I was doing a TV interview Sunday with one of the best-selling authors in the publishing world, Elizabeth Gilbert. You know her primarily from her enormous success with "Eat, Pray, Love."
But in preparing for our conversation, I was checking out this year's other literary hits, and something peculiar and encouraging is happening in the book world. No matter what the critics of American education are saying, young people are reading. They're not only reading, but they're buying.
Youth and "tween" books are all over the New York Times and USA Today listings.
John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" -- not exactly summer vacation, romance on the beach stuff, since it's about a teenage cancer victim -- has been No. 1 for ages and on the charts of best-sellers for 114 weeks. Veronica Roth has her "Divergent" trilogy in the top five of all books sold in America. "The Lord of the Rings" books are huge.
Kids are reading long, complex books. And I think it began with "Harry Potter." Hogwarts really does create wizardry.
I'm Pat McMahon.