Sunday, December 27, 2009

Alan Cheuse: books to warm a winter's night

For NPR, Alan Cheuse named a short list of books to warm a winter's night.

One title on the list:
Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father and Son, by Michael Chabon, hardcover, 320 pages, Harper, list price: $25.99

Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Michael Chabon's essays in Manhood for Amateurs — on the realities of coming of age, marriage and fatherhood — were originally published in Details magazine. And it's in the details that the truth of these essays lies, as you'll find out when you read these seemingly offhand pieces in which he employs an insouciant, confessional style.

Whether it's having an affair as a teenager with his mother's best friend, or talking to his kids about drugs, or helping his wife get through the hardest times, or musing on what he calls "the fundamental axioms of masculine self-regard," he often stands naked before the reader. Or at least he makes you believe that he's revealing a lot. Which is a kind of genius in itself and, on the subjects that he chooses here, enormously rewarding. (Read Michael Chabon's essay about meeting his (first) father-in-law.)
Read about the other books on Cheuse's list.

Learn about Michael Chabon's 12 favorite works of adventure fiction.

See the Independent's list of the fifty best winter reads.

--Marshal Zeringue