Summer Reading Suggestions by Dennis Seese

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Article in Personal Picks category.

1. The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin

An enthralling, extremely entertaining look at the Justices currently occupying seats on the United States Supreme Court. Toobin provides a fascinating glimpse of the personalities, experiences and dynamics at work between the Justices, as well as insight into important cases and decisions that you don’t have to be a legal professional to understand and appreciate. Call Number: 347.7326 Toobin

2. God Save the Fan by Will Leitch

A hilariously irreverent look at the modern sports landscape in America by the creator of the, infamously beloved, Deadspin sports blog. Deadspin’s motto is "Sports News without Access, Favor or Discretion", and that ethos applies equally to the thoughtful, acerbic essays composed exclusively for “God Save the Fan.” Sports broadcasters, journalists and fans alike are skewered by the righteous wrath of this new breed of sports commentary so be forewarned. Call Number: 796 Leitch [1]

3. Run with the Hunted: A Charles Bukowski Reader by Charles Bukowski

“If your library doesn’t have any Charles Bukowski in it, then I can’t take it seriously” LJ columnist David Wright. Luckily for the adventurous readers of Downtown C-ville, JMRL is to be taken seriously. If you aren’t familiar with Mr. Bukowksi’s voyage through the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles, “Run with the Hunted” is an excellent place to start as it features a great cross-section of his poems and stories. Call Number: 810.8 Bukowski

4. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

Orwell’s classic firsthand memoir of his involvement in the Spanish Civil War. A haunting piece of history, at turns provocative, poignant, educational, humorous and sad. Call Number: 946.081 Orwell

5. How Soccer Explains the World: an unlikely theory of globalization by Franklin Foer

A thoroughly entertaining book that taught me far more about history than I could have ever anticipated. Great chapters on the Jewish Hakoah Club of Vienna that dominated club play in pre-World War II Austria, the explosive religious underpinnings of the Celtic/Rangers rivalry, the short leap some Red Star Belgrade fans took from hooliganism to political violence and many, many other interesting topics. Call Number: 796.334 Foer

6. Stairway to Hell: the 500 best heavy metal albums in the universe by Chuck Eddy

Recommended for all popular music lovers and fans of great writing. Mr. Eddy’s definition of "Heavy Metal" is expansive enough to include entries on Prince and Miles Davis so take a chance even if you aren’t an unabashed metal fan like me, and find out life-altering things such as why Led Zeppelin II is really “an ashtray” undeserving of classic status. Call Number: 781.66 Eddy

7. The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

One of the ultimate summer reads! Join Ray Smith and Japhy Ryder (thinly disguised portrayals of Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder) as they search for enlightenment through the teachings of Buddhism, travel, hiking, mountain-climbing and ecstatic conversation. I believe “Dharma Bums” to be an easier, more fluid, read than its dense, sprawling cousin “On the Road.” Call Number: The Road Novels 1957-1960 F Kerouac

8. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

A controversial book that is hated by some, but I've always found its satire to be devastating and hilarious. Patrick Bateman is a wealthy, Wall Street denizen who leads a double-life that teeters between label and status chasing prestige during the day and fanatical bloodlust at night. How long can he keep balancing both before reality blurs the lines for good? If you are a Chuck Palahniuk fan that has not read this book, shame on you, because Chuck “re-reads it once a year.”

9. Takeover: the Return of the Imperial Presidency by Charlie Savage

Pulitzer Prize winning Boston Globe columnist Charlie Savage conducts a fascinating examination of the legal strategies used by the Bush Administration to expand the powers of the Executive Branch.

10. A cook’s tour: in search of the perfect meal by Anthony Bourdain

Part travelogue, part foodie manifesto, "A Cook’s Tour" is a collection of pieces written as Bourdain traveled the world filming his first Food Network show. Go along with Tony as he visits Normandy where he reconnects with his youth and explains how one fateful bite of an oyster ignited his passion for food. Follow him down the “haunted” streets of Phnom Penh all the way to Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in California’s Wine Country. An excellent beach read!

--Sundin 15:04, 13 June 2009 (EDT)