Tag Archives: colin

On Our Nightstand, August 31st-September 6th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
Mockingjay
By Suzanne Collins
If you’re anywhere between the ages of eight and eighteen, you’re probably all over this already. But all you dignified adults out there would get a lot of pleasure out of this brilliantly conceived and powerfully written young adult series, of which this is the final–and impressively mature–installment.

Colin in Oakland
Weimar Germany: Promise and Tragedy
By Eric D. Weitz
I picked up Weimar Germany because I wanted to know how the Nazis came to power, but what I found was a history of a fascinating period in its own right. Rife with contradiction, revolution, workers rights, feminism, antisemitism, right-wing and left-wing paramilitaries, the blossoming of modern art and architecture, nudists, depression and hyper-inflation–the 15 years of the Weimar Republic are a microcosm of the 20th Century superbly brought to life in this excellent book.

Geo in Brentwood
The Master and Margarita
By Mikhail Bulgakov
In an excellent role reversal, a customer came into the bookstore and recommended a book for me! This Russian classic about the devil visiting Stalinist Russia is dark, inventive, and wickedly funny.

Kim in Malibu
Better
By Atul Gawande
I have a slight book crush on New Yorker columnist and surgeon extraordinaire, Atul Gawande, who writes about medicine and medical-related issues with sensitivity, intelligence, incredible humanity and very little ego. This particular book (he has written three) talks about the complicated reasons the medical profession succeeds and fails on a performance level both historically and in the present, and reads like the most compelling narrative. Fascinating stuff and highly, highly recommended.

Miles in Malibu
What the Dog Saw
By Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell’s attempt to analyze and find deeper meaning in such mundane subjects as hair dye, ketchup, and dog training is a success. He asks the “more interesting” questions and answers them tactfully and with insight.

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On Our Nightstand, July 27th-August 2nd

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
By Truman Capote
This is embarrassing to admit, but I’ve never seen the 1961 movie nor read Capote’s 1958 novella. I’m loving the latter, and the accompanying short stories, however: they’re subtly insightful and sort of sneakily moving. I want to see the film now, but even more I want to read more of Capote’s work!

Colin in Oakland
Ghostwalk
By Rebecca Stott
I don’t usually read mysteries, but this book is really well written, evoking Cambridge, England, in the 17th century and weaving an atmospheric spell. Plus it features ghosts, romance, animal liberation terrorists, and Isaac Newton! What more could you want?

Geo in Brentwood
America Day by Day
By Simone de Beauvoir
In preparation for an upcoming road trip, I thought I’d learn about this ‘Great American Experience’ from a Frenchwoman.

John Evans
When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison
By Greil Marcus
One of the greatest contemporary musical visionaries gets the full treatment by one of our most fascinating cultural critics. Mystical music-making meets brilliantly visceral criticism–loving it!

Thea in Malibu
Eat, Pray, Love
By Elizabeth Gilbert
So I’m a little tardy hopping onto the bandwagon for this one, but better late than never. A soul-searching story of finding happiness and spirituality in different corners of the world, Eat, Pray, Love has made me think about where I find joy in my own life.

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On Our Nightstand, June 29th-July 5th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
A Single Man
By Christopher Isherwood
I never got a chance to see the Oscar-nominated film adaptation, but reading the descriptive, dreamlike, emotionally-charged novel, I don’t see how the experience could be made any more visceral.

Colin in Oakland
Guards! Guards!
By Terry Pratchett
I normally don’t read sci-fi/fantasy, and I thought I was too cool for Terry Pratchett. But it turns out he’s smarter than I am! This book is funny and witty and just really, really good. Consider me converted.

Geo in Brentwood
Microscripts
By Robert Walser
These 25 short pieces are the first English translations, selected from Walser’s six-volume German original. Walser printed these stories on tiny strips of paper, legible only through a magnifying glass or microscope. Luckily for us, they’ll been enlarged for our reading pleasure. This edition, however, includes facsimilies of both the original microscripts and the German texts.

John Evans
Antwerp
By Roberto Bolano
In a beautiful edition from New Directions — small format black and gold covers, without jacket, red endpapers, creamy paper and black ink — Antwerp is a poetic distillation of Bolano’s sensibility. Reading it slowly.

Jon Stich in Oakland
Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It
By Geoff Dyer
False advertising alert: this book is not actually about yoga. Instead it’s a collection of travel essays. Very funny, in that distinctly British sort of way.

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On Our Nightstand, June 8th-14th

Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!

Anna in Brentwood
I Know I Am, But What Are You?
By Samantha Bee
The Daily Show correspondent’s memoir is laugh-out-loud funny and at times oddly touching. And not just in the bad-touch kind of way.

Cheryl in Brentwood
Light Boxes
By Shane Jones
I’m from back east, so I’m experiencing both nostalgia and pleasant schadenfreude in reading this novel about a small town stuck in perpetual February.

Colin in Oakland
Role Models
By John Waters
It’s John Waters! He’s a crazy, sick guy, who’s really funny and yet still humane. All kind of people are included in this autobiography, in which Waters explores his own life through the stories of people he’s admired.

Geo in Brentwood
The Sun and the Moon
By Matthew Goodman
A quirky and entertaining history book, taking place in 19th century New York, about a newspaper that runs a story about life on the moon, including beavers, unicorns, and lunar man-bats. You can’t make that stuff up (except that they did).

Nell in Malibu
Life of Pi
By Yann Martel
An interesting examination of religion, imagination, and creative storytelling.

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Sing the Bookstore Electric!

Hey, it’s musical Monday! Let’s sing the book tour blues with mystery writer Parnell Hall!

We find this song strangely catchy. It certainly makes us want to show Hall some appreciation by buying his books. (Maybe he should try signing at his local indie!) Or we could at least check them out at the library after using their:

And in case you missed any, be sure to check out all our Music Month videos. Topics include Chuck Klosterman (twice! how greedy), Oliver Sacks, the 33 1/3 Series, Greil Marcus, The Threepenny Opera, and…why are Colin and Grant in bed together again?

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Put Another Dime in the Jukebox, Baby

May is Music Month here at Diesel, and we’re all getting down with our bad selves. In video form!

Here are our first few, um…”music videos”–none of which, sadly, feature BeyoncĂ©. But we hope you enjoy them anyway.

First up, here’s Alison discussing Greil Marcus with Colin in Oakland:

Thomas in Brentwood introduces the 33 1/3 series, and his favorite, Mike McGonigal‘s take on My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless:

And finally, Anna in Brentwood talks about her love/hate relationship with Chuck Klosterman:

Rock on.

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