Last year as I searched for material to write about, I discovered December is “Read a New Book Month.” I created a list of 10 books I wanted to read and own a physical copy of to place on my growing bookshelf throughout the year. Last week, I revisited that list, taking a look at what I read, didn’t read, and any reasons. Of those 10, there were six I didn’t read. A few of them I still want to get to, and they appear on this new reading list for 2017. There’s plenty of books I’d like to read, and old favorites I’d like to read again. This list is for books I’ve never read, but want to read and own. Of the four I read from the old list covering the previous year, I enjoyed them all and found a few new favorites. I’d like to find a few more over the coming year. Each of these would all make fine additions to my bookshelf. My “to-read” list is larger than ten. A lot larger. If you’ve read any of these books listed below, please leave a comment. I want to hear your thoughts. Should I read or not read one or any of these? Is there something similar you’d recommend?
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot (1939). Eliot wrote this collection of poems for his godchildren with himself in the role of Old Possum, the basis for the musical Cats. The music is missing, but as I understand the words and the characters are here. Including my favorite, the Rum Tum Tugger. As a rule, I’m not big on musicals, but to every rule there’s an exception, and to every exception a rule. Cats is one of those.
The Twilight Zone: Complete Stories by Rod Serling (1963). If you follow my blog you aren’t surprised to find this listed. The book is a collection of 19 scripts written by Rod Serling he adapted into short stories. This is out of print, but broken down into three paperback collections. The hardcover listed is available at various outlets used. I have no problem with used books as long as they are in good condition.
Barabbas by Par Lagerkvist (1950). The film version starring Anthony Quinn in the title role is not only one of my favorite Easter films, but films overall. I’ve got the film, and would love to have the novel and review each and compare and contrast. There’s a time for everything, and the time for Barabbas is Easter. I need to check a calendar and plan accordingly.
The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse, with a foreword by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (1973). Last year, one book on my list was Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72. I read it, and it became a new favorite before I finished the final page. One of the names mentioned throughout was Timothy Crouse, Thompson’s partner in covering the 1972 presidential campaign for Rolling Stone. I’d like to get another point of view on the campaign trail, and some inside stories on the good doctor.
The Serpent and the Rainbow by Wade Davis (1985). You might be more familiar with the film, but first it was a non-fiction book. This is a true account of Davis’ hunt in Haiti for the voodoo “zombie drug.” I’ve seen the film a few times. It’s ok, but too much Hollywood. I’d like to know the written truth and see how much Hollywood bastardized it. Then I can review both book and film. I’m not a zombie fan, but this fits in well with the Hollywood season.
I Stooged to Conquer: The Autobiography of the Leader of the Three Stooges by Moe Howard (2013). If you’ve followed my blog over the last year, you know I’m a big Three Stooges fan. Last year I read the autobiography of Harpo Marx from my list. It quickly became a new favorite. In reviewing The Three Stooges Ultimate Collection, I found snippets of quotes Moe had said or written. I’d like to hear the entire story from the man who was there from the trio’s humble beginnings until the final curtain.
Cosmos by Carl Sagan (1980). Unbelievable as it sounds, I’ve never seen a single episode of the series. I’d like to though and pair the series with the book. One of my favorite television programs is Ancient Aliens, but I know nothing about the vast reaches of space. I’d like a bit more background, and can think of no better place to start.
Hank Williams: The Biography by Colin Escot (1994). I grew up with a mix tape (yes, a cassette tape) filled with 70s Southern Rock, but the end of one side was full of Hank. I love Hank, and his grandson Hank III. The opinion seems to be this is the best Hank biography, and the only one worth reading. No, I didn’t see the recent biopic, as I never saw a good review for it. There’s one from the early 1960s and I hear it’s not bad. I’d rather read a good book than watch a bad film.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (2012). Dear readers, I am an introvert. An introvert’s introvert to be correct. I’ve read many a good review of how this is not only a good book, but helped those who read it. Some may view this as self-help and read it for their own reasons. I view this as self-understanding and want to read it for mine.
You Can’t Win by Jack Black (1926). You’ve never heard of the book or the author. No, it’s not that Jack Black. What we have here is an obscure cult classic, and if not for reading William S. Burroughs Junky, I wouldn’t have heard of it. Burroughs cited this as his favorite book. It’s the autobiography of an unknown thief.
Once again, I’d love any feedback on these books and/or their authors. Is there something else I should read that falls in here instead?
Copyright © Drew Martin 2016