Life Will Be the Death of Me, Chelsea Handler
A comedian discusses how therapy changed her world view and helped her cope with the death of her brother. It was interesting to read the writing of a successful person who lives in Los Angeles. And I got to learn what it’s like to go see a therapist. My sister Ally mailed me the book because I’m crazy and think I’m smarter than everyone else and don’t need any help. I found the author to be very different from me. For instance, she hates room temperature water and lets her fat dogs sleep in her bed. I don’t care about ice cubes and don’t want any part of a dog in my bed. Also my dog would be physically fit. However, I do share some of the author’s other mental problems and the underlying assumption that I’m the only one that can fix them. Finished September 2019

The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy (Fiction)

The story of a family that lives in small town on the banks of a river in India where the uncle has a pickle factory. The kids are twins and the twins have a cousin and she dies and there’s bats in the church. The story jumps back and forth in time. I have no idea how the author kept track of it all. I became curious about her when I read an article about a time she went to jail and intuitively thought she’d make a good role model. The book was haunted and sometimes upsetting. Also, I found the author’s use of similes distracting. It was an impressive work though. I enjoyed it and learned a lot. Finished in August of 2019.

Autumn, Karl Ove Knausgaard (Essays)
A book Karl Ove wrote to explain the world as he sees it to his children after he is gone? Descriptions of mundane every day objects, animals, body parts, etc. all done with humor and exquisite technical writing skill very, very subtly. I read it before bed with Jessie and enjoyed it thoroughly. The part where his father kills the snake and several others nearly made me cry, or did. Finished in June of 2019.

Shark Drunk, Morten Strøksnes (Memoir)
A gift from my sister Jennie. Coincidentally it was also recommended to me by my Norwegian friend Torbjørn, but I was unable to find an English translation at the time. Years later Jennie did, and gifted me this book for my birthday. It is the true story of how a journalist goes to visit his artist friend who lives in the Lofoten Islands to try and catch a Greenland Shark. You get a beautiful survey of the way of life in that remote, northern part of the world, and of the wild life in the sea. I read it with Jessie before bed each night and improved our rest. Finished in March of 2019.

This is Memorial Device, David Keenan (Fiction)
A gift from Sleepy Todd. The meta tale of a local in a small town in Scotland compiling interviews for a music zine. My understanding is that he left the unfinished product in stacks behind a trash can on a drunk day in a public park. Each chapter is an interview from one of the scene’s participants. The work centers around the band Memorial Device, whose singer and creative force has no short term memory. The actual writer is really good at creating authentic voices for each chapter. It’s an impressive feat. Todd gave me the book in hopes I’d one day capture our music scene from San Francisco when we were young. I don't know if I have it in me but I’ll keep it on file just in case. I really loved this book. Finished it on a boat in the Caribbean in January of 2019.

The People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn (Historical Fiction)
A long time ago my friend Olive saw this book on my bedside table and suggested I'd never read it due to mysterious reasons. He was right for a long time. For some strange reason when I left home in August of 2015 I took it with me. I dragged it around all the way until the winter of 2017 when I was in Mexico and I started reading it. I must have seemed like an idiot in the small coastal village where I was living going to little bars with sand floors and reading it by lantern light. I'm a slow reader anyway, and that was a hard living time in life.  It's a book about American History. I finally finished it Oakland in late April of 2018.

Hadley, Lee, Lightcap, Sam Sweet  (Music Journalism, Criticism, + History)
Provided by Sleepy Todd while staying with him in Bend, Oregon.  Read before bed each night.  The story of the band Acetone that got lost in time.  Also a poetic accounting of Los Angeles, Orange County and being a troubled musician with your friends in the 1990s.  I finished reading this book late at night in early March of 2018.  

King of the World, David Remnick (Biography)  
Birthday gift from Eric Kuhn.  Survey of the life of boxer Muhammad Ali focusing on his two fights with Sonny Liston.  A good reference for the political climate of the 1960s set in the context of a remarkable athlete's career.  It was interesting to learn detailed accounts of the Liston fights. Ali was a hero of my father, who told me his own versions of these stories when I was a young child and had no context.  I read this book while staying in Ypsilanti, Michigan to record music. I finished it in November of 2017.

