in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. The Instructions, by Adam Levin.
My friend and I were discussing books over champagne in the back of my white Mercedes stretch limousine. I was like, “I like really long books because when you finish them and put them on your bookshelf, you look really hardcore when the ladies come over,” and he was like, “I prefer short stories—-that abbreviated Zen form in which small ideas can be elegantly convened in a mere 5-10 pages,” and I was like, “Yeah, but if you only read short stories, how are you going to intelligently discuss William T. Vollmann’s 1000-plus page Imperialwhen the ladies come over? Or are you going to try to get laid by saying, like, ‘Yo—-I totally loved “A Perfect Day for Bananafish?”‘” And he was like, “I did totally love ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish.’ In less than 20 pages, J.D. Salinger eloquently encapsulates the average soldier’s post-WWII ennui,” and I was like, “Dude, you’re not going to get any pussy with that wack, played analysis, but you are a total pussy for thinking you will.” Then, I told my chauffeur to pull over, and my friend and I slid into matching pools of bubbling liquid gold.
2. The Tattoo Chronicles, by Kat Von D.
I’ll get hate mail from Team Bullock for saying so, but I’m sure Jesse James’s new girlfriend wrote a way more interesting book with way better pictures than, say, the novelization of The Bright Side, if there is one. Oh, wait, I guess The Bright Side can’t be novelized, because it was based on a non-fiction book. Also, I just realized that the movie that Sandy B. was Best Actress for wasn’t called The Bright Side, but The Blind Side. Fuck — I’m really striking out in the journalism department today.
3. They Call Me Baba Booey, by Gary Dell’Abate and Chad Millman.
Anyone else have a mother who, in 1997, insisted that they accompany her to a weekday matinee of Howard Stern’s meta-biopic Private Parts? No? Well, I guess none of y’all got mothers worth a damn.
4. Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets, by Dick Cavett.
I was watching a softcore-ish seeming movie called After School (also known as “Private Tutor”) on Comcast On-Demand last week when, out of nowhere, Dick fucking Cavett appeared in said film as himself, and I was like, “Holy shit! What the fuck is Dick Cavett doing in this shitty tit-flick?” but I couldn’t figure it out because I was watching in fast-forward with the sound turned off.
5. Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan, by Jake Adelstein.
White newspaper dude goes to Tokyo and lands a job on the crime beat and becomes the only Caucasian able to infiltrate the secret organized-crime world of the yakuza, I guess, or at least bears witness to some pretty gritty nonorganized Japanese crime. Kind of like “The Last Samurai,” but without a 5’7″ Scientologist shouting at a bunch of taller Asians.