David McCullough - 1776, 2005
McCullough is no David Halberstam. I liked this book but it didn't blow me away the way all of Halberstam's stuff does. Maybe that is because this book is about an earlier era than the Halberstam stuff I've read. Or maybe it is because McCullough just has a drier writing style. Anyway, did you know that a bunch of cool stuff happened in SHR's hometown of Fort Lee? I didn't.
Cormac McCarthy - No Country For Old Men, 2005
This was the first McCarthy book I've read and I want to read more. I keep hearing that Blood Meridian is his best book. Anyone out there read any of his books? I felt like a tough guy reading this in the way that a good Jim Thompson or James Ellroy makes me feel. More on my review of the book and movie can be found here.
Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams - Game of Shadows, 2006
Wow that Barry Lamar is a prick, huh? And that IRS special agent Jeff Novitzky sure is a badass. And Victor Conte sure is a sleaze. This book was quite the page turner. If anyone has any doubt that Bonds is a lying cheat, read this book. I've got to agree with Curt Schilling on this one - if the stuff in this book was false, wouldn't Bonds sue for libel? The version of the book I read has an afterword written after the 2006 season. I look forward to going to Barnes and Noble sometime soon to sit my non steroids ass down, sip on some coffee, and read the 2007 update.
Paul Auster - The Book of Illusions, 2002
Auster is just plain good at what he does. Yet another interesting read from Mr. Auster. I've heard that many people find this to be Auster's best book. I've only read three so I'm not sure about that but this is pretty darn good. I did like the first half a bit more than the second but overall it is a very good read.
It is about a minor silent film star (Hector Mann) of the 20's who gets into a bit of trouble and disappears from Hollywood. No one can find a trace of him. He changes his name, settles down, and spends his life making experimental films that he plans on destroying upon his death.
The book takes place as he nears death and the protagonist (contacted by the Mann family because of a book he had written about Mann's lost films of the 20's) tries to interview him and see his movies before it is too late. Mitch and Jim saw the movie adaptation of this at BAM last year which they report back to be not very good. But the book is.
Michael Chabon - The Yiddish Policemen's Union, 2007
I love the premise of this book. As an alternate reality, the U.S. created a separate district carved out of Alaska for Jews who had survived the Holocaust. They created a thriving community up North. But 60 years have passed and the land is passing back to the U.S. Oh yeah, and there's a murder mystery, interesting characters, and a fascinating Chabon created Jew way of speaking - sort of Yiddish meets Woody Allen meets the Great White North or something like that - completely unique.
So why did I stop reading this a fourth of the way through? I feel guilty about it but I just couldn't get into the groove of it. I keep thinking I might start it again but getting through those 126 pages was hard enough, let alone sticking it out for another 290. Chris Larry and Jim both really liked this book. And maybe Chris Mooney as well. My dad and SHR both started it and stopped. I know the problem here is me, not the book. Why is it that the Jews and the Jewreans that I know didn't finish the book and the non-Jews amongst us greatly enjoyed it? Should I pick it up again and keep going?
Joshua Ferris - Then We Came to The End, 2007
The Noiseboy raved about this book over the winter in this post. He likened it to a cross between Mad Men and The Office. Sign me up. I liked this book but not nearly as much as he did. Maybe I just haven't worked in enough offices to sustain me for an entire book? There were definitely a lot of laugh out loud moments especially in the first half. The second half becomes a lot darker but still good. Read the Noiseboy's review, it is a good read.
2 days ago