What Jeff’s Reading

Here are some of the titles I’ve read since last I posted (no particular order);

“Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You: A Lively Tour Through the Dark Side of the Natural World” by Dan Riskin.  Good but creapy.

“The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir” by William Friedkin.  In a coincidence, just after I finished this the son of author William Peter Blatty (The Exorcist) was in the store and we had a lively conversation about his father and Mr. Friedkin.

“David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell.  Always a reliable read.

“The Deserters: A Hidden History of World War II” by Charles Glass.  A good study on shell shock.

“The Mysterious Montague: A True Tale of Hollywood, Golf, and Armed Robbery” by Leigh Montville.  The title says it all.  Good for most of the way.

“Hack: How I Stopped Worrying About What to do With My Life and Started Driving a Yellow Cab” by Melissa Plant.  She encounters many strange characters.

“The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark” by Carl Sagan.  Good.  I started this years ago and finally got back and finished it.

“The Cats of Shambala” by Tippi Hedren.  This makes a good companion to the movie “Roar” that was finally released last Summer.

“Fifty Works of English Literature We Could Do Without” by Brigid Brophy, Michael Levey, and Charles Osborne.  Cryptic criticism from people who know a lot more about Lit. than I do.

“Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir” by Chris Mitchell.  Get the lowdown of what life is like at Disney World.

“Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywod” by Mark Harris.  This goes into great detail on the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1968.  Very Good.

“Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What it Says About Us)” by Tom Vanderbilt.  This tells all about the history and science of traffic management.

“I Told You So: Right and Wrong Predictions in American History and the People Who Made Them” by H. Paul Jeffers.  Not very good.

” A Common Pornography: A Memoir” by Kevin Sampsell.  Local guy tells all.

“Fraud” by David Rakoff.  Another nice collection of essays.

“Robert Altman: The Oral Biography” by Mitchell Zuckoff.  One of the best books on Mr. Altman, this has interviews with dozens of people who worked with him over the decades.

“Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World” by Michael Lewis.  If you liked “The Big Short” you’ll like this as well.

“The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right” by Arthur Goldwag.  I loved this book.

“Somebody: The Reckless Life and Remarkable Career of Marlon Brando” by Stephan Kanfer.  Good bio.

“More Things Than Are Dreamt Of: Masterpieces of Supernatural Horror-From Mary Shelley to Stephen King-in Literature and Film’ by Alain Silver and James Ursini.  Not bad.  Mr. Silver usually writes on Film Noir.

“On Hitler’s Mountain: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood” by Irmgard A. Hunt.  Very Good.

“Sweet and Low: A Family Story” and “The Avengers: A Jewish War Story”, both by Rich Cohen.  I like the second title better; very gripping.

“God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” by  Christopher Hitchens.  Mr. Hitchens socks religion on the jaw.

“Truman” by David McCullough.  Long but rewarding.

“American Savage: Insights, Slights and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics” by Dan Savage.  I doubt if the Savage family is on Rick Santorum’s Christmas card list!

“The Book of Vice: Very Naughty Things (and How to Do Them)” by Peter Segal.  I swear I read this for entertainment purposes only.

“Spanking the Donkey: Dispatches From the Dumb Season” and “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap”, both by Matt Taibbi.  The first is about the 2004 presidential campaign.  The second is a real good diatribe against the current justice system.

“Steve McQueen: A Biography” by Marc Eliot.  A good bio of an actor who died way too young.

“Almost President: The Men Who Lost the Race But Changed the Nation” by Scott Farris.  A nice read.

“Mean Genes: From Sex to Money to Food-Taming Our Primal Instincts” by Terry Burnham and Jay Phelan.  A good combination of science and Dear Abby.

“Warning Shadows: Home Alone With Classic Cinema” by Gary Giddens.  Mr. Giddens takes time off from his jazz work to write perceptively about DVD releases of great old movies.

“Great Feuds in History: Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever” by Colin Evans.  Not bad at all.

And last but not least:

“My Horizontal Life: A collection of One-Night Stands” by Chelsea Handler.  Surprisingly self-deprecatory.
“I Hate Everyone…Starting With Me” by Joan Rivers.  Surprisingly raunchy.
“Rickles’ Book” by Don Rickles.  Surprisingly Sentimental.
-Jeff

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