Always Judge A Book By Its Title

Judge Books By Their Titles

It is, without doubt, juvenile and superficial to judge a book by something so insubstantial as a title. That's why I love to do it, and sometimes my poor judgment has led me to a worthwhile read. The classic example is Steal This Book, Abbie Hoffman's 1971 guide to living like a cheap, thieving hippie. I'm surprised […]

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Not So Pretty Pictures

Not So Pretty Pictures

I love me some gritty pictures. A few years back, when everyone discovered Vivian Maier's photographs of day-to-day life in Chicago, I couldn't get enough of them, but it doesn't stop with her. There's a lot of dirt in the world and plenty of photographers to capture it. Gangsters & Grifters is a series of gloriously reproduced newspaper pictures displaying the awful things […]

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Making Movies Is Hard

How to Make a Movie

Movies are fun. They have to be. They want your money. Making one, on the other hand, can be quite more difficult. That's why it's so entertaining to find out how a crowd of unrelated people pile together to set up pretty pictures on a screen. Pure Imagination is a genial retelling of the making of Willy Wonka and the […]

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Sad, Sad, Sad, Sad Funny People

Sad Sad Sad Sad Funny People

If comedy has taught me anything, it's that trauma is hilarious. I have laughed much too often at the horrible things comedians do to themselves. When I read about their lives, they do their best to put a funny spin on awful things, and I just can't put the books down. Artie Lange made his name on […]

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Poor Memories

Famous People Lie

People, as a rule, are generally awful, and when people start worrying about their reputations, they instinctively stretch the truth to make their lives more appealing than they actually are. So it's fun to read books about famous people talking about themselves. When you worry what you'll look like in the light of day, reality starts to bend. […]

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Trapped

Trapped

It's easy to feel trapped by circumstance. Something goes wrong in your personal life, and suddenly you have nowhere to go and there's nothing you can do about it. But books about people who were actually trapped can teach you how lucky you are. In 2010, reporters all over the world were enraptured by the story of 33 Chilean […]

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Wannabe Librarians

Wannabe Librarians

It's a plain fact that everyone wants to be a librarian. The job brings such fantastic excitement and wealth, schoolchildren spend their waking hours dreaming of one day curating the glistening temples of knowledge known to the layman simply as Libraries. But not everyone has what it takes to be a librarian. We can only mourn […]

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Fallen Idols

Fallen Idols

Athletes make for the best tragedies. There's something about an overpowered beast wrecking himself for your petty entertainment that brings out the epic glory of success and failure. The sheer potential of it has produced a host of biographies about big, strong people and their weaknesses. Mickey Mantle may have had more natural talent than anyone […]

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I Don’t Like Nazis

I Don't Like Nazis

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and I'm sure I'm going to offend somebody, but sometimes a man just needs to take chances. I have to say it. I don't like Nazis. They rub me the wrong way, and for some reason, they have a bad habit of turning up everywhere. Swastika […]

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Travel Like You Mean It

Travel Like You Mean It

Lots of people travel just to find out who they are. Maybe they're going through a divorce or struggling with addiction, or maybe they have a suicidal love of nature, but they're all finding themselves on the road. I don't like it. I already know who I am and I'm boring. I prefer travel books about people trying […]

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