Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Something for Everybody

- Atul Gawande's new book, Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance is as good, if not better, than its predecessor, Complications. Standouts include "The Score," an essay about innovations in the area of childbirth; "The Bell Curve," about what separates an average hospital treatment center from an excellent one; and "What Doctors Owe," a piece about malpractice.

- As we come to that beach reading time of year, may I direct you, gentle readers, to the work of Ken Follett? As a teenager, I came to Follett's books for the ubiquitous dirty bits, but stuck around for the taut pacing, high adventure, and well-researched historical settings. On my travels last week, I re-read Pillars of the Earth, a 1000-page behemoth about cathedral-building, corrupt bishops, pillaging earls, and a prior who's crazy like a fox. That I finished it in a L.A. to Pittsburgh round-trip speaks both to Follett's skill as a writer and just how badly the airline messed up my flight (in the form of a 5-hour layover in Detroit).

- My review for the new (and sadly, last) Larry Brown novel, A Miracle of Catfish is up at PopMatters. A great book from a much-missed writer.

No comments: