Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The (almost) September Book of the Month

I love books. They're fun, educational, and they're another option besides pawing through magazines and drinking 150-oz. frappucinos at the bookstore.

The deaths of celebrities---regardless of what form of medium--doesn't really affect me that much. I may have happy memories of Harrison Ford, but he didn't play catch with me or counsel me through high school. That would be Ford's Witness co-star Josef Summer, who was an invaluable presence during my awkward wonder years.

With that said, 2008 has been awful. First, Sydney Pollack (director of the awesome Tootsie) died, with my most recent memory of him playing second bannana to Patrick Dempsey in Made of Honor. Last weekend, Paul Newman passed away after a life well lived and a collection of movies to match.

About a week or so before Newman died, David Foster Wallace hung himself at him home. For those who don't know, Wallace was a novelist and essayist who was known for his liberal use of footnotes and his ferocious intellgience. Whether anyone ever fully understood his brilliance, well, that's another story for another blog. If you've actually read his thousand-page opus, Infinite Jest, let me know.

John Krasinski, the hunky star of TV's The Office, is actually directing an adaptation of Wallace's Brief Inteviews with Hideous Men. I haven't read that book, but I can recommend Wallace's awesome essay collection, Consider the Lobster.

Yes, it's dense reading, but Wallace's insight and critical clarity are phenomenal. I mean, this is a guy who turned a review of tennis prodigy's Tracy Austin's autobiography into one of the best pieces of criticism I've ever read, as he examined the intelligence of the athlete compared to everyday life. And his discussion of language enthusiasts is mind-blowing and informative, as is his journey through the Adult Video Awards.

America has lost a truly great writer. Thank goodness, there's some record of his work. Now, get reading.

In case you forgot, here's a recap of past books of the month. More to come later in the month

May--No One Belongs Here More than You, by Miranda July
June--But Enough About Me, by Jancee Dunn
July--The Chris Farley Show, by Tom Farley Jr. and Tanner Colby
August--Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and Down and Dirty Pictures by Peter Biskind

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