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in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns, by David Margolick
Before there was a debate about gay marriage, there was a debate, unfortunately, about whether to marginalize and alienate gay dudes until they were driven to early graves from alcoholism and general insanity, or to just kill them outright.
2. People Get Ready: The Future of Jazz Is Now!, edited by Ajay Heble and Rob Wallace
I’m not sure if “the future of jazz is now.” Though Doodlebug from Digable Planets may have thought this in 1992 or something, it seems more likely that the future of jazz is still 1959 or so. However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pay any attention to the many skronkers trying to skronk their way into our hearts.
3. Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing, by Rob Wallace
Not sure if there’s going to be any gas or food rationing in America’s future, but someone’s definitely rationing the supply of free brownies around the office this week. C’mon—doesn’t anyone in the building have birthday-party leftovers?
4. Henry Ford, by Vincent Curcio
Ford offered his employees the “$5 day” in 1914—about as radical as offering health insurance or free bagels next to the water cooler today.
5. For What It’s Worth: Business Wisdom from a Pawnbroker, by Les Gold
I’m not too much of a man to admit that I teared up when Gold described his relationship with his verbally abusive pops. Now, I’ll have to pawn my tears.