Monday, May 10, 2010

Just bringing my log of books read so far this year up to date.

To April's list I need to add Last Words by George Carlin and 700 Sundays by Billy Crystal. Two bios by two very different comedians. Carlin's book is more a retrospective of his life and the things he's learned along the way. Sprinkled in among the memories are some great stories of the people he met and worked with as well as excerpts from some of his more famous routines (remember the Hippy Dippy Weatherman? With your hippy dippy weather, man!). Crystal's book is more a tribute to his dad and to other family members. He tells tales about his aunts and uncles and, of course, his love of baseball comes through as well (I'd include a link to his website, but it appears he doesn't have one).

Of the two, Carlin's was a much better read. Although Crystal's book is shorter (by nearly a hundred pages), Carlin's is more insightful about the human condition. As always, he has wonderful plays on words and a cutting cynicism of pomposity. Crystal's is a book of stories. Period. If you're looking to read one or the other, I'd definitely recommend George Carlin's last book. In pace requiscat.

I also read a biography of William Shakespeare (okay, so I'm a closet bio fan. Sue me!). Written by Bill Bryson and entitled Shakespeare; The World as Stage, this is as unpretentious and delightful biographer of the English language's best writer (yes, I said best and I'm sticking with it!). Bryson's incredible research exposes many of the wilder theories regarding our old friend Will while giving fun explanations of the big holes we have in the playwright's life. It's a short read (less than 200 pages) filled with humor and an obvious love and respect for the man who gave so much to English literature.

I think that catches me up! Look for another short story this Thursday. Till then,

Play safe!

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