Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

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

1. Martha Graham in Love and War: The Life in the Work, by Mark Franko.
I'm not a guy who's interested in dance, but unlike most guys, I want to be a guy that's interested in dance, and I think a biography of Martha Graham will help. Just don't ask me to defend Black Swan. Even to a Portman apologist, it's indefensible. But I'd remind all Portman haters that she attended Harvard and is multilingual.

2. All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim, edited by Wajahat Ali and Zahra T. Suratwala.
Post-9/11, Being bald is hard. But being Muslim is probably harder.

3. Living, Thinking, Looking: Essays, by Siri Hustvedt.
Though this author calls the Disney film Pollyanna (1960) "revoltingly saccharine" on page 54—a characterization I'll have to object to, having watching the film at least 30 times on VHS in the mid-1980s—it's hard not to recommend an author who writes essays called "Why Goya?"

4. It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, by Colin Powell and Tony Koltz.
One day, I'm going to become the kind of man I imagine Colin Powell to be. Not a general, definitely, and not a Republican, probably, and not a man that many Americans think should run for president, unfortunately. Just a man who takes no sh*t.

5. Venice Noir, edited by Maxim Jakubowski.
I was in Venice once. Once. It was like Longport, New Jersey, but with canals, water taxis, Renaissance architecture, and cathedrals. Not sure if the pasta was necessarily any better, though.

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