I’ve noticed a trend among the few blogs I have been following lately; they all review or recommend books that given blogs’ author has read. Naturally, I have my own funny spin on this issue which is that the books I’ve read are really my very own advantage over you! I don’t know what advantage exactly, or why and how I would use the info from a book to my benefit, but if you think about it… it makes sense. Right?
Anyway, I have read a lot more recently as my scooter testing days have been put on hold due to this Polish invention called the winter season. With snow on the ground I am now up to 2 reading hours a day during my commute on a street tram. I hope I will continue this reading trend once I’m back test riding again.
Truth Be Told by Larry King. If you want a deep and intimate look into the lives of celebrities and famous people alike, this is the book to read. Until his retirement last year, Larry King has been interviewing on his hit CNN show for 25 years, and then a few decades before that on the radio. From Frank Sinatra to Bill Clinton, Larry get’s people to open up with ease only he could bring to the interviewing table. The book is written in small bursts as if picking Larry’s brain. Short stories about a person, an anecdote, a thought or two, and he moves on to another story about someone else. It’s a fun read.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I’m an Apple fan boy, I can freely admit as much. I am typing this on a MacBook, I follow all news Apple related, wish I could get an iPad, and I’m pretty sure my current Android “Galaxy” adventures are only a stepping stone towards finally getting an iPhone. There is something magical about Apple and the end user experience they provide. So naturally I got an epub version of the book the day it came out in the States and read it in just a few days flat. The book is an extremely fast read, especially if you follow the company and are interested in how the technology Apple’s famous for today came about. However, I am not happy at all to have read an confirmed all the negative shit Job was known for. The guy was a dick. A genius, but a dick nonetheless. About half way through the book I became increasingly tired of his tantrums and selfishness, even as he fell ill. The first half of the book was awesome…once I got tired of Jobs’ attitude the book was pain to get through.
Gideon’s Spies by Gordon Thomas. Mossad is by far the most skilled intelligence agency in the world. Being surrounded by foes they pretty much don’t have a choice. They’re good cause they have to be. The book details many previously classified missions and the author interviews actual Mossad spies. It not only explains the role of Mossad in many current and past events, but also makes you aware that Mossad was actually involved in them to begin with. Did you know Mossad had a spy very close to Princess Diana on the night of her death? The book goes on to describe the politics of the agency, how it has changed over time since its very beginning, even describing preferred killing methods of Mossad’s kidon unit. There’s a lot to read and the author tends to sidetrack a bit, going into many levels of story within a story, but if you want to know the best spy agency out there this is surely worth the read.
As a side note… I was reading this book while Steve Jobs’ biography came out and paused for a bit while I read and finished the bio. One night I had a dream I laugh about till this day.
Steve Jobs: a Mossad Spy! That is what I got for reading two books at the same time. In my dream Jobs was a shitty spy; he kept calling everyone stupid and telling them all their spying methods were shit, but he could kill you using nothing more than an iPhone app!
Death in Brelsau by Marek Krajewski. The first in a series of adventures of Eberhard Mock, a detective working a pre-war Wrocław, then known by its German name Breslau. It’s hard to tell just how accurately the book depicts 1930′s Breslau but reading it now I felt as if I had stepped into a time machine. The same streets I walk today, albeit with their German names, are described in detail in the book. The neighborhoods then described as outside of the city are actually considered the city now and stores the characters venture to can still be found today. It’s amazing how a mind used to a modern Wrocław can quickly transform a city to its historical bliss. It is the only book I’ve read in a while in Polish and I will surely continue on to the next book in the series, “End of the World in Breslau”.
Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane. Remember the book Gone Baby Gone? Perhaps you saw the Oscar winning movie by the same title? The main characters, a detective couple, find a little girl, overcome a moral dilemma of leaving her with better people and a brighter future, and abide the law by returning her to a drug addicted mother. Well, that girl is all grown up now as this book takes place some 18 years later if I’m not mistaken. Dennis Lehane has a touch for all things Boston. I remember an interview with him regarding this book on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson where he said people just assumed that if a book or a movie was centered in or around Boston it simply had to be him. It’s a well paced thriller with a good story and a somewhat less dramatic ending. I liked it and would recommend it as well.
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin. This is the ultimate ‘rags to riches’ story. Steve Martin is a comedic genius and he deserved everything that has come to him in the latter part of his life. His beginning were tough and makes you wonder how anyone could have so much will power to go on despite the odds. From a kid magician to a national comedy star back to a recluse comedian. I saw Steve perform live in L.A. with his banjo band in one of those spur of the moments concerts I happened to come across. The book was a free ticket gift. In it he says that he always wanted to play banjo but never knew how to go about learning it. So he bought one and carried it around with him for 20 years…and somehow playing became a side product of always having it around. I read the book in one day on many connecting flights back home from Sicily. It made for a fun trip back.