The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of DeathLaurie Notaro

Yeah! Another Laurie Notaro book! If you haven’t read Notaro’s collections of short essays or her novel There’s a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell get a copy in preparation of the long dark winter. No matter how embarrassing or awful the situation, Notaro makes the …

The Young Hitler I KnewAugust “Gustl” Kubizek

The Young Hitler I Knew is by far the most engrossing book I have ever read about Hitler. Gustl Kubizek was a man in a position no one else had ever been – he was Hitler’s best friend from age 15-19. In all likelihood, he was also …

EscapeCarolyn Jessop

This true and grimly gripping biography pulls you in and grabs your imagination. To the average, educated midwesterner this story of polygamy, abuse and life in a totally insular religious community sounds like soap opera madness. But Jessop both lived it and survived it. As her community slid …

Michael Palin - Diaries 1969-1979Michael Palin – Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years

A thick 600+ page book, Palin’s Diaries start slowly but become increasingly engrossing. Covering the very first year Python starts making shows until the release of Life of Brian, Palin describes Python’s ever-increasing popularity. Palin writes with a witty, kind and …

The Commitment Dan Savage

The Commitment is a continuation of Savage’s life post The Kid. Interwoven with Savage’s story of he and his boyfriend Terry’s indecision over getting married is the story of Savage’s family, gay marriage history and plenty of hilarious anecdotes. However, change the sex of one of the …

To Air is HumanBjörn Töroque

We saw the transcendent movie Air Guitar Nation at this year’s Madison film festival. Despite the International Air Guitar Championships existing for over a decade, an American had never competed. The makers of Air Guitar Nation follow the first two American contenders – C-diddy (the Asian fury) and …

Witness to NurembergRichard Sonnenfeldt

This is by far the most immensely engrossing book I have read in months. Without a pause, Sonnenfeldt leaps into a description of how he, a young army grunt, was pulled from the innards of a jeep he was repairing and whisked off to Nuremberg to become the …

Secret GirlMolly Bruce Jacobs

Secret Girl is a combined autobiography and biography of Jacobs and her sister Anne. As she and her sister become teenagers, Jacobs’ father tells them that they have another sister, Anne, who was born with water on the brain. The baby, twin to Jacob’s sister Laura, was …

The City of Falling AngelsJohn Berendt

In Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, the reader has a strong feeling of time. The story covers years and you can clearly feel Capote’s desire to tell the story to the end, but at the same time strongly fearing and wishing for a conclusion. In Berendt’s books, …