Blog: Skewed Views & News

Required reading

Party of Two, please!

This summer kicked off with an unexpected but super cool honor for me. The wildly popular website listed The Accidental Adult on its “Guys’ Summer Book Guide” as one of six books for cool guys and hip dads. That got me thinking. If I were to compile a summer reading list for fellow accidental adults – male and female alike – what would I recommend? Since I can’t report on books I haven’t actually read (unlike my freshman year book report on Wuthering Heights), my summer reading list is short, but sweet.

Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life by Steve Almond
If you’re willing to admit that you may love music just a little too much, this could be the book for you. Each chapter is an essay that delves into the delusional power of songs with occasional sidebars that deconstruct song lyrics showing the absurdity of many songwriters. I know a lot of guys whose passion for music is only surpassed by their fruitless attempts at making you feel exactly what they feel when they listen to a favorite song. Sure it’s occasionally annoying, but understandable. Little in life comes close to matching the power of music. Especially if it’s 1980s alternative, hard rock or new wave. Which brings me to . . .

Talking to Girls about Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield
Seriously? Someone wrote a book of essays revealing “one young man’s quest for true love and a cooler haircut?” Littered with tales of teen angst and heartbreak, all set to a soundtrack of musical references ranging from Prince to The Smiths to Madonna to Hall & Oates? Let’s get this guy a Pulitzer, stat.

Look at My Striped Shirt! by The Phat Phree
For me the highest compliment is hearing that your book made someone laugh out loud.  Not only do I laugh out loud every time I pick up this book and fall onto a new essay, I once actually laughed so hard I cried. Unfortunately, I was alone in a bar waiting to meet a buddy, and I’m sure the server thought I was whacked. Billed as “A look inside the heads of the must infuriating douchebags on Earth,” this collaborative effort delivers wickedly funny essays from a cadre of talented comedy writers posing as the d-bags themselves, with essays like, “High school football is all I have,” “I will get off this plane before you,” “I just made some statements I can’t back up,” and “Does this outfit make me look slutty enough?” Even their web site, is phunny, phunny stuff.

The Onion
I know it’s not a book, but this satirical newspaper (which originated from my home state of Wisconsin) is a must-read for anyone who likes clever, sarcastic and biting commentary. And yes, that last sentence was just a shameless plug that I can use when I pitch them. (Let me write just one story, guys! It will complete my world!) Favorite recent articles include, “Mom Finally Drunk Enough To Put On Bathing Suit,” “Area Man Experimenting With Homosexuality For Past 8 Years” and “North Dakota Still Leads Nation In Parking Availability.” This onion doesn’t make my eyes water like Look at My Striped Shirt!, but it’s the funniest regular read on the racks.

That’s my list in a nutshell. So what have I missed from your required reading list? I only have one more title to cross off my must-read list for summer 2010: The Day I Shot Cupid by Jennifer Love Hewitt. I understand there may be pictures in the middle.

2 Comments to Required reading

  1. Alan's Gravatar Alan
    February 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    If you’re up for longer fiction (as opposed to essays), check out Discworld for howlingly funny commentary on our round world. There are 20+ of them – just pick any one and start from there (I lied – start with “The Truth” first.) There’s also one for the music lover about music with rocks in it, but I don’t remember the title to that one.

    Christopher Moore is another one. “Lamb” is the gospel according to Jesus’ childhood friend , Biff (the Aramaic word for dope-slap.)