Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

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

1. A Horrible Experience of Unbearable Length: More Movies That Suck, by Roger Ebert.
It must really hurt to have a movie shredded by Roger Ebert. I mean, as an artist, you can always stake out an "I don't care what critics think" position. Certainly, that position is valid. But, unless you adopt a vehement anti-critical dogmatic stance, you're basically humiliated—very publicly—if Ebert decides your product is wack. Because, if you care one iota about what critics think, you've certainly got to consider Ebert's point of view since, though he no longer has a jaw and can't speak, he still expresses the definitive opinion on whether the masses should spend $10 on a flick. Because, if Ebert disses you, who are you going to turn to? Roeper? No one gives a f*ck about Roeper!

2. The Emerald Diamond: How the Irish Transformed America's Greatest Pastime, by Charley Rosen.
Irish dudes shaped baseball, and not because they wielded bats during the potato famine to secure dwindling supplies of the precious root vegetable. Nah, just kidding—I know that baseball is part of the Irish character because some of my best friends are Irish, as is my attorney, banker, and rabbi.

3. I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters, by Bayard Rustin.
Just because Black History Month is over doesn't mean you can't read a civil rights great's life in letters, including missives to Martin Luther King, Jr. and D.C.'s own Eleanor Holmes Norton. Not sure if he wrote Ben Ali, the founder of Ben's Chili Bowl.

4. Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness, by Ralph Temple.
Just because you voted for Rick Santorum in the Oklahoma Republican primary doesn't mean you can't read the memoir of a late, great ACLU leader. You just might have to sit shiva for Andrew Breitbart first.

5. Care To Make Love In That Gross Little Space Between Cars?: A Believer Book of Advice, by The Believer.
Operation Enduring Cleverness: launch.

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