Book ‘Em

Something has happened to me recently.  I started reading again.  Equally shocking, I started liking reading again.  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve enjoyed myself some quality time with a book, but it would appear that my disdain for reading (which likely arose due to the gross overexposure to a listless amount of yawn-inducing snoozers I endured in college) has lifted.

Apparently, the non-stop assault of abhorrently thick novels, biographies, and information-laden books which I was dealt in all of those history classes led to what I considered to be a bit of an aversion to reading.   Forcing yourself through a stack of History and Social Science-related books large enough to choke a Filipino donkey will do that to you.  Seriously, I may as well have been given an elephant tranquilizer instead of reading some of the crap I had to force upon myself.  Thankfully, all it took was time for me to get back on the proverbial horse. (This is me, fully aware that there are way too many wild animal references happening right now).

Over the past couple of months, I’ve read a few books, but nothing super fantastic.  I read a couple of books about pool (billiards is a hobby of mine) and a book about Zen, which I found quite interesting.  Currently, I’m completely hooked on “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Don’t laugh and call me a sissy, she’s a fantastic writer.  Plus, I’m comfortable enough with my own sexuality to read a book that some might consider to be a bit on the feminine side.  Regardless, I estimate I’ll be done with this book in a week or two if I keep my current pace (which is slow, but it’s all my schedule allows currently).  Then, I’ll be looking for more.

That’s where you all come in.  I’ve been trolling through Amazon recently and found a handful of books that I estimate would keep me busy for a while.  However, I stumbled on these books mostly by pure happenstance, and I am only assuming they’re worth it.  With that said, I figured I’d open up my ears to those of you who weren’t on a two year hiatus from any and all reading materials to ask the age old question …

Read any good books lately?

Before you hit me with your recommendations, I’d like to set a few ground rules, if I may.

1) No politics.  I don’t know politics, I don’t follow politics, and I don’t care about them.  Call me irresponsible for being 27 and taking no interest in politics, but I don’t care.  The realm of politics bores me, and everything is completely subjective within it.

2) No biographies (unless the person has been one hell of a human being).

3) I’m open to both fiction and nonfiction, just nothing TOO far out there.

4) If you even mumble the word Twilight, I will hurt you. The same goes for all other Tween crap.  No Harry Potter either, I’ve seen all the movies, and that’s good enough for me.  Speaking of which …

5) Tread carefully with books that were made into movies.  If I’ve seen the movie, my interest level for the corresponding book will plummet only due to the fact that I already know the ending.

Other than that, I’m open to just about anything.  The wish list I compiled on Amazon.com is a pretty random collection of works.  From “The Inner Game of Tennis,” which is all about the mental side of sports, to “The Divine Comedy,” a 900 page Italian masterpiece about Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory that was originally written in the 1300s.

To go along with all this new found pleasure reading I’m getting into, if anyone is looking for a slam dunk of a present for me this Christmas, you can find it in the form of a Kindle.  And when I say “Kindle” I do not mean “iPad.”  The Kindle is a fourth of the price, half the size, and does everything I’m looking for (download and display books, magazines, and newspapers).  If I had an iPad, I’d never bring it out of the house.  It’s too bulky to be portable in my humble opinion.  And since I’d never bring it out of the house, and I have a computer in the house, it stands to reason that I would have spent $500 on a paperweight.

Plus, Amazon nailed it with their most recent commercial:

At the very least, the girl repping the Kindle is way better looking than the people Apple has representing their products in all of their commercials.

One love,

10

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15 Comments on “Book ‘Em”

  1. Bigsby Says:

    I really only read biographies, comedy, or fiction that uses a lot of real places and real history. I did read The Davincci Code and Angels and Demons, but would not recommend them. A bit too wordy. They teach things. The last 5 books I read were: The Education of a Coach (about Belichick, it was okay), The Book of Basketball (Simmons’ giant basketball book, not worth a read, he thinks the 86 Celtics would be the 96 Bulls), Are You There Vodka?, It’s Me Chelsea, My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One Night Stands, and Born Standing Up (Steve Martin autobiography, it’s worth a read if you like stand up comedy and want to understand how it works).

    I’m going to read Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang next week on a flight to Seattle. Three hour layover in Minny. Balls! Chelsea Handler is a pretty good writer. Her books keep you interested and there are more funny moments than not funny moments. I actually read a lot. Tucker Max’s new book comes out in a week. Assholes Finish First. I will probably read that after Bang Bang.

    And you’re a total sissy for reading EPL. Sorry, you just are. Here is a link for when you’re done reading it: http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/azhealthtopics/ht/How_Insert_Tamp.htm

  2. ThePowerOf10 Says:

    Tucker Max wrote another book? I suppose he had to after the movie about his first one flopped as hard as it did. Also, how can you even call me a sissy for reading EPL when you haven’t read it yourself? It’s probably not what you think. And calling me a girly is big talk for a guy who read Chelsea Handler’s book about all the guys she humped.

