When I blogged about notable books I couldn't get through, it occurred to me that it would be even more fun to talk about ones I could. Let me preface this post by saying I read nonfiction almost exclusively these days -- just as with television and films, I turned a corner years ago where I just found real life to be infinitely more fascinating than anything someone could make up -- so skipping "The Imperfectionists" might be easier than it looks. Here's a quick look at what's landed on my nightstand in recent weeks. Feedback and recommendations highly welcomed!
And finally ... Although she's been writing books for nearly 50 years, Joan Didion wasn't really on my radar until "The Year of Magical Thinking"came out in 2005. (It won the National Book Award for Nonfiction that year.) I bought it but never read it, then found out a blog pal of mine was good friends with Didion's daughter, Quintana, so picked up "Blue Nights" over the weekend, the new book in which Didion reflects on her only child's unexpected death, and examines her fears regarding illness and growing old. If solipsism isn't your cup of tea, stay away from this one. But I eat this stuff for breakfast -- KENNETH IN THE (212)! -- and while "Blue Nights" reads more like a doodle pad compiled on a shrink's sofa than a coherent book, all of the Hollywood and New York City name-dropping and glamorous parties and travels are more than enough to keep me engrossed, just as hearing a mother beat herself up for mistakes she might have made is enough to break my heart. Am now curious about Didion's 1979 essay collection, "The White Album," in which she recounts prison meetings with Linda Kasabian, a former member of the Manson family who was testifying against the group for the grisly Tate/LaBianca murders.