Monday, October 02, 2006

Summer Reading List

Well, summer is all but over and I feel like I got a nice bit of recreational reading done.

I used to be a regular visitor at the Books Are Good Food MySpace page. It was about as close as I’ve ever been to joining a book club. I love reading and discussing books but I think I’m a pretty whimsical book selector and I find it difficult to rely on the recommendations of others. I usually judge a book by its cover; the art, the title, the author, the quotes by reviewers, celebrities or members of the author’s immediate family give me a little taste of what’s in store behind the covers. Sometimes, I get my book home from the bookstore or library and I start devouring it only to be interrupted by real life. If real life’s interruption extends beyond a day or two, I tend to lose interest in the book. If I haven’t finished it in a week, I probably won’t finish it at all. Anyway, I’m just not good book club material.

This summer I was lucky. I found some good stuff on my own and I had some friends send me some good stuff too. Some of it is old and available at the local library, some new and may require a bit of effort to locate. Here’s the stuff I enjoyed:

The Devil Of Nanking

Mo Hayder. Heart-wrenching history wrapped up in a really good story.

Prisoner of X.

Written by Allan MacDonell, punk rock alumnus who used to write for Slash. Fun to read and packed with salacious details. Allan's writing has that seedy Bukowski charm.

Punk Rock Los Angeles

This book was recently sent to me by the author, Louis Jacinto, who kindly agreed to allow me to share a few photos from it. I especially enjoyed this book because it has pictures of Nervous Gender, the Alleycats and the early Go-Go’s with Margot. Here are a few shots.

Conversations with the Fat Girl

Liza Palmer. This story takes place in Pasadena and it made me miss the Eastside.

Cat’s Eye

Margaret Atwood delivers another great book.


Sandra Cisneros. This one was an interrupted read. I cheated on this one and listened to the author’s audiobook version of it and I’m glad I did because her delivery made me enjoy it even more.

Running with Scissors

Augusten Burroughs. I looked for this one in the fiction section, only to discover that it was a biography. Shock. Life really is weirder than fiction.

Pre-summer and noteworthy:

Hardcore Zen

Brad Warner. Who knew punk rock could be spiritually enlightening?

Girl Trouble

Christopher McDougall. This is just a breathless, juicy, tabloid style account of the Gloria Trevi scandal. Fun reading!

Other Recommendations:

Buddha – Graphic Novel series by Osamu Tezuka

This multi-volume series retelling of the life of Buddha is beautifully written and drawn by the Godfather of Manga.

Hino Horror Series by Hideshi Hino

Arguably at the opposite end of the spectrum from Tezuka, but no less beautiful in their tales of the grotesque and macabre.



Anonymous said...

I followed the link on "Running With Scissors" and read the Amazon reviews, one of which gave it 1 star rating (out of 5) and the following description: "too disgusting for words."

Sounds like a great book! I should have realized that your selections would be out of the ordinary.

Chris said...

LOVE that photo of you and Patricia onstage! Very cool.

darkside777 said...

you should read "Sellavision" by the same author as Running with Scissors....

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