Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Books to Read | Surprise Guest Post by Gregory Hudson

I recently got an email of book suggestions from my extremely well-read literary brother and it was as fun to read as it will be to read the books. So I thought I'd share. Greg, I hope you don't mind.

1) SUM by David Eagleman. In this short, but absolutely beautiful work, scientist David Eagleman describes 40 different possible after-lifes. That sounds really new agey, but it isn't. They are smart, sweet, sad, and suprisingly often very true. Really, a great little book.

2) Bonfire of the Vanities, By Tom Wolfe. I thought I didn't like Wolfe, mostly because he's a bit of a pompous, conservative jackass, but this book, with very few likable characters, is somehow very, very likable.  A  nice view  of a  decade that i was alive for, but didn't experience. And oh so many exclamation marks!  a classic! funny!

3) In Persuasion Nation, by George Saunders. An amazing selection of short stories by a modern Vonnegut. That comparison gets thrown around a lot, but since I read this right after I read SlaughterHouse 5 (for the first time! so late!) I can attest to the similarities. He's wacky, without ever being excessive. And he's smart, and sharp, and the last story (I think it was the last story) was oh so touching, too.

4) I'm just reading a book called John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead. It could stand to lose a few chapters here and there, but the story of a journalist living off free promotional swag struck home with me. I maybe only liked this because of that. Though the writing is impressive. I always know if I like a book if it inspires me to write. and this one does.

And because, what the heck--here's a bonus: I read this a couple of years ago, but it still remains in my mind a great book. I recently read a short story by this guy, so I'm intrigued again. Then We came to the End by Joshua Ferris. Think The Office, if the office was more literary. It's about the travails of bunch of workers in a Chicago ad office at the end of the dot com boom. Can you say relevant? no, really, can you?


Gilly said...

Good idea to post it!

Gregory said...

This guy seems a little pretentious. Though, I'm sure he doesn't care what I think, since he's too busy rolling in the money from the royalties you're paying him. Lucky S.O.B.

mere said...

I will pay you all the money I get from my first google cheque.