Friday, July 22, 2016

Question: Read any good books lately?

I'd like to give you shit for getting a question from a random question generator or the first sentence from a terrible Tinder date that didn't end in any butt slaps, but I like the question, so good job, you uninteresting bastard.

I'll go back about a year, and do at Top Ten. Sound good? You're damned right it is does.

Best Ten Books I've Read Within The Year

10) Not That Kind of Girl - Lena Dunham. I really like her TV show, Girls, so I thought I'd give her book a go. It's similar in voice and tone, proving that she's a true creative, and that the show does in fact come from her. This is relevant because I found the show so fresh that I wanted to believe it had come from one person, and was as original as it felt.
9) Still Foolin' Em - Billy Crystal. Another memoire style bio by the author. Billy Crystal is a great comedian and a very strong writer. His tales of growing up in the biz are so engaging that I read this book in one day.
8) Killing Floor - Lee Child. This is the first Jack Reacher book. I'd tried before to pick up a Lee Child and got lost in a staccato, half-sentence nightmare, not realizign that he didn't always or normally write in that fashion. After loving the Reacher movie, I went back and gave it a fair shake. The character is likeable, which is the key to these kinds of mystery, crime thriller-jobbies. Also, he murders the hell out of people. No walking into a room and stating the solution, here. He walks in and kills everyone in the room.
7) Daily Rituals - Mason Currey. A compilation of the daily rituals of famous artists, writers and composers throughout history. Apparently massive amounts of drugs is the commonality.
6) Shit My Dad Says/I Suck at Girls - Justin Halpern. I read Mr. Halpern's books back-to-back, so much did I enjoy his first one. His father is the star, but the writing is fun and accessible, and the stories speak on human truths with no pretension.
5) The Farm - Tom Rob Smith. I think we've got a modern master here. He's written some other, more popular books, this just happens to be where I came in. I don't want to say much about this one. There's a farm in it. Excited?
4) Ready Player One/Armada - Ernest Cline. As adverstised, Cline's books are a smorgasbord of pop culture references. Too much for some, I lapped it up, revelling in the nostalgia as well as the finely-paced story-telling. Ready Player One is the better of the two, as Armada relies heavily - with delightful awareness - on established tropes to tell its story.
3) Super Mario, How Nintendo Conquered America - Jeff Ryan. Pretty much a history of Nintendo, told through the pixels of its most notable character. One of the most engaging reads I can remember; it was a joy to learn the ins and outs of the video game revolution.
2) Red Country - Joe Abercrombie. If you aren't reading Joe Abercrombie, I don't like you. He's done wonders in the fantasy genre for years, now, and quickly become one of my all-time favorites. Red Country swings a little western, with no dip in quality or style. Start from the beginning (The Blade Itself from the First Law Trilogy) and read everything! Do it!
1) Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk. I can't begin to describe how much I enjoyed this little number. The whole thing takes place in a waiting area for a huge, porn gang-bang. We get the point of view of the aging performer, the young upstart, the poor cock-wrangler and the bangee herself. You actually start hoping she can break the record!

Short Answer: Honorable Mentions: Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. The eleven Wheel of Time books I've (re-) read so far by Robert Jordan.

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