Book 61: News of the World by Paulette Jiles

When I think Western I think Cormac McCarthy’s blood-drenched Blood Meridian, a novel of such unrelentingly nihilistic violence that barely a page passes without a shooting or a stabbing or a scalping or a good old-fashioned garrotting. But mostly scalping. Continue reading “Book 61: News of the World by Paulette Jiles”

Book 60: A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston

I don’t normally go in for celebrity biographies but a) it’s summer and b) I’m recovering from surgery so I’m definitely in the mood for junk food.

That’s not to say Bryan Cranston’s memoir is trash. It’s light but by no means vapid, and boasts some valuable insights into the actor’s craft. Continue reading “Book 60: A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston”

Book 59: Moonglow by Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon packs everything into his new novel: war, mental illness, family, love, death, grief, science, the space race. And yet by the end I was left wondering: just what was the point of all that?

It’s a book overstuffed not just with topics but detail too – as if Chabon did years of research and couldn’t bring himself to leave any of it out – but there’s a strange emptiness at its core. Continue reading “Book 59: Moonglow by Michael Chabon”

Book 58: A Perfect Union of Contrary Things by Sarah Jensen

Maynard James Keenan – singer and creative force behind Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer – is the greatest human being that ever lived.

So much more than an accomplished musician, according to Sarah Jensen’s new hagiography: athlete, artist, actor, philosopher, spiritualist, humorist, provocateur, winemaker extraordinaire. Everything Maynard does he does well and with preternatural ease. Continue reading “Book 58: A Perfect Union of Contrary Things by Sarah Jensen”