  3. Julie L. Says:

    Oh man, there are so many good books it’s hard to choose. Here are a few suggestions:

    – Anything by Chuck Klosterman (I haven’t read his fiction, but his non-fiction is good and he’s from North Dakota so that’s kinda cool. I’d start with “Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs.”)
    – I second the Chelsea Handler suggestion. She’s funny, dammit.
    – “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt. OK, so it looks all depressing and long, but it’s not. It’s actually pretty funny in parts and it moves really fast. It’s a memoir about a poor boy living in Ireland. It’s been made into a movie, but I don’t think anyone saw it.
    – “The Night of the Gun” by David Carr. It’s an account of his years as an addict. He actually goes back and interviews all the people who have been in his life, which (I think) makes it more interesting than the typical addict story. Plus, most of the book takes place in Minnesota.
    – “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz. A novel about a Dominican nerd boy looking for love.
    – “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls. Another memoir about a fucked up family.

    And I don’t think you’re a sissy for reading “EPL.” I liked that book, even though I found that it’s really polarizing. You either love it or hate it.

  4. kos Says:

    Anything by chuck palahniuk.

  5. Jum Says:

    I agree with Julie on anything by Chuck Klosterman, he’s probably my favorite author. She’s also correct that you should probably start with Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs. Also, Kos is spot on with Chuck Palahniuk too.

    I just finished reading Friday Night Lights, which was superb. I know it violates your “books and movies” rule, but this is very, very easily read without linking to the movie, which was only loosely based on the book.

  6. Bigsby Says:

    Chelsea Handler isn’t a girly book. She talks about drinking and hooking up with dudes and other funny stories.

    You’re correct, I have no idea what EPL is about. From what I can gather it goes something like this: Late 30s early 40s woman divorces husband because she got married too young, travels, eats food not caring what it will do to her body, meets sexy guys that speak with accents, travels more, trendy sun dress, more food, more sexy accents, scarfs, spiritual enlightenment, falls in love. I have to be close right?

  7. ThePowerOf10 Says:

    “She talks about drinking and hooking up with dudes …”

    Ohhh, NOW I understand why you relate to that book so well.

  8. Rob Says:

    A couple recent books I’ve really enjoyed:

    The Big War by Anton Myrer. A wonderful book about WWII written in the 1950s by a vet. It’s a novel but is based closely on Myrer’s experiences. It’s set in 3 parts — basic training where you get to know the soldiers; the long boat ride to Japan; and war time. I was on the edge of my seat when Myrer writes of the anxious thoughts of the characters when they were getting off the ship in the middle of a firefight.

    The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox. It’s set in Victorian times in London and is about a guy who lives his life to exact revenge on an old prep school classmate who wronged him. The book has with one of the best opening lines of any I’ve read: “After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn’s for an oyster supper.” This is a practice murder from when the lead character expects to kill his prep school rival. And, if you enjoy this book, you’re in for a treat because Cox wrote a follow up book called The Glass of Time.

  9. Rob Says:

    Oh, and I also thought Columbine by Dave Cullen is very good. Cullen is a reporter who was one of the first on the scene after the tragedy and he delves in to the motives of Dylan and Eric. I learned so much about that massacre and how many, many more deaths were avoided because key parts of the shooter’s plans didn’t work.

  10. BeachBum Says:

    Any Prey (Hidden Prey, Rules of Prey, etc) by John Sandford. Actually, anything by Sandford is great.

    Under the Dome by Stephen King. Over a thousand pages, but you’ll speed through it. One of his best.

    Black Water Rising by Attica Locke.

    Anything by Daniel Silva if you like spy books.

    I would also suggest ‘The Descent’ and it’s sequel ‘Deeper’ by Jeff Long that chronicles the discovery of ‘Hell’ beneath the Earth’s surface. Imaginative, disturbing, violent and epic.

    If you enjoy sport books try the one about Magic Johnson and Larry Bird by Jackie McMullen. Some eye opening revelations about both players and hilarious stories involving their competitiveness.

  11. ThePowerOf10 Says:

    So many good-looking suggestions. I’m excited to delve into a bunch of these recommendations … except Chelsea Handler. (Just kidding Bigsby).

  12. talea Says:

    I recently got a Kindle and figured I’d like it. I was wrong. I ADORE the thing. I’m so in love with it, I can’t even tell you. If you don’t get it for Christmas, buck up and buy one yourself.
    As for books? Have you read any Douglas Copland? I find his stuff to be bang on hilarious and easy to read.
    I also got roped into reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I didn’t want to, cuz everyone was reading it (the masses are asses) and cuz I don’t usually like mystery. READ IT. These books are incredible, truly. The first one takes a while to get into, but just hang on.
    Oh, and an amaaaaazing book is In This Blinding Absence of Light. Too lazy to google the author, but it’s a phenomenal book of a true story of a guy imprisoned in an underground cell for 15+ years.

  13. nate Says:

    The Hero’s Life by Richard Ben Kramer, about Joe DiMaggio, is an excellent book even if you’re not a Yankee fan (I’m not). Joe D. was a very odd person, and a HUGE A-hole.

    The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Was made in to a movie, but I don’t think too many people saw it. Excellent read, great suspense.

  14. c Says:

    BOOKS! Chuck Klosterman is indeed amazing. I also just finished EPL and quite enjoyed it. Currently I’m reading ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein – the story of a family told through the viewpoint of a dog. It is pretty great so far. Chelsea Handler’s books are fab, as was Craig Ferguson’s book. Next up – The Help, can’t remember the author, but Entertainment Weekly gave it an A.


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