Those who write don't speak?

The New Yorker's May 22 Book Bench takes note of how few authors make commencement addresses. They remark that on a list published in the Chronicle of Higher Education of 541 speakers scheduled to give 2008 Commencement addresses only "a handful" were authors.

That's all the more reason to taken note of "What now?", being released in book form this month. "What now?" was a graduation speech given by novelist Ann Patchett ("Bel Canto," "Run") at Sarah Lawrence's 2006 commencement exercises. Patchett is a Sarah Lawrence grad and maybe that's why she poured so much of her heart into her speech.

Anyway, whatever the reason, it's a good one – smart, sweet, inspirational, and not at all a bad gift idea if you know a newly minted grad.

The New Yorker cites Anna Quindlen's 1999 Mt. Holyoke as a classic. That's a fine one as well. But this year we like the Patchett.

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