Archive for the 'Book review' Category

Petal Pusher by Laurie Lindeen

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Riding your bike and reading books from the public library.

This morning I finished reading Laurie Lindeen‘s beautiful and moving (in parts) and laughing-so-hard-milk-snorts-out-your-nostrils funny (in other parts) new book, Petal Pusher. I wanted to quote some of the funny parts, but I gave my copy to my girlfriend, as a gift, immediately after finishing it and it’s over at her apartment right now (and I’m not), etc. But, anyway…

You’ll probably get your own ‘message’ from the book, because it’s about a lot of things (and the author’s writing is too intelligent for it to be the type of book that would overtly have a single ‘high-concept’ message, anyway). But, to me, it was about the fact that maybe you can go home again. Maybe home is just things like reading books and riding your bike around with a friend, and not doing the things that make you feel bad in the long run. Maybe home is the things you did when you were a kid when you were happy (more or less, relatively speaking (relative to the complicated, messy, decidedly non-happy corner you might have painted yourself into now as a so-called adult)).

But, that’s not exactly what the book is about. It’s about a lot of things and it’s not something some moron blogger (my name is Paul) can summarize in 500 words. So, just read the book for yourself, because it’s super good.

Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman

Monday, August 15th, 2005

Chuck Klosterman’s Killing Yourself to Live is worth buying in hardback. I bought it and finished it about a day or two later. It’s not as good as his magnum opus Fargo Rock City, but then how many books are?

However, I would like to have seen a bit more about Bob Stinson. And Paul Westerberg, for that matter. But Westerberg is still alive, so that wouldn’t have been too relevant to this book. Although, Klosterman did have some nice thoughts on the Replacements.

While I’m sort of on the subject of the Replacements and Paul Westerberg, I’d like to propose a thesis of sorts… Just sort of float this idea out there… Aimee Mann and Paul Westerberg are the best pop songwriters since Lennon-McCartney or at least since Difford-Tilbrook. They’re also similar in some way or ways that I can’t quite put my fingers on. Maybe it’s because they’re both classicists. Both of them write songs that are in the classic pop song tradition—there’s nothing particularly avant-garde about either of them. Just verse-chorus-bridge, etc. (Nick Hornby actually describes this better in an essay on Mann than I can.) But, anyway, they’re both great. And I can’t really think of one without thinking of the other for some reason. Even though they’ve never actually wrote together (and I hope they never do, because that sort of thing always ends up being a bit of a disappointment), I kind of think of them as Mann-Westerberg (or Westerberg-Mann, if you prefer).

But, I digress. Getting back to Killing Yourself to Live. Ultimately, the author should have listened to his friend Lucy Chance.