Monday, November 06, 2006

Currently Reading

Nothing's Sacred by Lewis Black © 2005
Synopsis: With subversive wit and intellectual honesty, Lewis examines the events of his life that shaped his antiauthoritarian point of view and developed his comedic perspective. Growing up in 1950s suburbia when father knew best and there was a sitcom to prove it, he began to regard authority with a jaundiced eye at an early age. And as that sentiment grew stronger with each passing year, so did his ability to hone in on the absurd.

True to form, he puts common sense above ideology and distills hilarious, biting commentary on all things politically and culturally relevant.

Comments: I am loving this book. If you are a fan of Lewis Black and his no-nonsense humor, then you will enjoy this book. A quick read. A fun read. An insightful read.

I just finished the chapter on Black's junior high years and this passage cracked me up: "My mother dressed me in irregular clothing and my pants were always way, way, way too baggy. When I asked why they were so big, my mother, as God as my witness, replied, "Because you have a big crotch." If this was the case, none of the girls in my class ever took note. Maybe because the top button of my shirt was always buttoned and I wore big Tortoiseshell glasses. So I looked like a dump truck in heat."

Better Than Homemade: Amazing Foods That Changed the Way We Eat by Carolyn Wyman © 2004
Synopsis: A freewheeling illustrated history of the packaged foods industry. From Green Giant and Hamburger Helper to Jiffy Pop and Jell-O, syndicated columnist Carolyn Wyman reveals the fascinating origins of your favorite "food" products -- along with never-before published advertisements, innovative packaging (cheese in a can!?), and hilarious "unauthorized uses."

You'll learn that Birds Eye frozen foods were invented by an Arctic adventurer; Kool-Aid got its start from an 11-year-old entrepreneur; and Twinkies were once used to capture a gang of escaped baboons. Perfect for fans of the Food Network's Unwrapped, this guide is the ultimate paean to processed pleasures!

Comments: This book has it all: Cheesy, kitschy photos, retro recipes, pop culture history, AND I was surprised that it wasn't a Chronicle book. Looking over the spines of my library, most of the books like this are usually published by Chronicle, but this one was published by Quirk (I like the name better). A mere 76¢ at Pick up a copy today!

The Occasional Man by James Barr © 1966
Synopsis: (From the book jacket) No longer young and beautiful, David, at 40, was still handsome. Flat broke and depressed over the break-up of his affair with the man he had adored for fifteen years, David wandered lost and lonely in the back streets of the twilight world of sex.

Suddenly three men came into David's life - each offering a different variety of relationship for David to grasp at: a cruel, super-virile young man with whom David was physically obsessed; a warm and kindly Negro who offered more companionship than excitement, and a godlike, demanding older man who was a master of every kind of erotic adventure.

Comments: First off, I don't even want to talk about how much I paid for this book. Let's just say it was more than I normally like to pay for a paperback book, vintage or not. BUT, pre-70's gay pulp is hard to find (esp, in decent condition), and the premise seems like a lot of fun, so I thought "Why not?" Plus, who could resist a tagline like: A new adult novel of the torments and temptations of abnormal desires.


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