May 18, 2011

The New Moss Book List Club!

by Moss


1. Lost Boy - Brent Jeffs
Brent Jeffs account of love and betrayal at the hands of the elders Jeffs and Jessops is a wallop of a tale. No wonder the kid and his ilk ran off to hide and use copious amounts of drugs. I would have done the same doubt.

2. Bone Crusher - Linda Rosencrance
A nice little true-story tale about a really creepy serial killer. Larry Bright, the killer, would bring women (almost all black) back to house where he raped, tortured and killed them, then would bury their bodies in the backyard (all while his mom was at home in her lazy-boy recliner). Good thing one of his victims escaped and ran to a neighbor...or else their probably would have been many more.

3. Waiting for the Apocalypse - Veronica Chater
Veronica Chater's book was a delightful read, full of interesting antidotes about an "off Catholic" shoot of the Catholic religion. Reminded me of growing up Catholic, but these "Catholics" were much more off their rockers....especially the dad.

4. Jesus Land - Julia Scheeres
I really wanted to like Jesus Land, with a title like that. And, I did like parts of it, the bright, crisp descriptions of a little white girl growing up in Hicksville, USA with a black brother (actually a couple of them), and then being shipped off to a nut-asylum in Africa (more like a nuthouse than a cult, but tinges of both). But, it got a bit nauseating after a while with her continually referring to her brother, David. Spoiler alert: David died at the age of 21, right when the memoir ends...hence her continually referring to him and their on every frickin' page.

5. Weekends at Bellevue - Julie Holland
This book tells different real tales of Julie Holland's experience working at the notorious mental hospital, Bellevue. Bellevue is one of those places where the sick, deranged, psycho, fakers and suicidals all congregate, like from around the world, to check in. It's a place where some never check out. Holland's voice throughout is one of a smart-ass, critic, narcissist. She plays heavily on cheeky humor, which at times reveals all her own insecurities and issues. Wish she didn't refer to all her sexual conquests so much like she was a guy. That's what guys do not girls. Forgive me sisters.

6. Slut - Roxxannaa Shiraz
Even way more sexual conquests than the previous book, but that is the point of this memoir. Fun stuff, indeed. Shiraz (an immigrant from Iran, living in London) wows us with tales of screwing Motley Crue, and countless A, B, C and D list bands and their members (some all at the same time). Finally she gets bored with all the sex (imagine that) and yearns for a real-life-true-in-the-wool romantic relationship (of all things). Do yourself a favor and pick up the book. Definitely banned in Iran!!

7. Framing Innocence - Lynn Powell

It could happen to anyone. Eccentric mom brings nude photos of daughter to the local Fiji Developing center (before digital ya'll)...and becomes public enemy number one. Mom, daughter, husband and attorneys battle the state of Ohio, where she is prosecuted. Mom refuses to destroy film based on "what would that teach my daughter?" Comes very close to jail but signs a plea agreement at the end. Content good, but book could have been about 75 pages shorter.
8. Breaking into the Backcountry - Steve Edwards

Speaking of shorter, this memoir could have been much longer. Loved it. About a young writer from Indiana, who wins a writing contest and the opportunity of a lifetime by becoming a caretaker for a 98 acre compound two hours west of Grants Pass, Oregon...out in the REAL boonies. He discovers himself, his love of the outdoors and about survival, all the while meeting a couple of friends for life (deer, people, the Rogue River, etc.). Get this book while it is hot!!
9. Chelsea Hotel - Ed Hamilton

Hamilton writes about the legendary Chelsea Hotel, the one where Sid Vicious beat up and killed his girlfriend Nancy. The book reads more like a diary, complete with his memories of Dee Dee Ramone, heroin addicts, crazy ladies and ghosts of the hotel. The ghosts part got a little hokey, but some of the stories were a lot of fun...Kirk Cobain, anyone?
10. The Mendocino Papers - Bruce Anderson

Anderson knows his stuff about Mendocino. He relates all kinds of history, stories, descriptions and tales about Mendo and it's original inhabitants (note Native Americans) as well as recent ones, including Russians, explorers, miner 49ers, military men, drunks, swindlers and even a story about "Slim Pickens" who I had no idea was a "real" person. Great stuff, indeed!!

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