Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Boychik Lit Book Reviews - No. 13Here’s my book review of The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler.
It’s a story about love and sudden, tragic loss. Some fans complain it’s too short. So read it twice. The second time through, slow down. Marvel at Anne Tyler's spare style. And ask yourself why it's not the same as other authors who limit themselves to twenty-word sentences, no more than two clauses per. It could be plain-vanilla tenth-grade stuff. It could be boring and insipid. But there's something else going on here. Something gets said between the lines. It could baffle you trying to figure it out. I think it's all about logic and thought flow. Your brain has to supply what's skipped over. She trains you not only to read, but also to think and to feel.
Her main character here is a middle-aged widower. To all appearances, he’s a jerk, easier to sympathize with because he has a disability. But he's using the disability as an excuse not to relate to people. "Don't give me any help" is his self-fulfilling proclamation. He justifies himself to himself, as we all do, even when he knows he's behaving selfishly.
Forgiving all her characters, even the stinkers, is an Anne Tyler trademark. Her writing is a loving, angel’s eye view of the human condition.
I wrote my new novel, Christmas Karma, especially for fans of Anne Tyler. Old heartaches come knocking the week before the holiday, in a story told by an angel with a weird sense of humor. Particularly if you tend to get the blues this time of year, this book will lift your spirits.
For Boychik Lit, I’m Gerald Everett Jones. Catch these podcasts at BoychikLit.com.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Boychik Lit Book Reviews - No. 12
Here’s my book review of President Me: The America That’s in My Head by Adam Carolla.
It’s no surprise that this book is a collection of rants. It’s his take on public policy, but the issues are simply his everyday annoyances. With his wisecracking talent, he magnifies these trivial snits into national crises that require the attention of the chief executive. Read his problems and his commonsense solutions, and you’ll find a kindred complainer.
Airport security hassles the innocent, especially the weary business traveler. The few restaurants that serve coleslaw as an alternative to French fries screw it up by adding golden raisins. Women need a perfume that smells like WD-40.
Ultimately, the cause of each and every problem is government over-regulation – and the fact that too many Americans are running around overdosed on caffeine.
Speaking of caffeine and political theory, on a recent podcast, Carolla confessed that he was chatting up a respected pundit while he waited in line at the local coffee bar. His secret advisor? None other than – Dennis Praeger.
Conspiracy theorists, take note.
For Boychik Lit, I’m Gerald Everett Jones. Read my humorous novel about wacky capitalists, Mr. Ballpoint, and catch these podcasts on Boychik Lit.com.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Boychik Lit Book Reviews - No. 11Here’s my book review of Griftopia by Matt Taibbi. It’s a fascinating, ultra-hip, and more or less comprehensible explanation of the financial bubble burst of 2008. It’s a disturbing investigative report. But let’s get real. We need to understand this stuff if we ever want to think and act like a responsible adults instead of brain-dead, wage-slave entertainment addicts.
Did you know that parking meters in Chicago are now owned by offshore investors? And that other big chunks of our municipal- and state-owned infrastructure, like parks, are being auctioned or leased to foreign interests? All because our government budgets are imploding and your friendly investment bankers have the fix -- just sell off the US of A in pieces while they take fat commissions on the deals.
If only chronically curious journalist Matt Tiabbi were some crack-head scribbler who made all this stuff up to sell books. If it weren’t the shameful truth, it would make a very funny movie.
For Boychik Lit, I’m Gerald Everett Jones. Read my humorous novel about wacky capitalists Mr. Ballpoint, and follow these podcasts at BoychikLit.com.