The Summer Reading List

Fifty Books You Need To Read

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Expletive Deleted: A Good Look at Foul Language
Ruth Wajnryb (Free Press, July 13)
Motherfucker! “Cunt” is easily the most insulting word in English — did you know that? Find out more, and see lots of naughty words in print.

The Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel
Rachael Antony and Joel Henry
Get off the goddamn tour bus you pallid git and find out 40 ways to experience the place you’re visiting.

Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed

Simon Blackburn (Oxford Univ. Press)
What is truth? Is it worth seeking? What about truth or dare? Is it a good game to play? Why is Derrida such a punk? Find out, with this beach read from the world’s most readable philosopher.

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (William Morrow)
The early line on Freakonomics — from young ivy-tenured economists Levitt and Dubner (who probably refer to themselves as the “two Steves.” Awesome!) — is that it’s Gladwellian without the training wheels. Sounds fun, if only to replenish the dinner party arsenal.

Jack Welch (HarperBusiness)
You should steal retired General Electric CEO Jack Welch’s new memoir, co-written with recently acquired wife Suzy, for the sole purpose of urinating on it, dousing it with lighter fluid and setting the thing aflame while yelling, “Straight from the gut, Jacko!” Yes, that’s anger you’re detecting.

The Complete New Yorker: Eighty Years of the Nation’s Greatest Magazine
David Remnick (October)
Ok, this doesn’t come out till October, but we’re flipping our respective lids here in The L offices. Comprehensive, searchable New Yorker archives on a CD ROM? Worth picking up for keyword “Parker” alone (or “Liebling” if your tastes go that way). You can place a pre-order now for $64. After the release the price gets bumped up to a cool c-note ($100)


Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads
Greil Marcus (PublicAffairs)
Like with The Wall, legend has it that it’s impossible to read all 283 pages of this book aloud in a Dylan voice without killing yourself afterwards.

The Rock Snob’s Dictionary: An Essential Lexicon of Rockological Knowledge
David Kamp, Steven Daly (Broadway)
Pffft, like you, faithful L reader, need this book. You probably even know the textbook definition of “rockological.”

Big Bosoms and Square Jaws: The Biography of Russ Meyer, King of the Sex Film
Jimmy McDonough (Crown, June 28)
A new biography on the legendary filmmaker whose late 1950s work with enormous-breasted women helped launch the sexual revolution.

Out of the Inkwell: Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution
Richard Fleischer (University Press of Kentucky, June 30)
Richard Fleischer celebrates the life of his father, the revolutionary cartoonist behind Popeye, Betty Boop, and the bouncing ball of “follow the bouncing ball!” fame.

CBGB and OMFUG: Thirty Years from the Home of Underground Rock
Various Authors (Harry N. Abrams, July 1)
David Byrne takes a break from PowerPoint presentations to pen the afterword for this anthology of commentaries and photos about the legendary club — though probably not about its legendary bathrooms.

Bruce Lee: Fighting Words
Bruce Thomas (Frog Ltd., July 10)
A collection of short anecdotes and essays on the late, great martial artist. This book will probably not kick your ass (unless you taunt it).

King Kong Cometh
Paul A. Woods (ed.) (Plexus Press, July 10)
Trace the evolution of the giant gorilla from the 1920s versions all the way up to Peter Jackson’s forthcoming mega-blockbuster starring Jack Black, miscast as someone other than the ape.


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