Michael Kaminski: The Secret History of Star Wars

The foremost thing I want to note about The Secret History of Star Wars is that I found fascinating nuggets throughout the whole book. Next, that it represents a hell of a lot of work on Kaminski’s part — it weighs in at over 600 pages. Third, that it would benefit greatly from a strongContinue reading “Michael Kaminski: The Secret History of Star Wars”

Julie Klausner: I Don’t Care About Your Band

I had to read this book because of Klausner’s back-cover crack about “guys in their thirties who’ve never been married, ride their bikes to work, and really like Death Cab for Cutie,”* since that acurately described me when my fiancée and I started dating. (I’ve since given up on my thirties and on DCfC (IContinue reading “Julie Klausner: I Don’t Care About Your Band”

Jon Krakauer: Under the Banner of Heaven

Krakauer’s creepy, gripping book uses a brutal double murder committed by Mormon fundamentalists as a vehicle for exploring the convoluted history of Mormonism, with a special emphasis on the Mormon church’s ambivalent relationship over time with polygamy and with direct personal revelation. (I never knew, for instance, that although Joseph Smith practiced polygamy himself, heContinue reading “Jon Krakauer: Under the Banner of Heaven”

Ben Karlin (ed.): Things I Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me

Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me has an impressive list of contributors with ties to institutions that I think are almost objectively funny and trenchant: The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Mr. Show, The Onion, even McSweeney’s. It even includes a pair of essays by guys in bands I almost like. So IContinue reading “Ben Karlin (ed.): Things I Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me”

Mark Kurlansky: Salt – A World History

Several people asked me what I was reading while my answer included “a book about the history of salt.” To my bemusement, this answer was usually greeted with a drawn-out, “oh-kaaay” that seemed to ask, “Why would you want to read that?” if not “Why would anyone want to write that?” The reaction puzzled me.Continue reading “Mark Kurlansky: Salt – A World History”