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books I read, 3nd quarter 2004 - The inexplicable charisma of the rival [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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books I read, 3nd quarter 2004 [Oct. 6th, 2004|01:10 am]
Just me.

Not so many this time- blame Burning Man, or something.


Waiting- Ha Jin (audio)
Won some big-deal lit. prize a few years ago. Good story about Chinese folks falling in love amidst a backdrop of bureaucracy and Communism.

Set this house in order: a romance of souls - Matt Ruff
loved it! Comic novel about Multiple/disassociative personality disorder.

Who Will run the frog hospital? -Lorrie Moore (audio)
so-so. coming of age teen girl novel. unremarkable but okay.

Full Cry- Rita Mae Brown  (audio)
another boring foxhunting offering from Ms. Brown. I can't believe the writer of "Rubyfruit Jungle" is churning out such crap these days. More importantly, I can't believe I keep reading it.

Doing It- Melvin Burgess (audio)
Recommended by dirtylibrarian. UK YA novel from teen boys' perspective. Really funny and surprisingly dirty.

Stormy Weather- Carl Hiassen (audio)
I love carl. this is the third of his I've read and I adore them all. Try to forget that the Demi Moore film "striptease" was adapted from one of his novels.

Found : The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World
by Davy Rothbart

Another zine-into-book cash in, but has some good moments.

A Round-Heeled Woman : My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance- Jane Juska
Great book. eccentric 60+ single gal places personal ad in the NY review of books (?!), gets laid a lot as result.

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken (audio)
Add Al to list of "Jews I would do". His funniest and most caustic book yet.

Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism- P.J. O'Rourke
eh. P.J., like Rita Mae, has not aged well. Read "Holidays in Hell" instead.

The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant : An Adoption Story- Dan Savage
I'm neither gay nor wanting kids but I loved this. Very funny and personal.

Dude, Where's my Country? - Michael Moore (audio)
tedious. I didn't think "stupid white men" was so bad, but this was pedantic and ponderous. Read Al Franken's book instead.

[User Picture]From: lemur68
2004-10-05 08:55 pm (UTC)
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken (audio)
Add Al to list of "Jews I would do". His funniest and most caustic book yet.

Are you sure you weren't looking for Bill O'Reilly's book and got confused by the title?
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2004-10-06 07:29 am (UTC)

I couldn't make this up:

Bill's written an advice book for kids:


Even I don't hate children enough to have thought of this.
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[User Picture]From: lemur68
2004-10-06 08:47 pm (UTC)

Re: I couldn't make this up:

With a chapter devoted to why you should kill yourself if you think you might be homosexual.
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[User Picture]From: holyoutlaw
2004-10-05 09:01 pm (UTC)
I thought Lies and the Lying Liars was great, too. Yeah!
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[User Picture]From: repoman
2004-10-06 04:46 am (UTC)
If I may recommend...I, Fatty by Jerry Stahl. It's a fictional account of Fatty Arbuckle and his life. Being the same guy who wrote Permanent Midnight, there's a fair amount of "insider" film dirt and lots of drugs. Yet you do feel for the guy early on and it paints a pretty fair picture.

and Al Franken is on my short list of "Jews I'd do" list as well.
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[User Picture]From: dougo
2004-10-06 05:28 am (UTC)
Holy crap. Jane Juska was my freshman high school English teacher. Holy crap!
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2004-10-06 07:32 am (UTC)


heh- she does mention having taught in berkeley (public schools, I think).

From the time frame in the book, I'm thinking she might have been really heavy then (she's slimmer now, and not bad looking for her age), but if you ever had any "Hot for Teacher" fantasies, this book will tell you more than you wanted to know.
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[User Picture]From: dougo
2004-10-06 07:47 am (UTC)

Re: juska

She taught at Ygnacio Valley High School in Concord. She was quite petite at the time (1984-5), but not particularly hot—I think she had gray hair even then (she was in her late 40s). I think she gained the weight after that, because I didn't immediately recognize her from her picture (it was only after I searched for "juska ygnacio" that I found confirmation that it was her). (Although I haven't seen her in 15+ years, so maybe it's just my poor memory.)

Ha, I just pulled out my yearbook, I should scan in her picture. She had huge glasses, maybe that's why I didn't recognize her.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2004-10-06 07:39 am (UTC)

Recent photo of Jane:

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From: alfvaen
2004-10-06 05:40 pm (UTC)
I loved Matt Ruff's _Sewer, Gas & Electric_, which was off-the-wall in a David Foster Wallacey kind of way(but not nearly as long-winded). I haven't seen anything from him in the bookstores since--guess it's time to check the library.
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[User Picture]From: lara7
2004-10-06 08:21 pm (UTC)

fool on the hill

SG&E was the first Ruff I read, but "Fool on the Hill" (his first novel) is pretty great too, tho not as acerbic as SGE. AFAIK, these 2 and STHIO are the sum total of his novels.

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