Read these too…updated yet again

R. Crumb’s Genesis will make your eyes bug out. I’ve heard people describe it as irreverent, while other people say its literal-mindedness is a form of reverence. You’ll have to decide for yourself. It’s best taken one small bit at a time. I don’t advise plowing through the whole thing at once. I loved At Swim, Two Birds by Flann O’Brien, nee Bryan O’Nolan. What a riot. To read this book is to find yourself caught up in an elaborate prank. Sometimes you’re in on the prank. Other times, the joke’s on you. This novel feels very contemporary, so it’s a shocker to look at the publication date. I also enjoyed Flannery, by Brad Gooch. Flannery O’Connor once said, “As for biographies, there won’t be any biographies of me because, for only one reason, lives spent between the house and the chicken yard do not make exciting copy.” She was wrong for once. The Gutenberg Elegies by Sven Birkerts provides great insight into the fallout from new technologies “at the expense of the printed word.” And the weird thing is, it was published back in 1994!! Joe Queenan is best known for his hilariously nasty essays and reviews, but he’s turned out an excellent memoir, Closing Time, which has much more pathos than his usual work, but with moments of guilty hilarity sprinkled in.

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