Holidays on Ice

December 26, 2008

Author: David Sedaris
Copyright: 1997
Publisher: Little Brown

Started: 12/25/08
Completed: 12/29/08

Karen gave me this book for Christmas. It’s a collection of short stories, anchored by the famous tales of Sedaris’ work as a santa’s elf at Macy’s in New York City. I first heard these tales when Sedaris’ was a guest commentator on NPR and I’ve been a fan ever since. The story is a new classic and Sedaris is a very funny fellow.

Good Omens

December 4, 2008

Author: Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
Copyright: 1990
Publisher: Harper

Started: 12/4/08
Completed: 12/11/08

Pratchett and Gaiman are two of my favorite authors. I have read this book before, but when I ran across a new paperback edition in the bookstore I decided to revisit. This is silly fantasy, with an English absurdism sensability. It is an “end of times” novel, but the angels and demons are not quite what you would expect.

Author: Christopher Moore
Copyright: 1997
Publisher: Harper

Started: 11/23/08
Completed: 11/28/08

I think this because it was the only book by Christopher Moore that I had not read. It is the fourth of his that I have read this year. Earlier this year I enjoyed Practical DemonkeepingCoyote Blue, and Bloodsucking Fiends. I’m a fan, no doubt.

Christopher Moore is a twisted dude. He is also a good writer. His novels are short and sharp and imaginative and I always enjoy them.

Supreme Courtship

November 13, 2008

Author: Christopher Buckley
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Twelve

Started: 11/13/08
Completed: 11/16/08

I grabbed this book from the library shelf at least in part because Mr. Buckley appeared on The Daily Show recently to talk about it. He was charming and it sounded like a fun book. It is about an appointment to the Supreme Court of an unexpected judge, a woman that doesn’t quite fit the expected form. It was written well before Mrs. Palin was selected to run for Vice President, but appears to match that odd story line in many ways.

Making Money

October 13, 2008

Author: Terry Pratchett
Copyright: 2007
Publisher: Harper

Started: 10/13/08
Completed: 10/20/08

I am a Terry Pratchett fan. When I saw this on the shelf at my local bookstore I snatched it up. Pratchett writes amusing science fiction about a world — Discworld — in which vampires and other “monsters” are just part of the populace. His Discworld novels are great fun and take a delightfully skewed view of life. And this one is a fine example of the genre. A very fun read.

Missy

October 2, 2008

Author: Chris Hannan
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Started: 10/1/08
Completed: 10/6/08

This is a modern novel about the American West. It deals with the role of women, and with drug abuse. It is a dark novel, but an interesting read.

Pontoon

September 27, 2008

Author: Garrison Keillor
Copyright: 2007
Publisher: Viking

Started: 9/27/08
Completed: 10/1/08

This was a gift from the Lovely Karen. It is another Lake Woebegon novel. I’ve been a long-time Keillor fan, so I was looking forward to this one. And I was quiet satisfied. This is a great book.

Commonwealth

September 19, 2008

Author: Joey Goebel
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage

Started: 9/18/08
Completed: 9/26/08

The cover says this is about a modern American political campaign.It has comedy, but also a serious side and a metaphysical side. A good, thick, modern examination of American life.

Breakfast With Buddha

September 1, 2008

Author: Roland Merullo
Copyright: 2008
Publisher: Algonquin

Started: 9/1/08
Completed: 9/6/08

This was another that I judged by its cover. It’s not showing here yet; LibraryThing’s cover API doesn’t have a cover to share yet (I left the link in case one is added). The cover I bought  shows a part of a traditional roadside diner table setting; sugar jar, paper-napkin holder and mustard and ketchup dispensers. But the salt and pepper shakers are little fat, Happy Buddha statues.

The book itself is a road-trip/self-discovery novel. It has a nice mix of humor and metaphysics. A very pleasant and enlightening read!

The Gun Seller

August 22, 2008

Author: Hugh Laurie
Copyright: 1996
Publisher: Washington Square Press

Started: 8/22/08
Completed: 8/28/08

Yes, that Hugh Laurie. The star of the TV show House. This book is from the 1990s, though, from a younger Hugh Laurie who was then more a star of British television.

According to the cover, it is a suspense novel and a screwball, British humor-style comedy. But it does have a good hit of action and suspense and mystery. Well done!