Book Pile: Chandler

The Criminal podcast just reminded me to push Raymond Chandler a little further up the list. I really liked The Big Sleep, I just don’t have a good explanation why it took me almost two years to read it (starting over more than once).

He published his first book at 51 years of age. Never too late.


Dispatch from the Nightstand: Books of December, 2010

The current trend in reading as little as possible continues forlornly, while also resuming the old habit of starting as many books as possible.

Just recently completed, My Life as a Man, an extremely self-aware molar grinder of a novel, about  a Jewish novelist in New York, at least half-biographical. It’s about a horribly destructive relationship between a neurotic, self-analyzing writer, and his short-tempered, obsessive wife. It was exhausting but good, taking me an embarrassing four months to get through all 330 pages. I’ll probably have to read it again to figure it all out. I’ll probably never read it again. (Philip Roth)

After this, immediately picked The Great Shark Hunt right back up and dove once again into Hunter S. Thompson’s picking apart of Richard Nixon and the ugliness of the late sixties and early seventies. Then I went to sleep.

With the same impulse that caused me to snatch it from the dollar bin at Half Price Books, stuck Death by Black Hole (Tyson) into my bag a few days ago, haven’t gotten through more than three pages of it. This, after buying The Elegant Universe (Greene), The Fabric of the Cosmos (also Greene), and even freaking A Brief History of Time (wheelchair guy) over the past five years. Perhaps Neil DeGrasse Tyson will break through my layman’s angst, probably not. They look well-intentioned on a bookshelf.

Made it about 90% through Bourdain’s strutting Kitchen Confidential on my October vacation, then ran into some major fluff and the yellow and black cover is now gathering a good bit of dust. It is like reading about life on a pirate ship. I was hoping for some good badmouthing about the near-entire cast of the Food Network, no such luck.

I have Fahrenheit 452 comin’ in the post sooner or later, never did get enough Bradbury. If high school kids can (act like they) read it, I should be able to bang through it reasonably enough. This should come shortly on the heels of something new for me: The War Nerd, by semi-indie author Gary Brecher. The man bears the gift (and no doubt the girth) of the average California Asperger Sufferer, only all about man’s most violent intentions instead of train schedules and computer parts. It’s a collection of all his editorials from the left-of-left-of-left online rag The Exile. I don’t have any books about war, except maybe The Good War (Terkel), and that’s not about war, it’s about people. Maybe I’m starting to collect books about war. From what I’ve seen so far, Brecher is very good at showing just how well we humans just love to repeat history.

And it’s funny, as I was ordering up The War Nerd last week, a refrain from a song I probably last heard at about twelve popped into my head:

I like football, and porno, and books about war.
I’ve got an average house, with a nice hardwood floor.

The name of the song? I’m an A**hole. (Denis Leary)

Thanks, brain, for calling that one up. You trying to tell me something?

Book Reassures Introverts that They’re Not Weirdos

Linked from BoingBoing:

I devoured that book in one sitting, and actually cried with relief at times. You mean I’m not the only person who finds the telephone odious? My preference for online communication doesn’t make me a weirdo? (Preference over the telephone, that is. I like face-to-face.) You mean there are other people out there who don’t think parties are loads of fun?

You mean I’m not a freak?

Read the interview here.

Book is: Introvert Power, by Laura Helgoe

Marked for Ingestion: Physics and Malthus

Links for the moment: