« February 2010 | Main | April 2010 »

My Photo

You COULD

  • Receive A Weekly Email Notification



     
  • Founded
    Oct. 17, 1998
  • Feeds
  • Return to the Column Home Page

Search PSACOT Using Google

  • Google

    WWW psacot

Blogrolling

  • Boot Hall
    Observations of England written by a pseudonymous American expat in London with a wry take on the world.
  • Phil Albinus
    The personal, professional and political musings of my friend and former colleague of the same name
  • Deep Thoughts
    Tired of my treacly liberalism? Chuck Carroll writes the occasional essays from the other perspective.
  • David Strom's Web Informant
    David Strom offers IT industry news and analysis.
  • Forbes on Tech
    Jim Forbes' Interesting life, savvy tech comments

Recent Movies

Paul's Reading

  • Edward St. Aubyn: Lost for Words: A Novel

    Edward St. Aubyn: Lost for Words: A Novel
    I heard the author on "Fresh Air" being interview by Terry Gross, and I am glad I did. I don't think I'd enjoy the Patrick Melrose books for which he is famous (based on the descriptions, I don't care to read them) but this relentlessly amusing sendup of the literary prize culture in Britain has laughs on every page, delivered with standard British panache. (*****)

  • Thomas Vinciguerra: Backward Ran Sentences: The Best of Wolcott Gibbs from the New Yorker

    Thomas Vinciguerra: Backward Ran Sentences: The Best of Wolcott Gibbs from the New Yorker
    A fantastic collection of writing by one of the most brilliant writers ever to grace the staff of "The New Yorker." His most famous parody, of the writing style of "Time" Magazine, is referenced in the title of this volume; "Backwards ran sentences until reeled the mind." But his fiction, his reviews, and his other parodies are all priceless. (*****)

  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld Books:
    Terry Pratchett has written 40 books about Discworld. I have read just over half of them, most recently Equal Rites. Everyone of them is hysterically funny and also makes a few comments about the world around us. His 2000 novel "The Truth" is one of the best journalism books ever written. He is a genius. (*****)
  • Dave Eggers: The Circle (Vintage)

    Dave Eggers: The Circle (Vintage)
    Finally, a novel of Silicon Valley with some literary merit. I have looked at the book club discussion questions, which make it clear to me that there's a whole lot going on I didn't get. But the parts I did get were a fascinating exploration of where we're going. As I used to teach students, "Science Fiction is not about what it is about, it is about the time in which it was written." True here. Marvelous and gripping. (*****)

  • Bob Garfield: Bedfellows

    Bob Garfield: Bedfellows
    Co-host of NPR's "On the Media" and Slate's "Lexicon Valley," Bob Garfield is a quick-witted, sharp-tongued commentator. This novel of the modern mafia in fictional Brooklyn is humorous and amusing (albeit not really laugh-out-loud funny), with a clever yet somehow contrived plot. Lots of swearing, not too much violence. I have read several books on my Sony E-reader; this is the first book I read on the Kindle I-phone ap. Weird experience. If you'd told me I'd ever read a book on my phone... (****)

  • Maria Semple: Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    Maria Semple: Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel
    Another case where "everybody" was right. All my print and electronic media sources pointed to this as a brilliant comic novel. Clearly, my analytical skills are deficient when it comes to print, because I can only repeat what I have written about several other books here: couldn't put it down. A mother-daughter tale, told mostly through documents and emails, and a delightfully barbed skewering of Seattle, one of America's most obvious and under-skewered targets. (*****)

  • Lionel Shriver: The New Republic: A Novel

    Lionel Shriver: The New Republic: A Novel
    I am always on the outlook for the next "best journalism novel ever." For decades, Evelyn Waugh's Scoop was the gold standard, and it is still the funniest of the small handful of iconic novels that tell the truth about the life of journalists, particularly foreign correspondents. This, however, is a clever, well-written page turner that shows journos living the life I knew them to live when I was one decades ago. Plot contrivances? Sure. It was written before 9/11 and released this year, and if you didn't know you might guess. But just as Waugh's work caught the essence of the working journalist of his time, so too does this first rate novel. It deserves a place in the pantheon of "best journalism novels ever. (*****)

  • Danny Rubin: How To Write Groundhog Day

    Danny Rubin: How To Write Groundhog Day
    Regular readers know I am a sucker for all things groundhog. Still, above and beyond my fan-boy inclinations, this is a great book by a talented author, which provides insight into both the movie and the process of writing it. I literally couldn't put it down. I wrote my second-ever Amazon review to praise it. Run, don't walk to buy a copy. (*****)

  • Christopher Moore: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal

    Christopher Moore: Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal
    This book, recommended by Fr. Larry at St. Stephen's Orinda, is a rollicking read of an historical novel. It speculates about the oft-speculated question, "What did Jesus do between the ages of 12 and 32," a period the gospels do not cover. Like my maternal grandfather, Moore apparently believes Jesus went to India. The writing is brilliant, and the history is not bad either. (*****)

  • Tom Perrotta: The Leftovers

    Tom Perrotta: The Leftovers
    I heard Tom Perrotta on NPR's Fresh Air and on the New York Times Book Review podcast. He was great, and the book sounded fascinating. I love comic authors (although I was not familiar with his previous work), and the concept: the after effects of a "sort of" rapture, sounded captivating. I bought the e-book the first day it was available. I read through high spots (many) and low spots (few), only to find out that, in the end, the book didn't finish, it just ended. Now I know art doesn't wrap an ending in a bow for you, with a neon sign flashing "author's message," but I just didn't find this novel satisfying. (***)

Favorite Movies

  • My all-time favorite movie:
    Groundhog Day. I have created a fan site that is universally acknowledged to be the best on the Internet dedicated to this work of art.

    All the rest of my favorite movies (Deadline USA, The Paper, CitizenKane) are Journalism movies.

Counter

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2005