Recently, I talked to my good friend Jodi Palmer for the first time in a long time.
We did some catching up and argued about who was sweeter than who and who was sweeter than whom. We decided to call it a tie. (Both of us knowing that it’s actually her husband, James, who’s the sweet one.)
Ringo, as I call her, said she loved reading The Cool Kid.
Who doesn’t, I thought. “You’re sweet,” I said.
Never miss a local story.
But she wished I would recommend books more often.
I never wanted the column to be about book reviews or recommendations. But I owe Ringo a debt that can’t be paid in scratch-off tickets, so ...
THE COOL KID’S BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ
(Being how we like playing with the language, O Best Ones, I’m doing this as an acrostic.)
“Justinian” by H.N. Turteltaub: Fictional biography of a real Byzantine emperor. One of the few books where you pull against the “hero” and cackle at his many upendings. I’m happy to list this novel first because the author, under the name Harry Turtledove, wrote the book from which I cribbed the phrase “O Best Ones.”
“Olympiad” by Thomas Holt: Bickering siblings journey across Ancient Greece to recruit game players for the first Olympics. And the winner is ... the readers! (And that last part is why you don’t want me writing book reviews.)
“Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’ to ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ ” by Brett Martin: That’s what it’s about, alright.
“Island in the Sea of Time” by S.M. Stirling: Nantucket and the people and things on it and around it are sent 14,000 years into the past. A combination of neat and oh.
“Piers Plowman” by (possibly) William Langland: I had to read it, why should you get off scot-free?
“Aztec” by Gary Jenning: A long, funny, often horrific historical novel set in the final years of the doomed empire.
“Language Visible: Unraveling the History of the Alphabet from A to Z” by David Sacks: How each letter came to be.
“Moving Day” by Jonathan Stone: Revenge thriller about crooks who pose as movers to steal people’s stuff and one old dude they shouldn’t have crossed.
“Eternity Road” by Jack McDevitt: My favorite post-apocalyptic novel. One of its major themes is books. It’s one of only two novels that made me cry.
“Randy Waters: An Autobiographical Cantos” by Randy Waters: Work in progress. Available soon at the Fort Moxie branch.
To contact writer Randy Waters, call 744-4240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.