JLo’s Reading Rainbow and the Awesome List, Pt. II (now with even more Bob Mould!)

Just in case you think that all I do when I’m not riding my bike is sit around watching TV and listening to records, I’d thought I’d share with you my reading list from the summer. Even though I write more about music, TV and movies, my first love has always been reading and that will probably never change. (And by reading I mean actual books with paper pages and covers and stuff. Just as my music tastes tend to the analog and physical, so does my choice of reading material. Keep your e-readers – you can pry the hardcover book out of my cold dead hands.) Fair warning up front, this list is completely lacking in teenage vampires.

The Visible Man – Chuck Klosterman

First off, I’m a big fan of Chuck Klosterman’s writing, but will freely admit that his style isn’t for everyone. This novel, told as an unpublished manuscript by a therapist from Austin, TX who has treated a patient who claims to be able to make himself invisible to others (though don’t call him in the invisible man unless you want to be berated), touches on familiar Klosterman themes (pervasiveness of pop culture and media, the nature of celebrity, etc). Is the patient, identified only as Y, brilliant? Deluded? Or both? Or perhaps it’s the therapist who is truly deluded? The implied question posed in this book that I found most interesting was, given the ability to make yourself invisible, what would you do with the power? I still don’t know how to answer that one, but the book itself makes for a fun and quick read.

They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? – Christopher Buckley and Taft 2012 – Jason Heller

Two books here that were made for those of us who have come to view the current political circus as nothing more than the farce that it is. Christopher Buckley, son of the late and great William F. Buckley, wrote one of the funniest political satires of our time (Thank You For Smoking), and while this isn’t anywhere near as good as that masterpiece, it’s an amusing and sometimes absolutely terrifying look at the role of public relations “spin masters” and corporations in national and world affairs, as central character Walter “Bird” McIntyre foments some good old fashion Cold War fear towards China (with a massive assist from the Institute of Continuing Conflict), at the behest of defense giant Groepping-Sprunt in an attempt to secure funding for a new weapons system. Heller’s work is more fantastical but no less, relevant, as  former President William Howard Taft, is somehow dropped into the present day and quickly becomes the poster boy and candidate for the grass roots “Taft Party.”  Both recommended, though if you are like me you’ll find yourself shaking your head sadly between the many laughs.

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

There’s a handful of books that I re-read periodically, and this is near the top of the list. I don’t have to tell you how awesome this book is, do I (or explain to you why the upcoming movie adaptation looks to be a complete abomination)? Apologies to anyone I may have called “Old Sport” in the last few weeks.

Year Zero – Rob Reid

I just picked this one up earlier in the week and have only cracked the first few chapters so far, but it deserves inclusion here based on the premise alone: Aliens have been pirating our music since 1977 (year 0) and now this massive violation of copyright law has bankrupted the universe and made humanity the owner of everything. Now it’s up to a low tier entertainment lawyer who shares a name with a Backstreet Boy (Nick Carter) to save us, as the alien universe has decided that it would just be easier to annihilate us rather than pay up. How can this not be good?

So there’s five book that will hopefully tear you away from the TV for a while (though not on Sundays from 10-11 during Breaking Bad of course). Here’s a couple of additions to the Awesome List from a couple of weeks ago that have popped up in the interim.

New Bob Mould! Feast your ears on this slice of fried gold that sounds like it sprang directly from 1992:

Last Sunday’s Breaking Bad. Sweet mother of Abaraham Lincoln but that was already an awesome piece of television, and then came the stomach punch of an ending. No spoilers here, cause I know there’s people who haven’t seen it yet, but man alive, that definitely raised the bar for the rest of this season. Plus it gave us an all-time Jesse Pinkman line (It’s all about the weight yo.)

Ravenous Pig has a cookbook coming out. It’s called The Ravenous Pig: Seasons of Florida and you can and should pre-order it here. Better yet, you can buy tickets to their release party and get a signed first edition as well as some awesome nosh straight from the book itself. I woke up today knowing that I needed to get a present for Mrs. Lo’s upcoming birthday, and I stumbled upon this awesome news and then went straight out to pick up out tickets. More than a little excited to have them.

Awwww yeah. If you are questioning why I’m so excited about a cookbook then you’ve obviously never eaten there. And I feel nothing but sorry for you if that is the case.

Football is back! No, not that pointy American football. The real stuff:

And for the first time, I can say that my club, Manchester City, are the defending Premier League champions. And if you don’t think I haven’t been watching the clip below at least once a week since last May and sobbing like a child each time, then you just don’t know me very well.

Come on City! Come on City!



Posted on August 17, 2012, in Books, Food and Drink, Music, The Sporting Life, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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