The Bestest 2006 – Bookishness


Night – by Ellie Wiesel
Like “The Painted Bird” before it, this thin, horrifying memoir of the concentration camps at the end of WWII, the realities of this author’s survival and existence read like a surreal fiction. Sixty years later, the cloud of Nazi Germany still feels like a blanket trying to shake free.

Prep – by Curtis Sittenfeld
Reluctantly I found myself revisiting prep school through the eyes of a girl also from the Midwest. Although often it bordered on the aggravating, “Prep” is a good a look at the modern prep school experience as there has been in quite a while.

Everything bad Is Good For You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter – by Steven Johnson
This book will provide a great of comfort to those who were either the product a of a household that was loose about things like TV and video games, or parents who are inclined to believe that natural interests are better than ones that are enforced. Bad things are good, if you believe these compelling arguments, and for that I will now consider buying my first game console since Intellivision, in 1980.

Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film” – by Peter Biskind
A few years after the runaway “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” Biskind is back slinging the inside scoop on the seemingly benevolent indie film business. Below the surface you see him transform the Weinstein’s Miramax lovefest into a living Hell run brutal dictators with good taste and lots of muscle. As for Sundance even the lovable Robert Redford is depicted not as a down home folk hero, but an indecisive control freak. This is muckraking fun for indie film zealots.

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