Books — Five Books I Didn't Read In 2004

 

Five Books I Didn't Read In 2004

By Lisa Parsons

There are books I read because I have to, and books I read because I want to, and then there are books I want to read but don’t get around to. Here are five books from 2004 that I meant to read this year …but they’re still waiting on my to-do list. What’s on yours?

Skinny Dip, by Carl Hiaasen, Knopf, 368 pages.

Hiaasen writes zany crime capers set in the capital of zany crime — Florida. His tales land in that underpopulated zone of writing that’s more lightweight than a stressfully serious suspense story, but way more substantial than a perkily sugarcoated throwaway. I hear this is one of his best, which means it’ll be funny and absorbing and whisk me along to places where Stuff Happens; typical Hiaasen form would have no one getting too hurt except the sleazy bad guys.

Interior Desecrations: Hideous Homes from the Horrible ‘70s, by James Lileks, Crown Publishing, 176 pages.

Because I, like others who lived through it, am made a little nervous by the resurgence of most things ’70s. Be careful, people, not to end up like this. As the flap copy says, “If you think the ’80s were dumber than the ’70s, either you weren’t there or you weren’t paying attention.”

The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time and the Texture of Reality, by Brian Greene, Knopf, 576 pages.

Columbia University physicist Greene hosts a PBS series explaining the latest theories on the nature of reality. “Is this science, or is it philosophy?” asks one critic. Who cares? It’s fascinating.

Da Vinci Code, Special Illustrated Edition, by Dan Brown, Doubleday, 464 pages.

I didn’t purposefully wait for the picture-book version, but now that it’s happened, I’m glad I waited, ‘cause maybe the pictures will enhance the experience. This is one of those books I need to read in order to attain literary-cultural parity with my fellow Americans. I’ve heard the buzz; now it’s time to judge for myself.

The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, by Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury, Trafalgar Square.

A new pop-up edition of a book I have read. Officially slated for ages 9-12, this one’s worth a trip to the kids’ section of the bookstore. Sneak a peek. You’ll laugh out loud at the arms race that develops between three cuddly wolves and a mean, brutish pig. All ends well when the wolves realize that the only winning move is not to play… I can only imagine the pop-ups of the pig with the dynamite trigger and the wolves building concrete barricades.

- Lisa Parsons

 
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