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I Was Thankful for a Lot of Reading Time in November

Nothing like the combo of some time off and some airplane/airport travel  when you like losing yourself in a book. Here’s what was cookin’:

“It’s Good To Be The King: The Seriously Funny Life of Mel Brooks” by James Robert Parish (2007) Packed with anecdotes and first-hand accounts, this is both personal bio and professional guide to Mel’s work. Don’t miss the endearing way he manages to get his first date with future wife Anne Bancroft.

“Debunking Howard Zinn” by Mary Grabar (2019) Zinn’s the founding father of hate-America revisionist history, polluting everything from the Democratic party platform to the curriculum your kid’s consuming in school while you read this. Grabar summarizes and slaps-down his lies.

“Fear Itself” by Walter Mosley (2003) Read every novel Mosley writes. It’s as good as modern American literature gets.

“The Teenage Brain” by Dr. Frances Jensen (2015) The doc is a neurologist specializing in the the study of young brain function. In this easy-to-read and fascinating book, she explains how much of puzzling or frustrating teen behavior is not choice or rebellion (although there’s that too), but simply a brain that hasn’t fully developed. They may look like adults to us, but our teen son’s and daughter’s brains are years behind, and the last part to mature is…the management/good decisions part.

“The Bodies Left Behind” by Jeffrey Deaver (2008) Deaver always delivers breathless suspense. Here, a young sheriff’s deputy checking out a quick 911 hangup falls into a bloody chase through the woods where it becomes hard to tell who  the good guys are.

“Floating City” by Eric von Lustbader (1994) He’s one of my favorite thriller writers, so I’m biased. His hero, Nicholas Linnear, is battling a shadowy figure called “The Rock” in the Vietnamese jungle, the Japanese underworld, and of course, all through Linnear’s own complicated past life.

“Trouble in Triplicate” by Rex Stout (1949) A trilogy of Nero Wolfe mysteries, another of my faves.

“Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, The Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hodel” by Steve Hodel  (2008) Hodel’s been on our show many times. A retired LAPD detective, he gradually and horrifyingly came to realize that his mysterious father, an infamous figure in postwar L.A., was probably a monster. The son builds the case against the father. Gruesome, true crime stuff.

“Hickory Dickory Death” by Agatha Christie (1955) Poirot solves murders at a youth hostel. Kind of an oddity in the series. Could be skipped if you’re reading them in order.

“The Patriots Club” by Christopher Reich (2005) Reich’s one of the best thriller writers no one knows about. In this one, a rising young financial wizard’s life is turned upside down when he’s framed for a series of crimes he didn’t commit.

To Have and Have Not” by Ernest Hemingway (1937) Papa’s unforgettable fishing boat captain, Harry Morgan, right out of the Old Testament and deposited between Cuba and Florida in the Depression ’30s.


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