Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nick's Picks, the 100 Most Notable Books of 2012 - 97,96,95...

#97:  No Easy Day, by Mark Owen.  Dutton.  $26.95.

"Mr. Owen" seemingly wants it both ways.  He's desirous of continuing the mystique of the Seals and all the sexy secrecy that surrounds them - while at the same time throwing open for perusal their most innermost workings.  But he does provide a fascinating look at one of the most intensive manhunts in history, so there's that.

#96:  Home, by Toni Morrison.  Knopf.  $24.

Home showcases Ms. Morrison at her most taut - but this may be its greatest fault.  She eloquently and viscerally shows the horrors of war through the traumatized eyes of a Korean War veteran - Frank Money - but I was left wanting more.  More words, more pages.  What we have is brilliant - but what you'll want are deeper explorations and resolutions to the wounds she lays bare.

#95:  Cuban Cocktails, by Jared McDaniel Brown and Anistatia Renard Miller.  Jared Brown.  $19.95.

Did Cuba have a Golden Age of the Cocktail?  Did it last through America's ridiculous and pietistic experiment with Prohibition?  It most certainly did, and these two authors not only give you the recipes, but they shed light on the politics and people of the time.  You'll want to mix the drinks, sure, but you'll also have a new appreciation for where those cocktails came from and the circumstances that led to their creation.

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