pinup-librarian“I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.” – Ron Burgundy

Despite whatever impressions you may have formed from reading the rants I dole out here on this site, I actually do enjoy reading; yelling at the computer screen each time the schism between pop culture and real life grows wider…..well, that’s just a hobby. But unlike my author-amigo Josh Conviser and my idiot-savant brother Buns, I don’t delve into real intellectual-like tomes on a regular basis. So somewhere between People Magazine (a favorite target of fury) and A Brief History Of Time by Stephen Hawking is where I like to get my read on. I enjoy authors that make me laugh, make me feel like I’m being let in on a hilarious family secret or just a wild yarn about some crazy adventure. I’m curious as to what you guys are reading….so give me some literary suggestions that might make a Missouri winter a little less hostile. And I thought I’d share with you the latest selections that were in my rotation. Enjoy.

1. Born To Run (Christopher McDougall) – this guy is the kind of outdoors author I’d want to hang out with based on both his superb ability to tell a tale and to utilize language to which I can relate. In other words- he’s not taking an incredibly serious subject too damn seriously. An awesome account of people who run for no other reason than a love of running, this book on the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyons makes my whining about 3 mile runs seem even more pathetic.

2. I Was Told There’d Be Cake (Sloane Crosley) – a collection of essays by a hilarious observer of life in New York City, this girl has the acid wit that made me laugh out loud while reading a few times; and yes, it was in public, and yes, I looked even MORE like an idiot than I already do.

3.) Water For Elephants (Sara Gruen) – I really enjoyed escaping into this one, and it read kind of like a grown-ups version of Polar Express. It was elegant and graceful – two traits that have eluded me all my life.

4.) BOBOS In Paradise (David Brooks) – this book attempts to reconcile the Bohemian and bourgeois lifestyles (hence BOBOS) in a very definitive study of how aging hippies can afford to live in places like Santa Barbara and not feel guilty about it. It’s something of a hard read in that it tends to be dry as toast at parts, and this explains why it’s taken me so long to slog through the thing. Plus, I don’t think that I possess the kind of intellectual capital which would afford me a “summer” home in Martha’s Vineyard. I’ll continue through to the end, however, because there are some pretty eye-opening theories that he puts forth with regards to wealth and values.

5.) Let My People Go Surfing- The Education Of A Reluctant Businessman (Yvon Chouinard) – possessing all the ingredients for a potentially badass read, the founder of Patagonia wrote this horrible turd of a book that was impossible for me to finish. It had everything I love – life on the ocean, blacksmithing, the West Coast that is my home and it still managed to irk me to no end. Was it his condescending tone? The apparent megalomania? The holier-than-thou approach to environmental conservation? The constant self-congratulations? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I gave the book back to the friend I borrowed it from, muttering that I’d just like to cold-cock the smug bastard/author in a bar sometime. So much for my time-tested approach of judging a book by it’s cover……apparently, you can’t.

6.) Classic Trains, Fall 2009 – because, really, who doesn’t like steam trains?