More Gift Ideas

Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life Of David Foster Wallace- D.T. Max-Viking Adult-$27.95

I remember a scene from Infinite Jest, wherein the hero of the novel suffers through  sarcasms and ironic treatments of certain truisms with silent tolerance.  Henry Gately was the hero’s name, if recollection serves; a recovering addict and a staff DFWmember at a halfway house. The irony in the truisms treated in sarcastic manner by one of the rehab residents was that Gately knew all of these simplicities to be absolutely true.  This not-so-simple truth dropped in the middle of a sprawling behemoth of a book with little plot and an inconclusive ending was a hallmark of the mind of David Foster Wallace: he believed in simplicity and practiced his art with humor and irony.

D.T. Max has used elegant balance to portray a man whose combination of genius and mental illness gave us works of irrefutable life,death, humor and sorrow.  Rather than diminishing Wallace’s status as a generational genius, Max gives voice to David Foster Wallace’s complexities.

 

The Passage Of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson-Robert Caro-Knopf-$35.00

Robert Caro’s epic narrative of the life and career of Lyndon Johnson is arguably the greatest political biography of the modern age.  In volume 4 of lbj4this sweeping, almost Shakespearean narrative, Caro documents the most frustrating and rewarding time of Johnson’s career; the years between 1958 to 1964.  During this time Johnson would experience the ineffectuality of vice presidency, the disdain and contempt of the Kennedys, and the power of the presidency he so desired.  You see the assasination of JFK though Johnson’s eyes, his speedy grasp of the power of the presidency and how that power was completely eroded by the Vietnam War.  Robert Caro is an absolute essential to students of political history and modern American history.

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