Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Haul: 36 Books for March

It has the grim silhouette of a man on the cover with the book's title placed over his eyes. Bret Easton Ellis' Imperial Bedrooms (2010), his followup to Less Than Zero (1985), got mixed reviews, polarizing critics from reverence to repugnance. But whatever, right? This is the guy who wrote, The Rules of Attraction (1987). I'd buy all his books: good or bad.

There's a sense of anger and frustration in James Baldwin's prose. This is none more evident in Another Country (1962), a searing fiction on bohemians, bigotry and interracial relationships. Baldwin is a visceral writer. He's not always an easy read, but his faultless, impeccable prose never fails to impress.

Vintage has some of the most gorgeous trade paperbacks in the market. The book cover is almost always unforgettable; the interior layout and text, divine. This is the 1996 Vintage trade paperback edition of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. I bought it even though I already have an old, dog-eared mass paperback copy.

Total number of books bought in February: 36, Fiction: 33, Non-Fiction: 3, Written by Men: 34, Written by Women: 2

Full List
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta (2007) • Another Country by James Baldwin (1962) • The Assistant by Bernard Malamud (1957) • The Best American Short Stories of the Century (Expanded Edition) edited by John Updike (1999) • Big City Stories by Modern American Writers edited by Tom and Susan Cahill (1971) • The Company of Cats: 20 Contemporary Stories of Family Cats edited by Michael J. Rosen (1992) • The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri (2001) • The Deportees and Other Stories by Roddy Doyle (2007) • Frost/Nixon by Peter Morgan (2006) • Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet (1982) • The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985) • Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga by Hunter S. Thompson (1966) • Homer & Langley: A Novel by E. L. Doctorow (2009) • Imperial Bedrooms by Bret Easton Ellis (2010) • The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis (1994) • Johnno by David Malouf (1975) • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (1895) • My Father's Tears and Other Stories by John Updike (2009) • Midnight Cowboy by James Leo Herlihy (1965) • New Writers of the Purple Sage: An Anthology of Contemporary Western Writing edited by Russell Martin (1992) • The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian (1991) • The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher (2008) • On Location: Cities of the World in Film by Claudia Hellmann and Claudine Weber-Hof (2006) • Push by Sapphire (1996) • The Red Badge of Courage and Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane (1893) • The Second Plane: September 11, Terror and Boredom by Martin Amis (2008) • Self Abuse: Love, Loss and Fatherhood by Jonathan Self (2001) • Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron (2007) • The Stories of Bernard Malamud by Bernard Malamud (1983) • Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (1891) • Victim: The Other Side of Murder by Gary Kinder (1982) • Vintage Amis by Martin Amis (2004) • Winter Birds by Jim Grimsley (1984) • Whittington by Alan Armstrong (2005) • World's End: A Novel by T. C. Boyle (1987) • World's Fair by E.L. Doctorow (1985)

Thursday, March 15, 2012


A pocket-sized canine gets a whole page in Time's "Great Performances" feature, a tribute to this year's standout actors. Uggie, a trained Jack Russell Terrier, is fast gaining recognition for his scenestealing turn in The Artist. In photographer Sebastian Kim's "Great Performances" series, he stole the limelight from fellow honorees Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Brad Pitt (Moneyball) and George Clooney (The Descendants). Even the great Iron Lady herself, Meryl Streep, is no match for the lapdog's woeful demeanor.

Every dog has its day. This year, Uggie has the world by the tail.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tobey Maguire for Prada

Miuccia Prada, queen of geek chick, has found the quintessential dandy in Tobey Maguire. The 35-year-old actor dressed up, wearing the designer's slim sweater, savvy turtleneck and tailored three-button jacket.

Tobey was the poster boy for Prada's 2011 fall-winter ad campaign. Shot in New York, photographer David Sims showed us another side of Maguire: a refined, cool sophisticate cut from the same cloth as Carey Grant.

The new look fits him like a tee. It echos his upcoming role as Nick Carraway, an Ivy League bond salesman, in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby (2012). 

It will be a good year for Maguire. In the works is Ang Lee's Life of Pi (2012) and a producing stint for Rock of Ages (2012): a film adaptation of the 2006 Broadway musical. The cast looks promising. Russell Brand. Alec Baldwin. Catherine Zeta-Jones. Paul Giamatti. Anne Hathaway.... Oh, and some guy named Tom Cruise.