Monday, March 1, 2010

Book of the month for February/March

I love books. They're fun, educational, and they ensure that libraries remain relevant.

Well, there was no book of the month for March. Really sorry about that, folks. Between the wife and the kids and the job at Brandt-Leland, it really got out of hand.

While you figure out what the hell I'm talking about, let's take care of that whole book thing. Recently, R. Kurt Osenlund and I have been showing a lot of love for Shattered Glass, Billy Ray's terrific 2003 film about how Stephen Glass's false reporting nearly dismantled The New Republic.

There's no book about that whole debacle that I know of, but there is a great book about another journalistic hoax: Jayson Blair's reign of lying and incompetence at The New York Times. This was profiled exquisitely by Seth Mnookin in Hard News. Mnookin first covered the story for Newsweek and then expanded into a brilliantly reported, uncomfortably revealing look at how the venerable newspaper nearly killed itself in the name of being politically correct.

Mnookin also wrote the terrific Feeding the Monster, which is about how the Boston Red Sox became a championship organization. You don't have to like baseball to enjoy it; you just have to love good reporting.

See you at the library!

Update: You can now read Chris Jones' wonderful piece on Ebert online. Read it here...And if you want to read the excellent article by Buzz Bissinger that inspired "Shattered Glass," you can read it here.

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