Thursday, March 21, 2013

Scrumptious Stories

“The wonderful thing about books is that they allow us to enter imaginatively into someone else’s life. And when we do that, we learn to sympathize with other people. But the real surprise is that we also learn truths about ourselves, about our own lives, that somehow we hadn’t been able to see before.”
― Katherine Paterson

Scrumptious is the only word to describe Ann Kirschner's Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp: “This quick-paced biography has it all going on: sex, beauty, blood, guns, bad men and wild girls. Not to mention Hollywood and history.”

This year, when according to James Bond I am 33, virtual world characters keep mentioning that it is Media Dragon'S "Jesus year," the age Jesus was when he died. As in, I guess, if I hadn't saved mankind yet, I could pretty much be counted as a failure. I'm much more concerned about my "Byron year" of 36. As in, if I haven't gone to war, scandalized an entire nation, driven past lovers insane with jealousy, and written a few half-good manuscripts, then what the hell am I even doing with my life?

Stuart Nadler’s Wise Men: “With beautiful sentences and richly imagined characters, Wise Men contains echoes of previous great American novels, but makes a focused effort at originality.” In a certain kind of story, characters reflect and explore the financial world outside their narrative. A population left destitute by the American Civil War, for example, found hope in 1867 when Horatio Alger published Ragged Dick, a myth promising that honesty and hard work could take you from the poverty of a bootblack to the slightly less soul-crushing poverty of the lower-middle class. By contrast, an America barreling toward the Great Depression in 1925 ignored The Great Gatsby’s warnings about people who “smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness.” Wise Menwriters tend to be loners

If you've ever burned a journal you kept in high school, you'll appreciate Dave Bry's courage in examining — and asking forgiveness for — the most cringeworthy moments in his life in Public Apology. You can smell the adolescent flop sweat as he relives the time he betrayed a trusted camp counselor or tossed beer cans on Jon Bon Jovi's lawn (a standout essay, even if the apology is somewhat insincere). Public Apology