book reports
April 2013


Rob Bell
I think I've read two other books by Rob Bell, but I don't remember anything about either of them. There were a few sentences towards the beginning of this that got me excited but it ended up being the same as most other explicitly Christian books in that it didn't make me love God or anyone else any more or any less.


Brecht Evens
Really great watercolor comix. Boring parties, cool parties, faces, sex, feeeeeelings, and elaborately tiled floors are all fun to look at in this book and they seem realler in here than they often seem in other comix or books or movies. There's a dude in here who everyone wants to be and hang out with and dress like, and while I was reading this I wanted to be and hang out with and dress like him too.


Justin Sirois
I got this book because the title is cool and because I've liked almost everything I've read that Publishing Genius has put out. It's about two guys from Fallujah - Salim and Khalil - who leave home when their city is attacked by U.S. forces. They decide to walk across the desert to Ramadi so that Salim can plug in his laptop and talk to his internet girlfriend. I liked and understood their friendship and their motivations and their responses to things and to each other, and I wanted to hang out with them. I read about half the book one Friday afternoon sitting on the couch by the window at Coffee Ethic. When I started the last chapter I thought I was just moving my tongue inside my mouth but I was actually saying no no no no no no no outloud and someone looked at me. I clenched my teeth hard to keep from crying. Like Salim, I often carry a backpack, and it's gotten me in a little bit of trouble a couple times. I think you can still order this for only five dollars, or if you live in Springfield you can borrow it from me for zero dollars.


Salman Rushdie
Phil Bridges was reading this and he told me I should read it too because Salman's dad's name is Anis and his mom's last name is Butt. To be fair, he had some better reasons too, but those were the first ones he said. I read Rushdie's SATANIC VERSES a few months ago and liked but didn't love it, mostly because I didn't like the ending. This is his memoir and it's mostly about the repurcussions of his writing THE SATANIC VERSES. It was a much bigger deal than I'd realized. Huge protests, bookstores were bombed, translators were murdered. Rushdie doesn't do a very good job of making himself seem likeable. He has a long memory of every petty slight against him and sometimes goes into great detail about them. The second time he cheats on his wife he explains it by solemnly quoting some lyrics from "I Try" by Macy Gray. He seems very proud of being friends with famous people, but that seemed less annoying to me when I realized that I like saying and typing the names of my friends too. So he seems like kind of an asshole, but I kind of like assholes. Nothing he or anyone else could ever write or say could ever make me want to kill them. Right? Could it? Words? What're those? God? Who's he? Fiction? What's that? What is truth? What is sacred? Who gets to tell whose stories?