So author and daddyblogger Steve Almond's new collection of mostly previously published essays, Not That You Asked: Rants, Exploits and Obsessions, doesn't just contain a deranged yet oddly bet-hedgey open letter to Oprah. It also contains secret wisdom that will change America, reopening our eyes to the pleasures of literature and eliminating our dependence on lowbrow culture! And maybe curing AIDS and solving poverty! At least, that's what Steve seemed to be implying in the thank-you note he sent to the Random House staff who worked to publicize his book.

I do know that I wrote the book as a kind of wake-up call — a plea to the citizens of our country, that they might reconnect to literature, and awaken their hearts from a long moral slumber ... People spend more and more time in front of screens, letting the shiny abs and fake death wash over them. This is precisely what corporate America wants: they want young people who consent to the myth that happiness can be purchased via credit card.

The missive was signed, "In gratitude and hope." Hot tip, Stevie: next time, send a fruit basket.