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Frank's Book Log

Literature is a relative term.

  1. 11 Oct 2022

    In a small California town, the Haunted Palace cinema specializes in horror films. Between showings of The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, they play exclusive shorts featuring madman Otto Schreck. But unbeknownst to the audience, the horrific murders in these grainy films are real. Continue reading...

  2. 04 Oct 2022

    Journalist Scott Carney investigates Wim Hof’s cold exposure and breathing methods. He enters a skeptic but emerges a believer, joining Hof on a record-breaking ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Continue reading...

  3. 24 Sep 2022

    Raymond Chandler’s debut novel. Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe takes on an aging tycoon’s blackmail case that spirals into a labyrinthine series of murders. Continue reading...

  4. 22 Sep 2022
    2020 | Nonfiction

    Consider This

    by Chuck Palahniuk

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Chuck Palahniuk relates the tools he learned from his years in Tom Spanbauer’s minimalist writing workshop. Continue reading...

  5. 19 Sep 2022
    1974 | Novel


    by Stephen King

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Stephen King’s debut novel. Carrie White is a fat, pimple-faced, black-haired girl who’s endured nothing but torment from her high-school peers and oppression from her deranged mother. But Carrie harbors a hidden talent. She can move things with her mind. Continue reading...

  6. 17 Sep 2022
    2017 | Nonfiction

    I Will Find You

    by Joe Kenda

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Joe Kenda recounts his career as a Colorado Springs homicide detective. Continue reading...

  7. 11 Sep 2022
    2013 | Nonfiction

    Draft No. 4

    by John McPhee

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    A series of essays concerning John McPhee’s writing process. Given how interview-driven non-fiction dominates his work, these speak to how he conducts the interviews, conducts research, and structures the pieces. If Stephen King’s On Writing is a 101-level writing class, Draft No. 4 is a higher-level elective.

    That said, McPhee offers an anecdote about fact-checking, worth reading by all:

    The worst checking error is calling people dead who are not dead. In the words of Joshua Hersh, “It really annoys them.” Sara remembers a reader in a nursing home who read in The New Yorker that he was “the late” reader in the nursing home. He wrote demanding a correction. The New Yorker, in its next issue, of course complied, inadvertently doubling the error, because the reader died over the weekend while the magazine was being printed.

    I laughed even harder when I realized it was too preposterous to include in a fictional story.

  8. 11 Sep 2022

    Two collegiate girls stop at a roadside diner in a small town in the California wilderness. Across the street at the town’s lone motel, Lander Dills pulls in with his wife, their collegiate daughter and her boyfriend. All six soon discover the town’s dark secret when they’re abducted and ferried out to the wilderness as tribute to the Krulls, a clan of cannibalistic forest denizens. Continue reading...

  9. 10 Sep 2022
    2020 | Nonfiction

    Is This Anything?

    by Jerry Seinfeld

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Comedian Jerry Seinfeld’s standup material arranged in chronological order with autobiographical interludes. It begins with his first successful bits—one of my favorites concerns Life cereal—builds to his star making Tonight Show appearance and carries through his self-titled sitcom and I’m Telling You for the Last Time HBO special.

    At this point, Seinfeld had retired. But seeing Chris Rock perform reignited his passion for the art. Rather than recycle his old material, he starts over. The later third comprises bits he developed in the New York clubs post-stardom. It has a distinct voice, one older and crankier, but still Seinfeld. While amusing, these bits lacked instant classics like “The Helmet” or “Public Speaking.”

  10. 05 Sep 2022

    A candid and rollicking memoir by a flawed man but gifted leader. Continue reading...


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