Christmas Books

Books I received as presents this year:

1. The Who Sell Out, John Dougan, (Continuum Books, 2006).
2. Emotional Structure: A Guide for Screenwriters, Peter Dunne, (Quill Driver Books, 2006)
3. The Best American Non-Required Reading 2006, Edited by Dave Eggers, (Houghton, 2006)
4. Be a Writer: Your Guide to the Writing Life, Peha & Lester, (Leverage Factory, 2006)
5. Letters to Uncle Mike, Michael Burgess, (Saddle Mountain Press, 2000)
6. New York Rocker, Gary Valentine, (Thunder's Mouth, 2006)
7. America (The Book): Teacher's Edition, (Warner Books, 2004)

It was a nice little haul of books this holiday.

My fab co-worker and "secret Santa" Bree got me The Who Sell Out , one of the dozens of rock n' roll pocket books in Continuum's "33 1/3" series. Each book covers a classic record. I've read a couple of these, including The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society and Forever Changes. Both were great. Can't wait to tear into this one as the Who are my favorite band.


Angela got me a couple of books to encourage my writing. I have amassed a stockpile of these types of books and surprise, surprise, not even a chapter started. Still, I'm glad she's encouraging me and (gasp) still has some faith left that I might realize my dream of being a professional writer. Through no fault of her own, one of the books is really meant for high-school students, the other is a screen-writing book by Peter Dunne, a Peabody Award-winning writer who has penned for such iconic shows as "Dallas" and "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." Don't laugh, I bet there's some good stuff in there.

Also on the list are some classic "bathroom books." The distinction is not meant as a slight. I've always wanted to read America: The Book as I'm a big fan of the Daily Show. On top of that, Angela got me The Best American Non-required Reading: 2006 an eclectic compendium of Americana. A quick thumb-through of Non-required reveals, "Best American Things You Should Know About Chuck Norris," a hilarious menu of Chuck Norris "facts." (Chuck Norris doesn't read books, he stares them down until he gets the information he wants; Chuck Norris doesn't style his hair. It lies perfectly in place out of sheer terror)

Also in the "bathroom book" category is Letters to Uncle Mike a gift from my sister and brother-in-law. Think of Letters like you would Dear Abby or Ask Amy, only if Abby and Amy were alcoholic curmudgeons who lived on the Oregon coast. The gift is two-fold appropriate as my sister is pregnant with my nephew/niece, and I think the hope is that I can dispense common-sense wisdom to their newborn in the style of the book's author, (e.g. if the kid is crying, I can give him/her a jibing "kid, you haven't been alive long enough to cry about anything. You got a poopy diaper? Yeah? Well, I'm an alcoholic hermit who lives in a shack deep in the Siskyous! A poopy life. Now that's something to cry about...)

Merry Christmas, and to all a Good Night!


On Bullshit...

On the nightstand:

Another Bullshit Night, In Suck City: A Memoir, Nick Flynn, (W.W. Norton, 2004)

Subjects: Autobiography, Homelessness, Family Relationships, Massachusetts

Book Blurb: "Another Bullshit Night is one of the best books I've read in years -- a heartbreaking , searing story -- the perfect memoir. It is a story of self-discovery in the best sense, and also a story of the dissembling of history, the fight to keep oneself whole, and the inherent obligations of biology." -- A.M. Homes, Music for Torching

Why?: Besides the obvious appeal of the title, my sister asked for this as a Christmas present in 2004. I trust my sister.

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