Matt Taibbi - Spanking the Donkey: Dispatches from the Dumb Season, 2005
For some reason, I never read Taibbi's columns back when I actually used to read the New York Press. That was a mistake. His writing is funny as hell. I didn't read this whole thing because reading about the 2004 election in 2008 just wasn't doing enough for me. But the section on going undercover as a Bush volunteer in Orlando was a great read. Chris Larry says that his other book is even better.
Fareed Zakaria - The Post American World, 2008
This is one of those books that I was interested to read reviews of, to watch interviews about and read Op-Ed pieces by the writer summarizing the main points of the novel. I thought to myself, "Hmmmm... interesting. Maybe one day I'll read this guy's book" knowing that I never ever would. So at the end of the school year when the Head of my school gave the faculty two books for some summer reading and one of them was this book. (The other being that book by that Last Lecture dude. Has anyone read that? I haven't even bothered to watch the damn thing on YouTube.) I finally got my chance to read this. Turns out my original assumption of only needing to read reviews, watch interviews, and read a summary in the Op-Ed page was enough. I skimmmed some of this and then stopped.
Cormac McCarthy - The Road, 2006
I really liked this book - more than No Country for Old Man. McCarthy's sparse writing style works perfectly for the sparse terrifying post-apocalyptic world in the book. There are moments in this book that I can't quite shake. I almost don't want to see the upcoming movie because I don't want to see someone else's vision of this. I like the one I have envisioned for myself.
Richard Price - Lush Life, 2008
Why have I waited so long to read a Richard Price novel? This book was very good but my suspicion is that he has many other much better novels. I need to read them. This one is about the gentrified Lower East Side of the early 2000's. Obnoxious suburbanites mingle with poseurs and other assorted artistic failures. The projects are right nearby though and bad stuff happens to those too oblivious to know that they aren't still in the suburbs. One of those kids gets murdered by a project kid and this book is about the investigation - a few cops, the two witnesses, the murdered twentysomething's family. I'd love to see David Simon, Ed Burns, and Price reunite to make a miniseries of this for HBO.
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