Can I borrow your towel for a sec? My car just hit a water buffalo.

A Day in the Life

I just finished reading Mark Hertsgaard’s excellent book, A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles and I loved it. My father-in-law — who, in 1974, was actually kicked out of the Troubadour with John for heckling the Smothers Brothers — gave it to me a few weeks ago after he’d […]

Among the Mansions of Eden

Last night I finally finished reading Among the Mansions of Eden: Tales of Love, Lust, and Land in Beverly Hills, a book I bought for Tricia about five years ago. I sailed through the first few hundred pages of David Weddle‘s tome a couple of weeks ago and was entranced by the marvelous stories of […]

Gasping for Airtime

Jay Mohr’s Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live is the second “uncensored” book I’ve read about SNL. (I read Live from New York about two years ago.) Mohr is on the radio pretty frequently here in LA and I really enjoy Last Comic Standing when I catch it. His […]

Busting Vegas

This weekend I finished reading Busting Vegas by Ben Mezrich, the same guy that wrote Bringing Down the House. It’s pretty much the same story: M.I.T. math geeks take on the gambling industry. David and Goliath, etc. It’s a good, quick read. I’d definitely grab Bringing Down the House first, though. It was much more […]

When the Mob Ran Vegas

Last night I finished reading When the Mob Ran Vegas, a great book that I grabbed at the McCarran Airport on my last trip to Sin City. At times the book suffers from some pretty poor grammar and editing, but the stories are so fascinating that you can forgive the author’s quirky, personal style. Plus, […]

The Blind Side

My friend Andy loaned me the latest Michael Lewis book, The Blind Side, last week. (I seem to remember reading an excerpt from it in Sports Illustrated earlier this year.) It’s a great look at the high school / college football recruiting process in the SEC. The author does an excellent job of jumping between […]

Lately in Los Angeles

Last night Tricia and I went to see Tamar at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. She played a great set and we had a good time. We didn’t get home until after 11, and I couldn’t get to sleep. I was up until 1:30am reading Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919. What […]

Weekend Media Review

Are you wondering what media I consumed this weekend? I knew you were. And so I shall tell you. Heat **** Sopranos ***** Oh the Glory of It All, by Sean Wilsey ****½ Oceans 13 ***½ John from Cincinnati ***½ A Prairie Home Companion, featuring Martin Sheen, Randy Newman, and Paula Poundstone (live at The […]

Simon Winchester

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since I read Krakatoa — The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883, by Simon Winchester. Because I loved that book so much, at some point around Christmas I bought A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of […]


Somehow I managed to forget to write about this wonderful book. I read Miles Harvey‘s The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime over a year ago and it is brilliant. I’ve been thinking about it lately because of the awesome song “Maps” by the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. You see, I have […]

Fortune’s Formula

I am not even 100 pages into my latest William Poundstone book and I already know it’s going to be a favorite. Fortune’s Formula, The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street is the fourth Poundstone book I’ve read. The man is a genius of a writer. Labyrinths […]

Peyton Manning on Saturday Night Live

Last night’s Saturday Night Live with Peyton Manning and Carrie Underwood was excellent. I am so happy that the show is in something of a revival right now. It’s a long-overdue, glorious return to funny. The last dozen or so SNLs have had me in stitches on more than one occasion. The digital shorts and […]

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

Late Friday night I finished reading Barbara Ehrenreich‘s Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. This one’s been in my personal queue for several years; I sort of randomly found it on the shelf while looking for something to read on the plane to New York last week. It’s a psuedo-scientific exploration of […]

PicoPad Wallet Notes

The PicoPad® is pure genius. It’s a pad of sticky notes — with a tiny pen — in a case the size of a credit card that you can easily slip it into your wallet. The PicoPad and its refills are also incredibly inexpensive. I am always scribbling notes on the backs of business cards […]

Next Man Up

Last night I finished reading Next Man Up: A Year Behind the Lines in Today’s NFL, by John Feinstein. It took me well over a month to get through this 400+ page epic covering the 2004 Baltimore Ravens season. Regardless of how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get into it. I am a huge […]

The Big Oyster

Last week I finally read The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell, by Mark Kurlansky. My dad gave it to me while we were in Vegas last month but I didn’t get to seriously dig into it because I’ve been a bit swamped at work lately. Kurlansky is a wonderful writer and this is […]

Naperville Public Library Books

When I got to the office today there was a package sitting on my desk. I received my sixth copy of Gregg Easterbrook‘s “The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse” — I keep giving them away! — via Amazon’s used book marketplace. The book is in near-perfect condition, perhaps because it […]

Bleachers – John Grisham

Last night I finished reading Bleachers, by John Grisham. (I read it in three or four 50-page bursts; it’s not very long.) It’s a story about the legacy of a dying high school football coach. The main character is the star quarterback who returns home fifteen years after graduation to pay his respects and come […]

NFLN Fumbles

I was in football nirvana this weekend. I watched no less than a dozen games — college and pro — since I left the office Friday night. The best by far was last night’s Boise State / Oklahoma Fiesta Bowl, one of the top ten football games I’ve ever seen. While watching Saturday night’s Giants […]

Another Media Bonanza

You’d have to look far and wide to find an actor involved in more projects lately than Alec Baldwin. He’s currently starring in 30 Rock on NBC and this weekend I saw him in two major motion pictures: The Departed and Running with Scissors. I like Alec Baldwin. I really do. His choices baffle me, […]