Well that was fun. 62 books down – the most I’ve read in a single year since I was a teenager. Or maybe ever.
I feel like I barely scratched the surface of what came out in 2016, let alone the massive backlog I’ve accumulated. Continue reading “The best books of 2016”
This is the kind of satire I love: satire with teeth. And claws. And serrated bonesaws.
This year’s Man Booker Prize-winner, The Sellout is a brutal and uncompromisng black comedy – and I mean that both in terms of tone and skin colour. Continue reading “Book 62: The Sellout by Paul Beatty”
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”
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”
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”
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”