Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

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

1. New American Haggadah, by Jonathan Safran Foer, translated by Nathan Englander.
Rewriting a religious text to suit your taste proves that, in the world of arts and letters, you're a baller. King James did it. Thomas Jefferson did it. Joseph Smith did it. So did Satanist Anton LaVey. To this select company, welcome, young Jonathan Safran Foer. Use your power wisely.

2. The Loom Of Ruin, by Sam McPheeters.
If the lead singer of Born Against and The Wrangler Brutes wrote a novel, wouldn't you be at least a little bit curious about it?

3. Vegetables: A Biography, by Evelyne Bloch-Dano, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan.
As the Supreme Court debates whether it's constitutional to require someone to buy broccoli, it's worth remembering that broccoli has a backstory all its own, just like the Ewoks or Eric from True Blood.

4. The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating Heart Cadavers — How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death, by Dick Teresi.
At 35, Justin Moyer is ready to hear the case for cryogenics. The way Justin Moyer sees it, the universe existed for 5 billion years before he came into existence. Now, Justin Moyer doesn't remember much about those 5 billion years, but can only assume that reality was less interesting before he arrived on the scene. After three and a half decades, Justin Moyer figures he's got—at best—about 40 more years to go before he's felled by a heart attack, brain aneurysm, or epileptic seizure that strikes while he's crossing 16th Street. Now, when Justin Moyer kicks the bucket, you expect Justin Moyer to let his exquisite brain and beautiful body—a body 5 billion years in the making—be burned to a crisp in a crematoria or rot underground? No f*cking way—Moyer is getting frozen and reanimated when homo sapiens gets this death thing licked. The way Justin Moyer sees it, recorded music was invented about 100 years ago. If vinyl can become cassettes can become CDs can become iPods in a century, why can't Justin Moyer be reanimated 200 years after his birth in 2277 in time for the 23rd century's remake of Star Wars and an as-yet discovered cure for baldness? Deep freeze—all the hep cats are doing it, and Justin Moyer is one hep cat.

5. The Return of Edgar Cayce, by C. Terry Cline, Jr.
This insane-looking novel was allegedly dictated to its author by this long-dead psychic dude.

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  • Meryl Zegarek

    Just FYI: The Return of Edgar Cayce is not a novel (though you may think so!) - is is actually a non-fiction book of the thoughts, predictions, and philosophies of Edgar Cayce, yes, a long-dead psychic dude!

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