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in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. Martha Graham in Love and War: The Life in the Work, by Mark Franko.
I’m not a guy who’s interested in dance, but unlike most guys, I want to be a guy that’s interested in dance, and I think a biography of Martha Graham will help. Just don’t ask me to defend Black Swan. Even to a Portman apologist, it’s indefensible. But I’d remind all Portman haters that she attended Harvard and is multilingual.
2. All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim, edited by Wajahat Ali and Zahra T. Suratwala.
Post-9/11, Being bald is hard. But being Muslim is probably harder.
3. Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays, by Siri Hustvedt.
Though this author calls the Disney film Pollyanna (1960) “revoltingly saccharine” on page 54—-a characterization I’ll have to object to, having watching the film at least 30 times on VHS in the mid-1980s—-it’s hard not to recommend an author who writes essays called “Why Goya?”
4. It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, by Colin Powell and Tony Koltz.
One day, I’m going to become the kind of man I imagine Colin Powell to be. Not a general, definitely, and not a Republican, probably, and not a man that many Americans think should run for president, unfortunately. Just a man who takes no sh*t.
5. Venice Noir, edited by Maxim Jakubowski.
I was in Venice once. Once. It was like Longport, New Jersey, but with canals, water taxis, Renaissance architecture, and cathedrals. Not sure if the pasta was necessarily any better, though.