by Paul D. Marks
Before I get to this week’s question, I just want to salute all of our veterans today, Veterans Day, and every day. And Happy Birthday to the USMC: Semper fi, even for those who weren’t/aren’t Marines.
Now to the question at hand, which I think I misunderstood. So I listed a lot more books than I probably should have. But you know what they say, you can't have too many books, so:
I guess we all have various types of people in our lives. So I’ve picked out four types rather than four specific people. And since it is appropriate to have the right book for the right type of person here goes:
For the narcissist in your life: Well, let’s see. How ’bout we start with Toxic Parents, co-written by pal Craig Faustus Buck, with Susan Forward. Or The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor Payson, or Narcissists
For the jerks who give you bad reviews: Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin and Gloria Kamen, Etiquette For Dummies by Sue Fox, Emily Post's Etiquette, 18th Edition by Peggy Post, Anna Post, Lizzie Post, Daniel Post Senning, or any one of a million other etiquette books. And don’t forget what your mother said, if you can’t say something nice about someone keep your damn mouth shut. These also work for the jerks who talk on their cells in restaurants, elevators, doctor’s offices. But a .45 works even better.
And for you, my friends: Well, it depends on who you are, of course, but here’s some of my favorite books and authors that I would give to people I actually like: Pretty much anything by Chandler or Ross Macdonald, James Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet (The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz). Pretty much anything by Carol O’Connell, though I do love her Mallory character. Down There/Shoot the Piano Player by David Goodis. The double Noir volume mentioned above. The Poet by Michael Connelly, Tapping the Source by Kem Nunn. (I liked this one so much when I first read it I tried to buy the movie rights to it. Unfortunately, they were already taken. Too bad nobody’s done anything with it.) Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins books. And getting away from the mystery/thriller genre: Monte Walsh by Jack Schaefer, The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati, Chronicles Vol 1 by Bob Dylan (Hey, Bob, when the hell is Vol 2 coming out?), Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years by Mark Lewisohn, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. (The greatest revenge story of all time…and I love revenge.). Paint it Black by Janet Fitch, Ask the Dust by John Fante. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. Neon Noir by Woody Haut. And The Razor’s Edge, by Somerset Maugham, my favorite book of all time, because I relate to it on so many levels. — I’d give any of these to any of you because I think they’re all good and you might enjoy them.
And oh so many more.
And for anyone with taste, high and especially low: White Heat, Vortex, LA Late @ Night and various magazines and anthologies where my stories reside.
*Disclaimer: I haven’t read all the books mentioned here, especially those in the narcissists, crazy ex and jerk graphs. So I don’t vouch for them. But I do vouch for the titles of those books – I like them. That’s why I chose them. Though, on the other hand, I have read some of them…
Check out Akashic's St. Louis Noir anthology with my short story Deserted Cities of the Heart.
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