Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It’s been a good long while since I posted a list of books I’ve read recently. Sure, Booky Posts are a little self-indulgent, but books are the window into a person’s soul, and all that, am I right?

[Now, if my gastroenterologist can find a medium that will function as a window into my lower GI tract, I can save myself a lot of aggravation in another couple of years when I go back for my regular Colon Looky-Loo. Podcasting, perhaps?]

Anyway, here’s what I’ve read so far this year, with occasional comments:


  • Les Halles Cookbook - Anthony Bourdain
    How many other cookbooks contain the word “fuck” sprinkled liberally throughout?
  • Homeward Bound - Harry Turtledove
    Yet another installment in the continuing story of the Lizards and the “Big Uglies.”

  • The Mysteries of Pittsburgh - Michael Chabon
  • Who Wrote the Bible? - Richard Elliott Friedman
    Fascinating scholarly analysis of how the many strands of narrative in the Hebrew Bible came together.

  • The Taste of America - John L. Hess and Karen Hess
    A culinary must-read - tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to the lovely Bakerina for pointing me to it.
  • Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe - Simon Singh
    A readable history of how our current understanding of the Universe grew and evolved.

  • Shadow of the Hegemon - Orson Scott Card
  • Hart's Hope - Orson Scott Card
  • Excelsior, You Fathead!: The Art and Enigma of Jean Shepherd - Eugene B. Bergmann
    Not the best written book, this one is nonetheless a valuable addition to the library of anyone familiar with this True American Original raconteur, writer, and radio personality.
  • Final Solution, The - Michael Chabon
  • Field Guide - Gwendolen Gross
    I won this sucker in the Blogging for Books monthly contest. Good read, too.

  • Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
    Thanks to donations from Laurence Simon and the Mistress of Sarcasm, I’ve now read pretty much everything this sick, twisted bastard has written.
  • Night Fall - Nelson DeMille
    I won this for a fifty-word movie review over at The Zero Boss. It’s a nice piece of detective fiction based on the real-life, (still) mysterious explosion of TWA 800 off the south shore of Long Island. It has some personal resonance for me as well: my Aunt Marge and Uncle Phil were on that same aircraft on its flight from Athens to New York that day. Lucky for them, they got off...
  • Invisible Monsters - Chuck Palahniuk
  • Living Life Inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of Animation - Martha Sigall

  • The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - Will Eisner
    Eisner’s last book - he died early this year, scant weeks after SWMBO and I met him at the Jewish Book Fair in Atlanta. Eisner is widely credited as the originator of the graphic novel, and this book is a fine example.
  • Stranger Than Fiction - Chuck Palahniuk
  • Hunting Eric Rudolph - Henry Schuster and Charles Stone
    True crime story involving a genuinely scary individual who should’ve got the Needle o’ Doom instead of the plea-bargain life sentence he ended up with.
  • Diary - Chuck Palahniuk
  • Haunted - Chuck Palahniuk
  • Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey - Holley Bishop
  • The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World - Mimi Sheraton
  • Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs
    Supposedly a true memoir, this one will make your own dysfunctional family seem like Ozzie and Harriet.

  • One False Move - Alex Kava
    Beach reading, in case you’re curious.
  • Forever - Pete Hamill
    A remarkable fable by a masterful storyteller.
  • Caught Stealing - Charlie Huston
    This first novel by Charlie Huston grabs you right away and doesn’t let go.
  • A Portrait of Yo Mama as a Young Man - Andrew Barlow and Kent Roberts

  • Hyperspace - Michio Kaku
    Scholarly treatment of multiple dimensions. Meh.
  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Second Annual Collection - Gardner Dozois (editor)
  • Magic Street - Orson Scott Card
  • Six Bad Things - Charlie Huston
    The follow-up to Caught Stealing.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling

  • Until I Find You - John Irving
    New books by John Irving don’t appear all that frequently. This one mines themes of truth, falsehood, abandonment, and the search for family connections. Plus: tattoos!
  • Snow in August - Pete Hamill
    Another Hamill fable; this one was made into an Afterschool Special.

  • Settling Accounts: Drive to the East - Harry Turtledove

    Currently working on:
  • Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All Its Moods - Michael Wax
  • Cloud Atlas: A Novel - David Mitchell

  • So: what have you been reading lately?

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