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In which the author briefly discusses five new books he’d read, if time permitted.
1. The Wild Things (Fur-Covered Edition), by Dave Eggers.
Another in adventure in meta by postmodernist Dave Eggers, this novelization of high modernist Maurice Sendak’s ubiquitous children’s book is also based on a screenplay for the recent film that Eggers wrote with postmodernist Spike Jonze. I’d read this because I like things that are meta, and because I like things that are covered in fur.
2. The Best American Essays 2009, edited by Mary Oliver. I often buy, but rarely read, books in the “The Best” series published every year. (“The Best American Short Stories,” “The Best American Science and Nature Writing,” “The Best American Sports Writing,” etc.) I’m never sure what’s in them, but they look good on the bookshelf, and make me feel intelligent which, really, is what books are for.
3. Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem. Jonathan Lethem’s written a bunch of books I’ve never read, but I always see in people’s apartments in Williamsburg, Bushwick, and Green Point. Though I’m not interested in the Brooklyn Renaissance (can we call the decade-long Brooklyn cultural explosion a Renaissance yet?), I am interested in alliteration, and boy, is this book’s title alliterated (alliterative? alliteral?).
4. War Dances, by Sherman Alexie. Sherman Alexie is responsible for one bad movie, but publishes good, emo stories in the New Yorker and is Native American and, though it’s not politically correct to say or think so, Native Americans are cool.
5. American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot, by Craig Ferguson. Aren’t you at least a little curious to read about this talk show host/former Drew Carey Show star’s alcoholism and suicide attempt? He’s one of those guys who seems like a douchebag, but, if he really is a douchebag, is probably a cool douchebag.