Tampa, Alissa Nutting  (Novel)
Hummingbird, Jude Angelini  (Short Stories)
Bhagavad Gita, Hindu Scripture (translated by Stephen Mitchell) (Middle Eastern / Eastern Religion)

The Game, Neil Strauss  (Film / Culture)
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction, JD Salinger  (Short Stories)A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold (Nature)
River Teeth, Stories and Writings, David James Duncan  (Short Stories)

Closely Watched Trains, Bohumil Hrabal  (Novel)
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, Paul Zindel  (Play)
Hyena, Jude Angelini  (Short Stories)
Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill  (Healing / Self Improvement)
Healing Myths, Healing Magic, Dr. Donald Epstein  (Healing / Self Improvement)

Fifth Avenue, 5am,  Sam Wasson  (Film / Culture)
USA Trilogy (The 42nd Parallel / 1919 / The Big Money), John Dos Passos  (Novel)
The Tao of Wu, The RZA  (Philosophy of Music)
Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger  (Novel)
Hawaii, James Michener (Historical Fiction)

Another Roadside Attraction, Tom Robbins  (Novel)
The Education of Little Tree, Forrest Carter  (Novel)
The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov  (Novel)
Comfortable with Uncertainty, Pema Chodrin  (Healing / Self Improvement)
Health, Healing and Beyond, T.K.V. Desikachar  (Healing / Self Improvement)
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien  (Novel)
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson  (Children's Literature)
33 1/3 Paul's Boutique, Dan LeRoy  (Music Journalism, Criticism, + History)

33 1/3 In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Kim Cooper  (Music Journalism, Criticism, + History)
The Art of War, Sun Tzu  (Martial Arts)
The Book of Five Rings, Myamoto Musashi (translated by Thomas Cleary)  (Martial Arts)
Haiku Master Buson, Yosa Buson  (Poetry)

Buddha, Karen Armstrong (Historical Fiction)
Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu (translated by David Hinton)
Band of Brothers, Ernest Frankel  (Novel)
Tongue of Fire, Ernest Frankel  (Novel)
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe  (Novel)

The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon, Tom Spoonbauer  (Novel)
Persian Boy, Mary Renault (Historical Fiction)

Woody Guthrie, A Life; Joe Klein (Biography)
Gift from Ben Sherwyn.  A biography of musician Woody Guthrie.  My favorite parts were learning about Woody's choices from the public library and a time he made a contraption to save his ship from submarine attack while serving as a Merchant Marine during World War II. I read this book while living in San Francisco.  I can't remember when exactly.  Probably around 2004.    

Naked, David Sedaris (Memoir)
The Invisible Republic, Greil Marcus  (Music Journalism, Criticism, + History)
The Conference of the Birds, Farid ud-Din Attar  (Middle Eastern / Eastern Religion)
Chronicles: Volume 1, Bob Dylan  (Philosophy of Music)
The Tetherballs of Bougainville, Mark Leyner  (Novel)
The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky  (Novel)
Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain  (Novel)
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald  (Novel)

Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes  (Novel)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers  (Novel)

Bob Dylan, Anthony Scaduto  (Biography)

Gift from Todd Prager.  A biography of musician Bob Dylan. Todd and I liked to joke about Bob's relationship with his gruff talking manager Albert Grossman. I read this book while living in Santa Cruz during my second year of college there. It was sometime around 1998. 

Tristessa, Jack Kerouac (Novella)
On the Road, Jack Kerouac  (Novel)
Dharma Bums, Jack Keroac  (Novel)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey  (Novel)
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe  (Novel)

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard  (Play)
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemmingway  (Novel)

The Bear who Wanted to be a Bear, Jörg Steiner  (Children's Literature)
Rabbit Island, Jörg Steiner  (Children's Literature)
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame  (Children's Literature)

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss  (Children's Literature)
Frog and Toad, Arnold Lobel  (Children's Literature)