Friday, May 06, 2005



Since I recommend a lot of authors, writers, books and movies on a wide-ranging variety of topics, but don't have the technical wherewithall to do a customized, indexed weblog archive, I thought I'd mention a couple of favorites as well as extend an offer to give more specific recommendations on request. (Also another way of finding out if anyone is actually reading my daily output other than my fourteen-month-old poodle, peering over my shoulder from my Barcalounger reclining chair.)

Anyway, here goes: I loved the books My Name is Light by Elsa Osorio and Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas, and I envy the supreme talents of Sherman Alexie, whose book The Business of Fancydancing I've already reread twice. Just Passing Through by Paco Ignacio Taibo and The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano as well. Not to mention Zoli by Colum McCann, The Midnight Choir by Gene Kerrigan and The Lemur by Benjamin Black.

Everything written by Dashiell Hammett, author of Red Harvest, The Big Knockover and The Maltese Falcon.

As for movies, The China Syndrome, The Tracker, Last King of Scotland, Fog of War, War & Peace, MilkIn the Name of the Father, Tetro, Pleasantville, Brazil, Dead Man, City of God, In July, Breaking Away, Das Boot, Master and CommanderBlackbeard the Pirate, Reap the Wild WindThe Commitments, The Station Agent, Seabiscuit, The Secret of Roan Inish, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Plus the documentary Freedom Riders.

And, I need to include the delightful musical Popeye.

Humphrey Bogart films are, of course, in a league of their own. The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of Sierra Madre, The African Queen and Casablanca are classics beyond compare.

HBOs series The Wire was truly Shakespearean. Detective Montalbano and The Young Montalbano series were splendid.

One of my favorite writers is Malcolm Gladwell, who makes frequent contributions to the The New Yorker magazine, and whose 1997 article Damaged still haunts me. All Malcolm's articles are archived at and well worth a look. (His attempts at authoring, however, fall short of his exceptional skills as a journalist.)

The Breakdown of States, an insightful occasional paper by Dr. Richard Griggs, is available through the online archives of the Center for World Indigenous Studies where there is a literal treasure trove of views from the Fourth World (stateless nations) that opened my mind to encouraging new realities.

Other favorites have already appeared here, so I won't repeat them, but rather encourage readers to comb through my archives. Two notable exceptions to that are Modern Jihad by Loretta Napoleoni, and A Hundred Little Hitlers by Elinor Langer.

And finally, for pure pleasure, the Captain Aubrey/Dr. Maturin series of novels by Master and Commander author Patrick O'Brian or the Hornblower saga by C.S. Forester are just what the doctor ordered when you find yourself weary of the modern world or marooned on a deserted island.

That ought to be enough to get you through Memorial Day--Ciao

ps--Here's some links to some of my favorite fiction writers:


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