So this year (2008) I spent a lot of time reading. Specifically I spent my lunch breaks reading. At the last job and the current job, I have an hour lunch break. I would usually go somewhere by myself and read while I ate my lunch. Some places are generally more conducive than others. But I was able to get a ton of books read. Most of them were books I had heard were good. Some I just knew I wanted to read them based on the subject matter.
The biggest influence on particular books that I chose to read were Drake and Zeke on 98.1 the Max. They discuss a lot of great books and writers. They even interview them. So I thought I would post a list of the books I read this year in no particular order.
Motley Crue The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band by Motley Crue members with Neil Strauss - kinda dated because it came out in 2002 before they got back together, still a great book though
Cash (the autobiography) by Johnny Cash - great book, Johnny Cash is surprisingly honest about everything
Inside Delta Force: The Story of America's Elite Counterterrorist Unit by Eric L. Haney - great read, not like other military books I have tried to read
Ghost Soldiers and Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton Sides (Hampton is from Memphis and went to MUS for high school) - both are great reads. I highly recommend them.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway - classic book, but it is very slow. I hated when there were conversations between characters and Hemingway would put line after line without saying who said what. If you weren't paying attention, you might get lost.
The Tao of Willie: A Guide to the Happiness in Your Heart by Willie Nelson with Turk Pipkin - Absolutely great book. Definitely will give you the attitude that Willie has about life, love, and everything else.
Marley & Me by John Grogan - yeah, I cried. If you read this book and don't cry, you have no soul. But beyond crying at the end, I laughed the whole way through the book. Great story even if you aren't a dog lover.
Ghost by Alan Lightman - a book that was recommended highly by Drake and Zeke. It's one of the first ones I read in 2008. Very weird, but very good.
Tales from Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett - I read it this summer. It's the third time I've read it. I just wanted a book that I didn't have to do much with when I read it. I think it was a long weekend at the lake. Still a good collection of short stories. Jimmy has a good imagination, but so much of it clicks back to his songs.
Ronnie by Ronnie Wood - for those of you who don't know, Ronnie Wood is the rhythm guitarist for the Rolling Stones. I read this book and loved it. I was inspired to get this after reading Clapton by Eric Clapton at the end of 2007. Shortly after I finished this book, I saw on CNN.com that Ronnie had checked into rehab. After reading this book, I can understand why.
Chronicles: Volume 1 by Bob Dylan - Great book. It's not really a full autobiography. Bob takes points in his life and discusses them at length while invoking flashbacks to other times to give some backstory. Great read.
Slash by Slash with Anthony Bozza - one of my favorite autobiographies I read this year. Really sheds light on the early days of Guns N' Roses. But what really stuck with me was the description of drug problems. The night he was doing 8 balls at a resort in Arizona after Use Your Illusion came out was unreal (not sure if he was still with GNR at that point). He remembers it with such clarity that you almost feel like you are there with him. Very honest but very disturbing at times. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a rock and roll biography or autobiography.
Willie Nelson: An Epic Life by Joe Nick Patoski - great book. Anyone who's been around me in December has probably heard me talk about Willie. I will say it gets old after a while when they are talking about different musicians. And since he's still playing and touring even though he's in his late 70s/early 80s, it is a long book. Really. It's 494 pages. There were times when I was reading about the 1970s and I thought it would never end. But this is a great book about a great American man, and I would recommend it for anyone who wants a good read.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy - this is the last book I finished in 2008. It is phenomenal. My sister got it for me for Christmas. I was finished with it in two days. This is the same author who wrote No Country for Old Men and The Horse Whisperer so you know his general work. This is something I'm telling everyone to read. I would read it and really feel alone as I went along. Basic idea: it is a story about a man and his son trying to survive in a post apocalyptic world while walking down a road. Unbelievable. It is an amazing book. If you read just one book this year, definitely read this one.
So that's what I read this year. I may have left some off. If I realize it, I'll come back and add it later. I started Making Jack Falcone by Joaquin "Jack" Garcia. It is an autobiography of the second FBI agent to infultrate La Cosa Nostra. He infultrated the Gambino family in New York. Unbelievable read. I started it Monday and I am already on page 76. That's only from reading at lunch. It is a page turner.
Ok, that's enough for now. I'm going to get ready for NYE. Have a good one and get some on ya tonight.
(Editor's note) I completely forgot Boys Will Be Boys: The Glorious Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty by Jeff Pearlman - Unbelievable. Those guys were insane. Rule one I have for this book: do not let your kids read it. Rule two: if your parents are over 60 and a little too wound up, don't let them read it either. This tells stories of hookers, drugs, more drugs, more hookers, nudity and self gratification during team meetings, etc. This will scare you for life. But it's still a great book