Last Ten Books Read (XXII)

Last 10 Books Read (XXII)
(In Order of Completion)

1. Bird & Sherwin. “American Prometheus.” I had read this when it came out, but after the Oppenheimer movie was released, I decided to do it again. It’s terrific, and I doubt the movie can tell me more.

2. Gene Clements. “Train 6 Party Mix.” My café pal Gene’s latest effort of light-hearted (not-just-for-seniors-this-time) erotica. Entertaining – and educational.

3. Louis Menand. “The Metaphysical Club.” Fine book, but at times too dense for me, and the connections often eluded. Menand sure is smart but his “New Yorker” articles are a lot more clearly written

4. Griffin Dix. “Who Killed Kenzu?” When our friend Griff’s teenage son died as a result of an accidental shooting, the tragedy launched him into devoting his life’s work to gun-control. This is his wrenching, powerful account of this loss and this struggle.

5. William Maxwell. “The Chateau.” The last remaining novel in the trilogy I picked up from a Free Little Library. Nice account of a young American couple vacationing in France in 1948, with an engaging, entertaining postscript.

6. Hank Rosenfeld. “The Jive 95.” Met Hank at the café. We connected because another regular had laid “Best Ride” on him, which he’d loved. His book is an oral history of KSAN, the landmark Bay Area UG radio station. What characters!! What drugs!! Those were the days – and nights.

7. Autumn Stephens. “Wild Women.” Met Autumn at an Authors’ Guild get-together, and we swapped some books. This one of hers is a series of spiritedly written mini- (two or three page) bios of, well, “wild” women. Each would be a fit subject for a full length bio – and most, if not all, have received at least one if your interest is whetted.

8. William Gaddis. “Carpenter’s Gothic.” Recommended by my friend Cary. It’s started me on a Gaddis-kick (See lists-to-come) and seems the most accessible of his novels. He’s certainly a major 20th century novelist – and damned funny – but not for the faint of heart or easily daunted.

9. Michael Dowers, ed. “Newave,” an anthology of UG mini-comix of the 1970s and ‘80s. It partially filled a major gap in my knowledge, and the interviews were informative, but the comix.. Well, there were maybe two I would show to strangers.

10. Dan Clowes. “Monica.” Clowes is a creator who is greatly respected by greatly respected authorities (enough to merit a front page in the NYTBR), but he is not the only one so respected whose greatness eludes me. I spent most of this thinking fondly of “Ghost World.” But the last half-dozen pages really kicked it into gear. Someone posted at FB, this book needs reading two or three times, and that might be so.