5.21.2008

Book Club For A-Holes


Mel and I ride the bus to and from work every day and like most married couples have very little to say to each other so we spend our time with our faces stuck in a book, magazine or staring into space with the ipod on. I recently finished a couple of books and do not have anything on deck to read next. I need the Smith blog fans to help me pick a new book to read. I will give you some suggestions and hints as to what I like.

The most recent books I finished were:

Mergers and Acquisitions by Dana Vachon, a fictional account of a smarmy investment banker in NYC.
The Warren Buffet Way: Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor by Robert Hagstrom.
The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson, a great collection of political stories from a man who drank whisky, did coke and shot guns while following politics for Rolling Stone.
Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayan Rand.

I know what you're thinking, "Capitalism, gambling and politics, that pretty much sums up Mark." I also enjoy higher tastes in literature. I thoroughly enjoy a little Camus thrown in with my Kerouac. (Yes, I am a pretentious prick.)

Here is a list of some of my favorite books and authors:

Anything by Hemingway. Papi's short stories are the best; read The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, you can thank me later.
Salinger's Catcher in the Rye.
Kerouac's On The Road.
Hayek's Road to Serfdom.
Poems by Robert Service.
Multiple other authors including, Dante Alighieri, Joseph Conrad, Frederic W. Farrar, Nick Hornby, C.S. Lewis, Bruce R. McConkie, David McCullough, Patrick F. McManus, Edgar Allan Poe, Jeremy Siegel, John Steinbeck, Henry David Thoreau and countless others.

I think the problem with literacy these days is that teachers assign the wrong books for kids to read. I want to slap most women with a British accent after reading anything by a Bronte and I would much rather read about Ralph and Piggy than Pip any day. So I am asking for your help in selecting the next book I read. Please leave comments with your recommendations. If I don't find something new to read then I will be forced to blog about this article, in which a 14 year old girl starts acting slutty because she is a fan of Sex and The City, luckily all ends well when she converts to Mormonism and moves to Utah; please do not make me publicly unload my thoughts on this, you've been warned.

10 comments:

Krista said...

Might I suggest you take a break from all these psycho sounding books and dumb it down with some Harry Potter! Seriously, your reading taste is pretty uptight! jk You know I love you, but lighten up, buddy! The only book that you have read that I have also read is the Catcher in the Rye..Cuckoo..cuckoo!! Time to have some fun with your reading, Holden!

Melanie said...

Oh, he just leaves off the not-so "high brow" books like Marley and Me (excellent book by the way). He does read books that would be considered more light (Life of Pi, Dogs of Babel) - but usually only by my insistence. Not sure he will move on to the Gossip Girl series or anything though! And good luck on the HP series - he's about as stubborn as I am on those. Although, I think I saw him pick up Twilight last time we were at Barnes and Noble! lol

The Vetters in Manhattan said...

I would read "Man's search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl. Excellent book~

Shelly said...

Hey MArk, have you tried anything by Terry Pratchet? At least I'm pretty sure that's the author I'm thinking of. He has a book called Good Omens which is quite funny along with other crazily sarcastic books like the Hog Father. You may hate him as an author, but I thought it was a shot considering yours and Mel's personalities.
Shelly

Dawnell said...

Try "Positively Fifth Street" by James McManus. It's about poker not 21, but still a great read. (I've read them both and really liked them. Even before the movie came out.) Mcmanus writes for Harpers and goes to cover the world series, but uses his advance to enter and makes it almost to the end. The writing is great and he talks about all the cooky poker players.

PS I also like Terry Pratchett. They are a very light read though and you seem to read meaty stuff.

Brooke said...

I'm with your girl Krista. This isn't high school lit; read something enjoyable! Devin and I have both just finished the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. He's a Utah author and the books are along the lines of
Harry Potter: Fantasy aimed at young adults. Obviously, your taste is anything but young adult, but I still think you might like them.

Dolphinsbarn said...

I have two suggestions and if you don't choose one, we aren't friends anymore. Prisoner's Dilemma (William Poundstone), and one of my favorites: Newjack:Guarding Sing Sing (Ted Conover). Newjack was written by a journalist who took a job at Sing Sing as a correctional officer and lived as such for a year. Then he wrote a book about it and pissed everyone in the Prison system off. It talks about the death penalty, mental illness in the prison system, and pretty much everything you REALLY wanted to know about the inside of a prison. Right up your alley I think. Besides, it was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, so you can't go wrong.
Read it Mark.

Dolphinsbarn said...

Sorry, not just nominated, Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (then you can follow it up with Coyotes... life as a migrant worker anyone?).

Chris said...

Dawnell's suggestion is the best answer so far given the information provided. Great book. Of course, I have to say Dawnell's suggestion was good or she'll beat me.

If you haven't read Malcolm Gladwell's books (Blink, Tipping Point) then you should. If you've read his books and enjoyed them then you should read his New Yorker articles, all of which are archived on his website. I found them to be perfect for the commute, pounding the small ones out in ten minute increments and the big ones took up an entire commute.

Kara said...

Mark, you are a flaming homo. You need to get off your A-- and do something more productive with your life. If you have enough time to read a book you are going to die regretting that you wasted your life with your nose in a book. Go do something wild and crazy. make a list of adrenaline filled activities and mark them all off by the end of the year. there has got to be something fun to do in Wisconsin or wherever you live! Your brother, Aaron