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January 02, 2005



I seem to remember that you wanted to read "Guns, Germs and Steel" by Jared Diamond. You can borrow my copy. It is excellent non-fiction.


Have you already read The Corrections? I just started it, but I'd love to have a book buddy in on the mix...


Happy New Year, Mister JT!

Keep bringing the "Oh-Fire" in 2005!

Negro Please . . . Don't Hurt 'Em!



I need to read #2 as well- those kinds of things can be useful in my teaching.

Is #9 the one w/an essay by Zizek? That's one I wanted to see some time too.

I 2nd Jay on 'Guns, Germs, etc'- it comes highly recommended.

Anyway- I like the redesign, & happy New Year, & all that.


The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman. It's hysterical in a twisted sort of way.


As a fellow voracious reader, I have a few book suggestons!

"The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are afraid of the wrong things" by Barry Glassner
"Blindness" by Jose Saramago
"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger
"Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett
"Just a Geek" by Wil Wheaton
"Story of O" by Pauline Reage
"Me Talk Pretty One Day" and/or "Naked" by David Sedaris

If you haven't read either of the "Conversations with God" books I'd suggest them. Even if you don't subscribe to the traditionally Christian God philosophy (as I don't), they're an interesting read.

Those ore just the few that spring to mind pre-coffee this morning... happy reading!


That is SUCH a yummy list. The best book I read last year was Lies My Teacher Told me by...um, i think his name is Loewen. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

If I thought I could finish 52 books in 52 weeks, I would totally join you. What a great idea. I'm looking forward to reading your reviews.


Guns, Germs and Steel going on the list.

Sarah, I don't know anything about The Corrections. I'll look into it.

Amandarin, I love The Time Traveler's Wife and Me Talk Pretty One Day. So I will add The Story of O from your suggestions (as my list is a little low on female authors)

Dru, the author of the "Random (but not really)" blog read 117 books last year. Apparently 52 is a pittance.


I just flew through Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I loved it. It's like fantasy for non-fantasy people, with a bit of Jane Austen for non-Jane Austen people. I wish there was more of it to read!


well its April...But I think I can still join in with you. I'll post my list later lol


One of the three by Louise Erdrich:
-"Love Medicine" (short stories, this book is the pick of the litter, by far her best to date, got my petulant ass through law school)
-"Tales of Burning Love" (four exwives of one man get caught in a car during a snowstorm)
-"The Last Report on Miracles at Little No Horse" (woman disguises herself as a Native American reservation priest and pulls it off for decades)
I have read thousands of books and NO ONE has a finer hand when it comes to empathetically describing love and the human condition. It's amazing this author hasn't blown up more than she has. You have to read one of these. Her other work is pretty much for fans only: less coherent and more obscure; start with one of these three, and if you like her, pick up "The Beet Queen."

-Development as Freedom, Amartya Sen: impact of globalization from a truly neutral and honest viewpoint; this book is full of facts and will convince you (as it did me) that our current crisis is one of morality, not resource scarcity. This is the only non-fiction, egghead book on my list and trust me, it deserves to be here.

-Blood Child, Octavia Butler: short stories; best sci-fi author in the world. The absolute best.

-Mama Day, Gloria Naylor: the best of her canon, despite Women of Brewster Place's popularity. If you like mystical shit, urban romances (loving in the city, nothing like it), and charming little ole southern ladies that remind you of your grandma, this book is for you. It put my faith back in African American men.

-Yellow Back Radio Broke Down, Ishmael Reed (African American satire of pretty much everything; women, artistic movements, etc.) My mother hates this man (says "his misogyny 'taints' his work" in her most bourgie voice), my father loved him. I'm with my father on this one; the man is HILARIOUS and not afraid to take on his real-life enemies in his literary work. See his hatred of Alice Walker on full display in another book, Reckless Eyeballing.

-Speaking of Alice..."Third Life of Grange Copeland" by Alice Walker pretty much dispels Reed's "man-hating" charge. Really good book about one man's life transformation as he is raising his granddaughter after fucking up her father's childhood. Note: skip "Possessing the Secret of Joy"; too self-indulgent and evocative of Beloved without Morrison's care and skill.

-"One Hundred Years of Solitude," Gabriel Garcia Marquez. One of the best books in print, period. A right winger accused the nobel prize committee of giving this book an award in furtherance of a left-wing conspiracy to undermine Ronald Reagan. That, in itself, should give most people reason to read it. If you like it, follow up with the less accessible "Love in the Time of Cholera" and/or "Strange Pilgrims" (weird, highly highly enjoyable short stories). If you really, really, like him, pick up "The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother" (more short stories).

Martha Garvey

Oh, my god, "Freedomland." You are so goddamned lucky to have that on your list. Sad and big and oh so true. Check out Joe Morton's reading of it on tape, too. Blow your mind. And of course, if you ever get the chance to hear Richard Price read, go go go.

When I was a t.v. movie scout/development slut, I often read a book a day, but it was not reading fun...I was always trying to shake loose the plots from bad books, and steamroller through good books so I could Make My Quota. I think part of my reading brain broke during that time (though I also got to read David Simon's "Homicide," a true crime masterpiece during that time.) A book a week sounds like heaven.

Garcia Marquez is magnificent. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is also notable for its recovery of some of the uglier parts of hidden Colombian history. Visit Colombia after you read his work...you'll discover he really doesn't have to make anything up!


I'm inclined to agree that Octavia Butler is the best sci fi writer in the world, I agree, but Nalo Hopkinson is coming up hard on the inside for me. Also, Mr. Jason, what do you think of The Dark Tower? I'm re-reading it right now for the seventh or 8th time (on the Drawing of The Three) and for the 2nd time this year. Would be interested to know what you think.


One more thing... iin terms of reading in a year, last year although I wasn't reading consistently through out the year, I read about 85 books.... a few of those in 24 hours. I think I would have read more if I hadn't been working part of the year, and travelling. However, 85 is pretty respectable eh?


Just wanted to recommend:

The God of Small Things; Cradle to Cradle; Wendell Berry's Art of the Commonplace.

All availabe via LAPL. All of which I bought or will buy, and I only buy now after I've read. (Otherwise, it'd get too expensive.)


Try "Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore for an interesting and well researched (as much as it could be) account of Jesus' life as told by his asshole best friend. Along the lines of satire, but well told, and humanizes all those Bible passages that seemed to come from no where. Hallelujah.

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