James Ellroy - The Cold Six Thousand, 2001
After finishing the amzazing American Tabloid, I couldn't wait to read the next installment. But for whatever reason, I just couldn't get into this one as much. It felt a lot less coherent. It felt all over the place and spread out. I'm sure that this was the intent - after all, the book takes place in the 60's and shit sure was farout during that time.
American Tabloid took place in the few years leading up to JFK's assasination. This one starts there and ends at RFK's assasination. At 675 pages, this book was a tough read. But I made it through and will definitely pick up the third part of the trilogy whenever it comes out.
James Ellroy - The Black Dahlia, 1987
I liked the book a lot more than I liked the movie.
Paul Auster - Timbuktu, 1999
I was thinking of reading nothing but books about dogs leading up to Hamachi moving to Brooklyn. This was number one on my list. So far, there hasn't been number two. One of these days I'll get around to reading Travels With Charley. In the meantime, this book will do.
A quick read and highly recommended. Told from the point of view of a dog named Mr. Bones. He lives with a dying homeless eccentric named Willy Christmas. Mr. Bones understands some things going on his life but considering that he's a dog and his owner hasn't done the best job clueing him into reality, Mr. Bones is a little confused. Auster's comments about buying into society from a dog's point of view are highly entertaining - "Once you got used to the mechanics of the system, it no longer seemed so important that you were tethered to a wire all day."
But nothing is as entertaining as Mr. Bones' take on baseball. "Orioles fought with tigers, blue jays battled against angels, bear cubs warred with giants, and none of it made any sense. A baseball player was a man, and yet once he joined a team he was turned into an animal, a mutant being, or a spirit who lived in heaven next to God." Well put.
Frank Rich - The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina, 2006
Rich lays out his argument pretty damn well. I'm really curious what Bush supporters would say about this book. I suppose they could just blow off the liberal media for their truthiness and reality based reporting. A fascinating and depressing book. Since I've followed all this stuff as it has occurred, none of this was new. But it is pretty damning when put together into one book.
Steven Johnson - Everything Bad is Good For You, 2005
The next time I hear someone lamenting about how all the video games out there are killing today's youth, I'm going to hit them over the head with this book. Johnson makes a pretty good argument about how pop culture is actually making us smarter rather than dumber. I loved his argument about how if video games had been invented before books, people would be freaking out about how passive reading makes us.
Plus, he had me from the very first page as he described playing APBA baseball by himself for hours upon hours as a kid. He's my kind of guy.
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