Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

in which the author discusses five books he'd read, if time permitted.

1. The Domestic Crusaders, by Wajahat Ali.
I can't tell if this graphic novel (graphic booklet?) is a serious look at Muslim-American life (Is "Muslim-American" an acceptable hypenate? Would we say "Catholic-American" or "Jewish-American?" Not sure.) in the U.S. or portrays said life as exclusively wildly and wackily "ethnic" a la The Goldbergs or Good Times. Either way, it's probably less of a bummer than the surprisingly tame Inspire.

2. Stieg Larsson: Our Days in Stockholm, by Kurdo Baksi, translated by Laurie Thompson.
I didn't read any of the books by this now-famous dead Swede, but since he seems to have founded an anti-fascist magazine in Scandinavia, there's probably a good chance he smoked a ton of w33d and/or listened to Crass—the stuff good memoirs of friendships with famous authors are made of.

3. About to Die: How News Images Move the Public, by Barbie Zelizer.
Do you remember the finale of The A*Team (the TV series, not the film) where (even though no one in the series had been shot in four years' worth of episodes) Face takes a bullet? That shit was so traumatic that I couldn't play "Legend of Zelda" for like 3-5 days and, as a result, Marc Goldstein**, who lived down the block, was able to "flip" the second "world" of Zelda before I was. What a bastard. His father had a great porno collection though—in print and on video.
**name changed to protect the innocent

4. Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, by Michael Korda.
Last Saturday night, I planned to watch the 1962 classic Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O'Toole that had arrived from Netflix in August. Instead, I watched Date Night (Unedited) on Comcast On-Demand. The Saturday night before that, I had also planned to watch Lawrence of Arabia. Instead, I watched Get Him to the Greek (Unedited) on Comcast On-Demand. The Saturday night before that, I had also planned to watch Lawrence of Arabia. Instead, I watched Hot Tub Time Machine (Unedited) on Comcast On-Demand. Guess what's on tap for this Saturday? Schindler's List.

5. Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, by Rebecca Solnit.
This meta-atlas seems to present a "Babel"/"We're all connected" version of San Francisco from the perspective of the city's divers inhabitants, all of whom freeze their actual or metaphorical balls off from October through April because none of the ticky tacky houses in that freezing goddamn city have any goddamn heat.

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