Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Books I Want To Read

This is the most self-explanatory title I may I have ever written. If I continue this trend, the title of my next post will be "Please Buy My California Tortilla Burrito Coupons. I’ll Give You a Great Deal." Anyway, there have been several times over the last few years when I have asked for suggestions on books to read. For the first time possibly forever, I’m not looking for suggestions. Instead, I figured I would share my list and see if anyone has read any of these books. In addition, feel free to share what books you are reading or books you recommend in the comments section. Maybe this will turn into a book club (well, maybe a book club where people suggest books)

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich.

This book may be better known now as the movie 21. I’m guessing that the book does not contain a line where Kevin Spacey’s character says "Don’t call me dude."

Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart

Recommended by one of my trivia teammates. This is the summary:

Misha Vainberg is an obese 30-year-old Russian heir to a post-Soviet fortune. After living in the Midwest and New York City for 12 years, he considers himself "an American impounded in a Russian body." But his father in St. Petersburg has killed an Oklahoma businessman and then turned up dead himself, and Misha, trying to leave Petersburg after the funeral, is denied a visa to the United States.

Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan: Taking the Field with Pro Athletes and Olympic Legends to Answer Sports Fans' Burning Questions by Todd Gallagher

I read about this through one of Gene Weingarten’s Washington Post chats. This should be a fun and funny book.

God Save the Fan: How Preening Sportscasters, Athletes Who Speak in the Third Person, and the Occasional Convicted Quarterback Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports (And How We Can Get It Back) by Will Leitch

Leitch is the founding editor of Deadspin, the best spots blog in the world. I enjoy reading his work everyday, so I expect nothing less from this book.

Jews and Judaism in the 21st Century: Human Responsibility, the Presence of God and the Future of the Covenant by Edward Feinstein

Just in case I want a change of pace.

X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft and Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking by Jeff Gordinier

The premise of this book is that members of Generation X are not slackers. I like where the book is headed! Plus, Nick Hornby wrote that he loved the book. That seals the deal for me. I actually considered going to see Gordinier do a reading of his book when I was on vacation in Seattle.

Are You There, God? It's Me. Kevin by Kevin Keck

Keck offers his drug-induced view on living life with as little effort as possible while delving into the possibility of God and organized religion versus spirituality. He recalls his past 10 years, explaining the influence of his family (his crazy mother who wakes him up by putting a butcher knife to his throat) and his unfulfilled decision to descend into priesthood (It was cool to tell people you were becoming a priest, especially if you had a beer in your hand). He gets roped into teaching Sunday school, where he delivers half-baked sermons on evolution and abortion, yet the church parents can't stop raving about the positive impact he's had on their children.

I don’t think Keck is a member of Generation X.

Anything by David Halberstam. I bought Summer of '49 at a used book sale from the library last year, so this is the one I should probably read. Halberstam is one of my favorite authors.

My Life by Bill Clinton.
I don’t remember how I got this book, but it’s in my house. The problem is that the hardback book is over 1000 pages making it a little heavy for the bus & Metro.

My wife bought The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Dan wrote about this book a few weeks ago in that it is #1 on the best-seller list. Pausch is the terminally ill CMU professor who is now known internationally. Just for fun, I placed this book on hold through the Fairax County Public Library system. I am currently #213 in the queue. This has to be the highest number since the seventh Harry Potter book.

In case you were wondering, I’m currently reading All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren’s loosely fictionalized account of Governor Huey Long of Louisiana. This book may be older than the other 10 on the list combined.

Again, feel free to leave your comments below. Maybe this will turn into the Ramblings book club!


lacochran's evil twin said...

I saw a clip of Pausch's last lecture in its entirety online. I expect anyone can. It was very moving. But a book?? I'm wondering how a whole book was built around it...? Or is this a case of "buy my book so all proceeds go to..."?

Sean said...

From what I've heard, the book, like the lecture, is more items that Pausch wants to leave for his kids. I also have heard him say that he refuses to let the book turn into a movie, so that's a good thing.