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Notable: Magnificent obsessions

Three new books detail how far it can go when someone says, "Wouldn't it be cool if we tried to . . ."

A Supremely Bad Idea: Three Mad Birders and Their Quest to See It All (Bloomsbury), by Luke Dempsey, chronicles the author's hilarious adventures in bird-watching (and people-watching) across America.

The Ridiculous Race: 26,000 Miles, 2 Guys, 1 Globe, No Airplanes (Henry Holt), by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran, is the story of two TV comedy writers who race each other around the planet, learning how to eat fried silkworms and where to buy a jetpack along the way.

Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages (Perigee), by Ammon Shea, is partly the word-obsessed author's immersion in the venerable 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, partly a quirky personal memoir.

Colette Bancroft, Times book editor

Notable: Magnificent obsessions 07/12/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 12, 2008 4:30am]
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