Dear reader, life is too short for crap books.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Beach Reading Stand-bys

Some people use the summer to catch up on all the big fat classics and IMPORTANT books, but my reading tastes get pretty populist in the heat. Right now, I'm reading Stephen King and Peter Straub's The Talisman, and I think it rocks. Plus, there was no waiting list for it at the library, and there's something to be said for getting what you want immediately without having to pay for it.

If you've resigned yourself to the fact that you're not getting The Yiddish Policemen's Union in time for your trip to Destin, here are a few good stand-bys to take on the plane with you, with reviews in ten words or less. No waiting, guaranteed.

Cavedweller by Dorothy Allison
Overlooked gem by the author of Bastard Out of Carolina.

Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916 by Michael Capuzzo
There's a shark in the children's swimming hole! Holy crap!

Sweet and Low: A Family Story by Rich Cohen
Artificial sweetener, betrayal, and the mob, in one tasty package.

Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl
Never have I been so captivated or skeeved out.

Revenge by Stephen Fry
Like The Count of Monte Cristo, only modern and shorter.

Different Seasons by Stephen King
By turns, hilarious and sad. Also includes the Lardass story.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderios de Laclos
As juicy as the movie. Juicier, in fact.

The Lies of Locke Lamora
Like Ocean's Eleven in fantasy novel form.

Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil
Iggy Pop gets the clap! Heroin everywhere!

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
You should look away, but you won't.

In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 by Mary Beth Norton
Hmmm... a lot of those women owned land. Interesting.

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
Patchett came up with this story while working at TGIFriday's.

My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Hasidic boy wrestles with the sacred and the profane.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
My whole book club liked it, even the boys.


Gwen said...

"Sweet and Low" is one of the best books I've read in ages. It's hysterical and informative and horrifying all at the same time. His uncle Marv is unendurable.

I've started using Equal instead of Sweet 'n Low, just so I'm not giving profits to Marv.

Sally J. said...

I knew Rich Cohen growing up. Just last week, I blogged about a time capsule snafu in my home town. At the end, I recommended his memoir called Lake Effect.

Tough Jews was great read, too.

Mary, I read The Talisman as a teenager and l-o-v-e-d it. Cried like a baby more than once.

mary_m said...

I loved the part in Sweet and Low where Aunt Gladys refers to Cohen's book as "Tough Juice" in a legal document.

The Talisman hasn't made me cry yet, although it has succeeded in making me nervous, worried, and icked out on several occasions.

Bob Andelman said...

You might enjoy this exclusive audio interview with LEGS McNEIL, in which he talks about his books, Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk and The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry ; and much, much more.