Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. Darth Vader and Son, by Jeffrey Brown. I suppose at some point the whole “Star Wars” thing will be played out—-that young children will never known about Han, Luke, Leia, Obi-Wan, Darth, C3P0, R2D2, et. al. That day isn’t today.
2. The Listeners, by Leni Zumas. The woman who wrote this book was in a pretty cool band called SSSpectres, I think. I played with them in the late aughts. They performed with a rope—-a really thick rope, like on a ship, or on the Disney ride “Pirates of the Caribbean”—-tied around each member. The rope wasn’t just heavy and cumbersome, but also made the Cake Shop smell like…well, like a rope. I’m not sure if they’re still around.
3. The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event, by James C. Nicholson. I went to the Kentucky Derby once, in 2000. It wasn’t the monstrous orgy of excess as portrayed by Hunter S. Thompson, but I did drink a mint julep offered by my friend’s mother. I have not had any alcohol since and, unless my life changes radically, this will be the last alcoholic beverage that I ever consume.
4. Everybody Says Hello, by Michael Kun. It’s hard to recommend novels because many of them don’t convey information. You can’t really say, “Read A Farewell to Arms—-you’ll learn a lot about World War I.” If you wanted to be accurate, you would have to say, “Read A Farewell to Arms—-you may be delighted by the twists and turns taken by Hemingway’s made-up characters, whom you may love or love to hate, but you won’t really learn much about World War I, except that it was a bummer, and that Italians, or at least Hemingway, liked grappa.” That’s why I’m inventing a new expression: “F.T.B.I.T.M.S.C.,” which means “Found this book in the mailroom, seemed cool.”
5. Kasher in the Rye: The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16, by Moshe Kasher. F.T.B.I.T.M.S.C.—-though when I saw the title, I thought it was about a dude I knew in college.