NYTBR 19 April 2009: The Short List

Books Self Is Interested in Reading After Perusing the 19 April 2009 Issue of The New York Times Book Review (and it is still overcast, sigh) :

  1. After reading Alison McCulloch’s review of Chloe Hooper’s Tall Man:  The Death of Doomadgee:
  2. Chloe Hooper’s Tall Man:  The Death of Doomadgee

  3. After reading Pico Iyer’s review of Geoff Dyer’s new novel, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi:
  4. Martin Amis’ Money
    Geoff Dyer’s Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

  5. After reading Jennifer Senior’s review of Dave Cullen’s Columbine:
  6. Dave Cullen’s Columbine

  7. After reading Sandeep Jauhar’s review of Sherwin B. Nuland’s new book, The Soul of Medicine: Tales From the Bedside:
  8. Sherwin B. Nuland’s The Soul of Medicine: Tales From the Bedside

  9. After reading Blake Wilson’s capsule reviews in the Nonfiction Chronicle:
    Leon F. Litwack’s How Free is Free? The Long Death of Jim Crow
    Paule Marshall’s Triangular Road: A Memoir
    Kevin Roose’s The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University
    A. J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically

The Garden, Yesterday, After Rain

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day . . .

The Garden on the 5th of May, 2009

The Garden on the 5th of May, 2009

Vanity Fair’s “New Legends of Comedy”

All right, so it appeared in last month’s issue, yet. Last month, self was sooo distracted by other things (Such as what? Such as her garden, of course!)

Now, she’s catching up with all her reading (in spite of spending hours and hours with Charles C. Mann’s 1491).

In April issue, Vanity Fair attempts to put right a serious wrong: Christopher Hitchens’ boorish article of some years ago, whose exceedingly lame thesis was that women just aren’t funny. To which, self can only respond: HA HA HA HA HA HA. They got a ton of mail from funny women. Marie Claire also did an issue on funny women, earlier this year. Now that one was a classic. Especially since the women who took part in the discussion (Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Kudrow, Laraine Newman) are some of self’s faves.

Now, let’s see what VF has to say about the comics it’s lined up, shall we?

1st page: “The Pretty Young Things: Jonah Hill, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel” (Whatever. Next!)

2nd page: “The Breakthrough: Danny McBride” (Who is this??? Caption claims he was on “Pineapple Express,” playing “a freakish low-life dealer who never starts a fight he can’t lose in an extremely painful manner.” Well, OK, but does that really rate a mention as a “breakthrough”? Next!)

3rd page: “The Comic: Russell Brand” (Yes, yes, YEEES!!! ’nuff said. Next!)

4th page: “The Honeymooners: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Jason Bateman, and Leslie Mann” (OK, about this one, self says Yes to Bill Hader, for he cracked her up exceedingly in “Pineapple Express.” Since Anna Faris’ claim to being included in this company is an appearance on “The House Bunny,” which — why the hell would self want to see that??? — Next! Self loves Jason Bateman and Leslie Mann who — has anyone noticed? — is so gorgeous now!)

5th page: “The Role Model: Paul Rudd” (Be-wigged, made up, practically unrecognizable. Next!)

6th page: “The Chopper: Jonah Hill” (OK, but listen to these over-the-top lines penned by self-knows-not-which VF writer: Even when he plays characters who tend to freak out over little things — think of his germophobic tizzy in “Knocked Up”‘s hospital scene or his anxiety attack outside the liquor store in “Superbad” — Jonah Hill exudes a feeling of calm. His steady gaze and deliberate, crystal-clear way with a line bring to mind Christopher Walken.)

The writer actually compared Jonah Hill to Chris Walken. Chris Walken. (Come to think of it, everyone seems to be compared to Chris Walken these days. Self remembers reading a review of vastly under-rated “Fighting,” a few days ago, which said Terrence Howard appeared to be “channeling Chris Walken.” NOT!)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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