Get our free newsletter
in which the author discusses five books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, by Mitt Romney.
Do you think it’s possible—not likely, or probable, but possible—that, after dropping out of the Republican primary after Super Tuesday in February of 2008 (and, by doing so, assuring crotchety rival John McCain victory in that primary), presidential hopeful/former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney exited the dais (after a gracious but, undoubtedly, difficult-to-deliver concession speech) accompanied by the faint strains of the Simple Minds’ minor hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” the very same song which accompanied juvenile-delinquent-with-a-heart-of-gold John Bender (Judd Nelson) as he strolled across a football field in John Hughes’ 1984 hit The Breakfast Club while credits rolled? If only Romney had had fingerless gloves, maybe he’d be President today.
2. Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by D. H. Lawrence, edited by Michael Squires, introduction by Doris Lessing.
Dear all teenage sons of English professors who are writing, have written, or would write dissertations on the modern novel: Since your father and/or mother is an English professor who is writing, has written, or would write a dissertation on the modern novel, your home is filled with great works of literature, e.g. James Joyce’s Ulysses, Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, and D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover. As you approach puberty and begin to troll your house for masturbatory material (that is, stimulating/filthy media to assist in your own burgeoning sexual self-awakening, not “masturbatory” like interminable prose stylist John Updike’s tedious Rabbit tetraology), please be aware that, though its initial release was very controversial circa 90 years ago, D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover is not (unfortunately, for you) “pornography” in the sense that your hypersexualized generation thinks of “pornography” (e.g. bukkake, MILF websites, Girls Gone Wild!, etc.). If you are seeking pornography that’s, well, more pornographic, try the works of Henry Miller and/or Charles Bukowski. Lady Chatterly’s Lover, kept on a high bookshelf out-of-reach of your grubby little fingers unless you secure a step-stool which, since your parent(s) is (are) impractical English professor(s), is probably not available, isn’t worth the trouble. Sincerely, Justin Moyer.
3. Resistance, Book 1, by Carla Jablonski, illustrated Leland Purvis.
WWII’s French Resistance—oft-bereted, typically existential French vigilantes who, at great personal risk…uh…well…resisted the Nazi thugs who invaded their country as well as the Nazi-supported Vichy government (aka “Vichy scum”) installed by Adolph Hitler—might not be interesting enough to just write about using nouns, verbs, and adjectives, so this version has pictures.
4. A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie and Other Lessons for Succeeding in Life, by Antwone Fisher.
I didn’t see Antwone Fisher, Denzel Washington’s directorial debut, but it’s about the writer of this book, who had a terrible childhood (Sexual abuse? Definitely. Probably poverty too. I’m not sure.) that he faced and overcame through the miracle of psychoanalysis (Freudian? Jungian? Again, I’m not sure. As I said, I didn’t see Antwone Fisher.) or at least cheaper, plainer Freud-and-Jung-free therapy (sans analysis) with a licensed MSW. A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie seems vaguely self-help-y, but not self-help-y in an infomercially-make-millions-at-home kind of way, but self-help-y in the dramatic, exciting way that Precious and The Basketball Diaries are, at their core, dramatic and self-help-y…but, then again, those are movies, and it seems disingenuous to compare them to this book (though, in truth, both of those movies were based on books, so maybe the comparison is fair). What I’m saying: I wanted to write about how it’s strange that I only picked up this book by Antwone Fisher because I’d heard of (but not seen) Denzel Washington’s film Antwone Fisher, and how books and films are intimately (too intimately?) connected in our consciousness, but my original plan seems to have gone awry, probably when I started comparing Precious to the Basketball Diaries, a comparison I thought would prove fruitful (since The Basketball Diaries is about a white dude and helps me avoid comparing just Precious and Antwone Fisher, both self-help-y stories of abuse featuring African-Americans. If I don’t mention The Basketball Diaries, it looks like I think all stories of abuse featuring African-Americans are the same, which I don’t. But The Basketball Diaries is about heroin, not abuse, so that doesn’t really work, so that’s a false comparison upon reflection). In conclusion: Go buy A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie by Antwone Fisher. At the very least, its author’s autobiography once interested Denzel Washington.
5. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, by Seth Grahame-Smith.
Lincoln—what a bastard! First, he prevents the Southern states from seceding from the Union, a right implied in the U.S. Constitution. Then, he insists on hunting vampires when everyone knows that the Founders didn’t intend the federal government to intervene in vampire-hunting, which is properly left to free-market mechanisms. What would Scalia and Thomas think of this vast overreach? Oh, I guess they’re too busy wielding garlic and crosses to write an opinion.