Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Some books I read in the last couple of days:

1. Three Nights In August by Buzz Bissinger. Bissinger wrote Friday Night Lights too. Was a good movie at least. I haven't read the book. Three Nights in August is a baseball book. He followed Tony LaRussa, the Cardinals manager, for a year, and wrote about stuff. It's a solid read, he's a good writer, and it's interesting to go behind the scenes and see what life as a manager is like and to read about some of his thinking when making decisions. It's not revolutionary, but it's a really entertaining read for any baseball fans. Good book.

2. On Call by Emily Transue. She's a doctor. This is a diary of her first year as a resident, right after graduating from medical school. I put it down halfway through. It's not that it was terrible, but it just wasn't grabbing me. She grows as a person, she tries really hard, being a doctor is really stressful... she writes well... it just didn't really do it for me.

3. Crimes Against Logic by Jamie Whyte. Whyte is a former British professor of philosophy. This is basically a long essay tearing apart traditional political and journalistic argument structures. Techniques to confuse an audience, how people use words that have no meaning, how people hide contradictions.... I thought it would be more about tearing apart specific policies and making fun of the world as it is. It's really more like a William Safire tearing-apart-language kind of thing. Which is okay, but not as interesting as I was expecting.

4. The Power and the Story by Evan Cornog. This is a book about presidential stories -- how presidents have shaped their lives into a narrative to help get media attention and get elected -- like George Washington and the cherry tree or William Henry Harrison being a man of the people. It's a nice book. I liked it. If that kind of thing sounds interesting to you, it's a good read.

5. The Big Picture by Edward Jay Epstein. This book goes behind the scenes in Hollywood and describes the studio system, how movies get made, who all the players are, how the money flows... it's very comprehensive. I liked the sections about how things work today, and the creative side of the equation -- how a movie actually becomes a movie and who's involved with that. I ended up skimming the sections about how things were in the 1940s and about the minutiae of the DVD industry. Liked the parts I read; couldn't bear the parts I skimmed though. If the movie industry is of interest, it's a nice book. Would make a good "so you're going to film school" present.