Books

I am a voracious reader, so I thought it would be interesting to mention what types of books I like and which authors I admire, and see if I get responses from like-minded individuals, or scathing flames from those in opposition.


P.J. O'Rourke
Social Commentary

snapshot of Republican Party Reptile
  P.J. O'Rourke is a prolific writer. He is an incredibly intelligent storyteller. Ummm....

There are not enough words to describe the joy I feel munching on Mr. O'Rourke's works. And I don't care how that sounds. I have read all of his books, all more than once. He relays his journeys to us all: visiting war-torn Beirut, political events in Washington and beyond, exploring Russia with other Americans (and seeing very few actual Russians), and on and on, mercilessly, practically, and with great wit. He takes current events and honestly expresses them through his unique eyes. Sometimes I disagree with him, most times I do not. Republican Party Reptile showcases not only his healthily cynical political beliefs, but his enormous ability to cut through the red tape regarding some of the United States' more ridiculous undertakings. Some of the most enjoyable moments of my life have been spent reading Mr. O'Rourke's musings. He has written a lot of books and articles - find them and read them.

Republican Party Reptile, published by The Atlantic Monthly Press © 1987 by P.J. O'Rourke ISBN 0-87113-145-5.


Hunter S.
Thompson

Social Commentary

snapshot of  The Great Shark Hunt
 

Hunter. Of course I've heard of him -- who hasn't? But it took a film to kick start real interest. Terry Gilliam, who deserves the moniker "Best Director Ever in the History of This Planet", recently brought Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to the big screen, and rammed it right down my throat. I immediately began reading all the Thompson I could find, in order. Thompson's fourth book (and mine), The Great Shark Hunt, is required reading for any Gonzo fan. There are articles spanning several decades, from Thompson's South American period, to the years following his infamous Las Vegas journey. This is a huge book, both in size and undertaking. In the middle of the dullest day whilst stuck in a huge crowd of people, cracking this book finds me with Hunter, viewing a side of life best seen only through his eyes. Thank you, Hunter, for reminding me that real adventure is rarely found inside of a guide book. The Great Thompson Hunt has a lot of detailed information on one of our greatest living writers.

The Great Shark Hunt, published by Ballantine Books © 1979 by Hunter S. Thompson ISBN 0-345-37482-7.


Len Deighton
The Bernard
Sampson Novels

snapshot of Berlin Game
 

I am addicted to this series of novels. Bernard Sampson is working for British Secret Services. He's on the Berlin Desk and, although not a field agent, seems to spend an awful lot of time risking his neck in pre-1989 East Berlin and points far beyond. Compelling reading, especially if you like the type of spy novels where the agent is believable. There are nine novels: Berlin Game, Mexico Set, London Match, Spy Hook, Spy Line, Spy Sinker, and Faith, Hope, and Charity. I understand that there is a BBC miniseries of "Game, Set and Match." If anyone has any information to confirm this, let me know. Also... don't miss Winter, a pre-quel to this series. Fascinating look at Germany, 1890 - 1945. The Deighton Dossier

Berlin Game, published by Ballantine Books © 1983 by Len Deighton ISBN 0-345-31498-0.


Peter Mayle
The Provence
Stories

snapshot of A Year in Provence
 

A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence are two of the most "wish I was there" novels I have ever read. I can nearly smell the French countryside and taste the exquisite cuisine. I almost feel like the Mayle's are family that I haven't visited in a long while, and the books are gushing, voluptuous letters from home, informing of the the comings and goings of the area. Visiting Provence is on my "Things To Do Before I Die" list, and these delightful novels are largely to blame.

A Year in Provence, published by Vintage Departures © 1991 by Peter Mayle ISBN 0-679-73114-8.

Index

Last revision: 25 March, 2008
First date online: 09 November, 2010