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Booze & Books Midtown Message Board › Running list of book recommendations

Running list of book recommendations

A former member
Post #: 9
We talked about it at book club and thought it would be a good idea to have a running list of book recommendations. Corrine and Everett said they had a lot going on and if anyone wanted to start the list, then to go ahead and do it. I hope I am not stepping on any toes here. Let's really try and get a good mix of different types of books so we can read as our moods fit for each month. Try and give a link to the book or a brief synopsis so we know what we are getting into.
A former member
Post #: 10
I would like to suggest Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. I know it sounds like a motivational book, but it really isn't. I have had tons of people recommend it to me and it talks about when you are born has a huge impact on how successful you will be. Like how most professional hockey players were born in the month of January and other weird facts. I heard it was really good and would love to read and discuss it.

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Best of the Month, November 2008: Now that he's gotten us talking about the viral life of ideas and the power of gut reactions, Malcolm Gladwell poses a more provocative question in Outliers: why do some people succeed, living remarkably productive and impactful lives, while so many more never reach their potential? Challenging our cherished belief of the "self-made man," he makes the democratic assertion that superstars don't arise out of nowhere, propelled by genius and talent: "they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot." Examining the lives of outliers from Mozart to Bill Gates, he builds a convincing case for how successful people rise on a tide of advantages, "some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky."

Outliers can be enjoyed for its bits of trivia, like why most pro hockey players were born in January, how many hours of practice it takes to master a skill, why the descendents of Jewish immigrant garment workers became the most powerful lawyers in New York, how a pilots' culture impacts their crash record, how a centuries-old culture of rice farming helps Asian kids master math. But there's more to it than that. Throughout all of these examples--and in more that delve into the social benefits of lighter skin color, and the reasons for school achievement gaps--Gladwell invites conversations about the complex ways privilege manifests in our culture. He leaves us pondering the gifts of our own history, and how the world could benefit if more of our kids were granted the opportunities to fulfill their remarkable potential. --Mari Malcolm
Corrine
MsArguelles
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 6
C - No toes stepped upon, this is precisely what we wanted! Thanks!
Corrine
MsArguelles
Sacramento, CA
Post #: 8
Drink, Play, F@#k

In Drink, Play, F@#k Bob Sullivan, a jilted husband, sets off to explore the world, experience a meaningful connection with the divine, and rediscover his passion. His travels lead him from his home in New York City to a drinking bender across Ireland, through the glitz and glamour that is Las Vegas, and to the hedonistic pleasure palaces of Thailand. After a lifetime of playing it safe, Mr. Sullivan finally follows his heart and lives out everyone's deepest fantasies. For who among us hasn't dreamed of standing stark naked, head upturned, and mouth agape beneath a cascading torrent of Guinness Stout? What could be more exhilarating than losing every penny you have because Charlie Weiss went for a meaningless last-second field goal? And what sensate creature could ever doubt that the greatest pleasure known to man can be found in a leaky bamboo shack filled with glassy-eyed, bruised Asian hookers? Bob Sullivan has a lot to teach us about life. Let's just pray we have the wisdom to put aside our preconceptions and listen. Because what Bob Sullivan finds isn't at all what he expected.
A former member
Post #: 1
How to be Good, Nick Hornby
Kate, a doctor, wife and mother, is in the midst of a difficult decision: whether to leave or stay with her bitter, sarcastic husband David (who proudly writes a local newspaper column called "The Angriest Man in Holloway"). The long-term marriage has gone stale, but is it worth uprooting the children and the comfortable lifestyle? Then David meets a faith healer called Dr. Goodnews, and suddenly converts to an idealistic do-gooder: donating the children's computer to an orphanage, giving away the family's Sunday dinner to homeless people and inviting runaways to stay in the guest room (and convincing the neighbors to do likewise). Barber gives an outstanding performance as Kate, humorously conveying her mounting irritation at having her money and belongings donated to strangers, her guilt at not feeling more generous and her hilarious desire for revenge. Barber brilliantly portrays each eccentric character: hippie-ish Goodnews, crusading David, petulant children and, poignantly, the hesitant, halting Barmy Brian, a mentally deficient patient of Kate's who needs looking after. Barber's stellar performance turns a worthy novel into a must-listen event.

Permanent Midnight, Jerry Stahl
This unabashedly lurid and often highly entertaining book traces Stahl's rise from Hustler staffer, to highly paid prime-time television writer, to his breakneck devolution into self-loathing junkie father and "author of nothing but bad checks." While stumbling cheerily toward rock bottom, he somehow managed to keep landing such plum assignments as writing for Moonlighting and thirtysomething. But fans hoping for backstage gossip about their favorite shows will be disappointed. For all the rivers of every conceivable narcotic flowing here, there is surprisingly little inside dope. "The truth: This book... is less... an exercise in recall than exorcism." Stahl's manic wise-cracking never wavers, whether he is describing his remote and suicidal parents or a grandmotherly babysitter who forced him to lick Jujubes off her nipples every day after school. While Stahl managed to survive his fall with enough "real funny" intact to provoke some grossed-out laughs, what seems meant as a hilarious memoir of his drug-besotted depression too often becomes just a depressing memoir of his hilarity. A study in self-absorption.
A former member
Post #: 1
I'm new to the group and probably need to get a better sense of everyone's tastes but thought I'd make a suggestion anyway: How about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society? It's really charming and not as stupid as it sounds. I finished it recently and really enjoyed it as a funny, touching and slightly off-kilter read.

I also really like the sound of Drink, Play, F@#k (probably because I found Eat, Love, Pray mildly nauseating in places). Seems like the perfect antidote.

Looking forward to meeting everyone.
A former member
Post #: 2
I vote for Drink, Play, F@#k
A former member
Post #: 3
I vote for Drink, Play, F@#k too!
A former member
Post #: 1
Here is a recommendation for Everett:

A False Spring by Pat Jordan

From Library Journal
"A painful memoir and self-analysis of a young, aspiring baseball player who failed to make the majors" (LJ 5/1/75), this book recounts Jordan's three years playing bush-league ball while trying to develop his skills in hopes of becoming a star. This "well written portrayal of baseball life and business" is for all sports and biography collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review
"One of the best and truest books about baseball, and about coming to maturity in America."-Time

"A False Spring, by turns rueful, amused, nostalgic and disgusted, is just fascinating, probably the best book imaginable about baseball's underpinnings."-Boston Globe

"One of the most fabulous failure stories of our time."-Kansas City Star

"A major triumph."-Philadelphia Inquirer

"An unforgettable book."-Los Angeles Times
A former member
Post #: 1
"Jar City" by Icelandic, Gold Dagger Award winning author Arnaldur Indridason. This is the first book in the series about Reykjavik Police Inspector Erlendur, who opens a cold case when a lonely old man is found dead in his flat with the only clues of a cryptic note and a photograph of a young girls grave. Inspector Erlunder follows a trail of unusual forensic evidence covering secrets much larger than the murder of the old man. If you are a fan of Henning Mankell you should also like Arnaldur Indridason.
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