Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

In which the author briefly discusses five new books he’d read, if time permitted.

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1. The Great Progression: How Hispanics Will Lead America to a New Era of Prosperity by Geraldo Rivera.
Like many Americans, I was disappointed by Geraldo's anticlimatic incursion into Al Capone's vault and decision to go bald, but I like idea that this mustachioed Hispanic-American hero of journalism is writing a book about the future of Hispanic-American leadership.

2. Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son by Michael Chabon.
Michael Chabon's writing was once gay (in The Mysteries of Pittsburgh), then gay and Jewish (in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), and is now mainly Jewish (in this decidedly hetero, un-goyish memoir). I preferred Chabon when he was gayer, but hey, Judaism rocks too.

3. The Death of Bunny Munro: A Novel by Nick Cave.
If Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, and Ethan Hawke can write books, why not bad seed Nick Cave? This one's about sex and death, two subjects on which I trust M. Cave has some illuminating thoughts.

4. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby.
People love music. People love sex. But, sometimes, sex leads to relationships, which people also love, at least until they hate them, and end them—that is, until they regret ending them, and try to rekindle them but, after rekindling them, hate them again. Still, people love music.

5. Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World by Douglas Hunter.
16th and 17th-century explorers of the "new world" served European overlords that orchestrated multiple genocides (Native Americans, Aztecs, the slave trade, etc.). Still, they are pretty fun to read about, just like the Orcs in The Lord of the Rings.

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