Home > Uncategorized > What I’m Reading (Jan. 2014)

What I’m Reading (Jan. 2014)

Being sick with pneumonia at the first part of the month gave me some extra reading time in January and I enjoyed a few good books.

Best book of the month: Slow Motion by Dani Shapiro. Although she’s written many books, I first heard of her when someone mentioned her latest book, Still Writing, an excellent book on writing. After finishing Still Writing, I downloaded Slow Motion, a memoir. Slow Motion begins with the author as a twenty-something college dropout in Los Angeles where she receives a phone call informing her parents had been in a severe car accident. Her book is the story of her life before the accident and her life after the accident. (I liked Slow Motion so much, I started on her latest book, Devotion, which may turn out to be the best of the three of her books I’ve read.)

I read a couple of interesting non-fiction and biography books. Wooden: A Coach’s Life tells the story of John Wooden, the ultra successful basketball coach at UCLA. Two interesting nuggets from the book: 1) It took Wooden over a decade to win his first college tournament game, and 2) once his grand success began, he felt more relieved when they lost, because the losses, few and far between, relieved the pressure to keep winning. I’m Dying Up Here by William Knoedelseder is a history of the rise of the Los Angeles comedy circuit scene in the mid 1970’s when comics like Richard Lewis, Jay Leno, David Letterman, and others were getting their start. Undisputed Truth by Mike Tyson is his raw and bare autobiography of his crazed life. It’s probably one of the better sports autobiographies. I also read The Grudge by Tom English, which was the story of a historic rugby match.

Of course, I read a slew of mystery books this month: Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith, Enigma of China: An Inspector Cho Novel by Qiu Xiaolong, Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard (contains the short story about Raylan Givens, which was the basis for the TV show ‘Justified’), The Purity of Vengeance by Jussi Adler-Olsen, and The Wrong Kind of Blood by Declan Hughes.

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