essay talked about how young adult fiction was increasingly sophisticated and typically free of the various post-modern conceits of adult literary fiction. While I have nothing against adult literary fiction (post-modern or otherwise), my own reading list has increasingly included a heavy dose of young adult fiction that I have shared with my fourteen year old daughter who is a voracious reader just entering high school. On either side of reading Ron Chernow's Titan, his wonderful biography of John D. Rockefeller Senior, I have been devouring Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Orson Scott Card's Ender in Exile, and Simon Rich's Elliot Allagash.

I have enjoyed them all but am particularly taken with Neil Gaiman as an author of both young adult and more adult fiction. Gaiman is a the author of Coraline and Stardust on the young adult side, Neverwhere somewhere in the middle, and American Gods (among others) for a more adult audience. They are all inventive, well-written, and frequently a but disturbing given his ability to twist every day life in a dark variant of what most would consider normal. He is the equal in every way of Philip Pullman whose Dark Materials trilogy are among my all-time favorites and the perfect example of why the only categories that matter are good fiction and bad fiction.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Who We Are . . .

We are law professors who run.  When we can, we run together.  Unfortunately, we live in different cities.  When we run together, we find it enriches our lives as teachers, scholars and lawyers. We have shared ideas, sources, and opinions.  Indeed, we've roughed out entire articles.  Some of them, we've actually written.  We are hoping that this blog will recreate the spirit and comradery of our runs. . .