(Click on any of the listed titles to get a copy of your own.)
At my insistence, my brothers- and sisters-in-law give me bookstore gift cards every Christmas. Every couple of years one of them asks “Are you sure that’s what you want AGAIN?” Well, duh. Book shopping is doubly enjoyable when someone else is footing the bill. And with sales, specials and coupons, I’m usually able to milk my gift cards until Christmas rolls around again. Thanks in-laws! If any of you are reading this, here’s what I’m squandering your hard earned money on.
Dog, Inc.: The Uncanny Inside Story of Cloning Man’s Best Friend
by John Woestendiek
I fully intend to clone my dog Lily. She’s just that phenomenally great. But we’ll see if Woestendiek changes my mind. Dog, Inc. takes a disheartening look at the current state of the dog cloning industry. Included is the story of Bernann McKunney and her cloned dog Booger, who I talked about in this DeFlip Side episode.
Don’t worry, Lily! We won’t let Woestendiek rain on our parade!
The Men Who Stare at Goats
by Jon Ronson
I’ve wanted to read this book ever since seeing the movie, which was quirky and terrific. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Ronson investigates the military’s supposed efforts to create psychic spies and soldiers. The title comes from one experiment where soldiers attempted to telepathically kill a goat. One of them succeeded. I don’t know how much stock I’ll put in the facts presented in this book, but it’s sure to be a fun read, regardless.
This also holds the distinction of being the second book I own that has a picture of Ewan McGregor on the cover. I bet you think the other one is a Star Wars book, but you’re wrong. It’s Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.
The Sirens of Titan: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Breakfast of Champions blew me away, so I’m going to read everything Vonnegut’s ever written, starting with this Hugo nominated novel. Vonnegut is by and large a Science Fiction author, though the mainstream literary elite who so idolize him are loath to acknowledge it. Fuck those jerks. Vonnegut belongs to us!