Book Revku, Vol. 57

Lots of nerd talk here
Though not so much that it hides
A compelling tale

The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder (293 pp.)

Book Revku, Vol. 56

She had a hard life
But managed to keep fighting
And still she rises

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (246 pp.)

Book Revku, Vol. 55

There should be a book
Just about Jerry Blavat
This is fine for now

Save the Last Dance for Satan by Nick Tosches (114 pp.)


Book Revku, Vol. 54

The body count is high
And the anguish still higher
Lots to ponder here

The Plague by Albert Camus (278 pp.)


Book Revku, Vol. 53

Fire in the big top
Retold and recreated
With great care and love

The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy by Stewart O'Nan (370 pp.)


Book Revku, Vol. 52

Ran less wild than George's prime
Believe it, brother

Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Pop Culture by John Capouya (282 pp.)

Book Revku, Vol. 51

I don't think he should
But he's good enough at this
To quit his day job

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin (292 pp.)


The 50-A-Day Project: Books 41-50

This was a slog. I tried to be ambitious and read some fiction authors--Robert Ford, Evelyn Waugh, Eudora Welty, and Joseph Heller--I hadn't read before but who are pretty universally adored. Well, that didn't work out. Some were worse than others, but I can honestly say I was underwhelmed by every last one of them. I'm willing to accept it might be me. I'd also be willing to try again with any of them, so if you have a recommendation, let me know.

I figured the summer months would be the hardest for me to keep pace (lots of work, lots of free concerts, and lots of hot air circulating in my apartment...air conditioning is for the weak!), and I was most certainly correct. But the summer is quickly receding, and the last three books I've read (I'm late writing this, so I'm now almost done with Book 53) have been a breeze, so I feel a rally coming up in my favorite season.

After finishing the 50th book, I had tallied 15,366 pages in 246 days (I think...I lost track of when I finished the 50th book due to hurricane overload), for an average of 62.5 pages a day. I know--that average has been dropping every time I check in. I'll do better in the fall, OK? Wait, why am I promising something to you? Get off my back! I'll do what I want, jerk.


Best Fiction Book: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (by default...I really didn't like it that much, but there were at least some parts I liked)
Best Nonfiction Book: The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding by Cole Louison (full disclosure: I know the author, but it is an honest answer)
Toughest Read: Losing Battles by Eudora Welty
Easiest Read: Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction by Jake Halpern
Number of Books on Loan: 0
Number of Books Given as Gifts: 0
Number of Books Signed by the Author: 1 (The Impossible: Rodney Mullen, Ryan Sheckler, and the Fantastic History of Skateboarding by Cole Louison)
Book That Was Sitting on the Shelf the Longest
: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Much like last time's BTWSotStL, this one was probably bought at the Friends of the Library Book Sale in Ithaca, NY, in 1994 or 1995, because it's a discard from the Finger Lakes Library System. I started reading it once before but couldn't make it through. But I persevered this time, for better or worse.

Best Passage:
[The author is talking with an agent, Cal Merlander, at the International Modeling and Talent Association convention, where children look to be "discovered."]

"'What about this girl?' I asked, pointing to an adorable four-foot blonde in pigtails.

'She's cute, but she's not superbright,' Merlander said.

'How do you know that?'

'I just know--like this one over here,' he said, gesturing toward a stocky girl of about ten. 'I guarantee that she is from a town with a population of five thousand or less. It's obvious that she comes from a community where manners and posture are not that important. She's a farm kid. This one right here, 4702, she's a bright kid--the type who runs the parents. She'll be in the health care business. This one here is also bright, but in a more literary way. She'll be a writer. She'll be your competition in a few years. And this one here--she'll be a hooker.'

'A hooker?'

'Yeah,' said Merlander."
from Fame Junkies: The Hidden Truths Behind America's Favorite Addiction by Jake Halpern


Book Revku, Vol. 50

I know I should bow,
And, yes, the satire is sharp
But it drags a lot

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (443 pp.)


Book Revku, Vol. 49

Not too much new here
But the tone and strong structure
Make it a good read

The Ballad of Bob Dylan: A Portrait by Daniel Mark Epstein (448 pp.)


What I Liked About August

*L&B Spumoni Gardens, Brooklyn, NY
*Jimmy Sturr, Raymond Bauer Wood Promenade, Linden, NJ
*Paul Anka, Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJ
*A weekend with friends, Lake Harmony, PA

*Maybe Pete, Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
*Avoiding the brunt of Hurricane Irene
*First trip to Totonno's, Brooklyn, NY
*Silverball Museum, Asbury Park, NJ

*Aretha Franklin, Seaside Summer Concert Series, Brooklyn, NY
*Shelebration, Central Park, NYC
*The first Dairy Queen Blizzard of the summer
*The willingness of people with cars to drive me places