"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Stuff that keeps me awake in the wee hours of the night, Part Three

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles MansonManson, The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn.   The old newspaper reporter who covered murder trials in me can’t resist this stuff.   Guinn details Manson’s life from childhood to perpetual prisoner, giving insight into how and why.

This Town, Two Parties and a Funeralplus plenty of valet parking!—in America’s Gilded Captial by Mark Leibovich.   You’re a fly on the wall  as Leibovich takes you on a journey through D.C. culture, with all the things you suspected and wish you’d never learned, and why you hate politicians.   As one reviewer put it so expertly:  This is not an in-depth investigation into Washington corruption; it is, rather, a panoramic view of the culture of Washington, the fertile soil in which the corruption grows and flourishes. Presented in a lively, humorous manner, it is rather enjoyable to read. So much so that one tends to lose sight of the fact that these are people - Washington insiders, that is - who enrich themselves with money taxpayers are forced to send to the government. You get the sense that these people always have a smirk on their faces, laughing at the stupid people - everyone outside of the Beltway - who support their little aristocracy upon the Potomac ('The Club', as it's referred to). The author… doesn't draw conclusions for us, he presents the rather corrupt underbelly of Washington - politicians and their minions as they really are - and let's [sic] us decide just how bad it really is.

The Elephant Whisperer, My Life with the Herd in the African Wild   by Lawrence Anthony.   A devoted animal conservationist, Anthony adopted a herd of wild elephants destined to be destroyed.  A wonderful story of a man bonding with rogue elephants, protecting them, and letting them be wild.  The author died earlier this year and the herd of elephants made a long journey to his home to pay their respects.  This book cemented my desire to visit Africa and I made reservations shortly after finishing it.

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