Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Yeah, I've been slacking. How many times have I said that? A bunch, but I'm down to the last five books.

Love Comes First: Erica Jong -If I based whether I'd read a novelist by her poetry, I'd give the novelist Jong a pass. Full of dull Greek mythological references, this is poetry meant to impress. Why yes, she is very learned and has an appropriate respect for guys like Shelly and Byron, but this is crap only a masochist would read for fun. I was hoping for sexy, for sensual, I got horse shit. Maybe her novels are better. They'd pretty much have to be.

Naked In Dangerous Places: Cash Peters -A funny and insightful book about travel television (if not exactly travel0. Peters was the host of "Washed Up," a travel show about an unprepared guy who washes up alone in some odd location and sort of explores, gets to know the indigenous culture and finds his way. It's kind of like "Man Vs Wild," without the drinking urine through the corpse of a snake bit.

Of course, it's reality television, so it's not very real. The basic premise is impossible with a camera crew following him. Peters is unsuited to the job and the show is eventually canceled, but the book turned out pretty well.

Thank-you and You're Welcome: Kanye West -If you can imagine idiot pop stars as philosophers, Kanye West is hip-hop's Nietzsche. With a tiny (and often large print) book, the rapper gives out his maxims for surviving and thriving in today's world. As far as thought-provoking material, it is just slightly below the wise words of Jar-Jar Binks from Star Wars, Episode I, but just above what my (probably) brain-addled cat might write if I taught him to type.

Amusing for all the wrong reasons, it's like a 50 page tract for the church of stupid and as an added bonus, Kanye actually brought on a co-writer. It's hard to believe with statements like, "Believe in your flyness... conquer your shyness" he needed someone to help him flesh out his thoughts.

He might be laughing all the way to the bank on this, but somehow, I doubt it.

Not That You Asked: Steve Almond -A collection of essays and biographical pieces ranging from his love of Vonnegut to becoming a punching bag for right wing pundits over his decision to resign from his teaching post in protest over Condoleeza Rice speaking at Columbia University's Commencement. Generally, a good time. I plan to pick up his book "Candyfreak," on my next visit to the library.

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