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Good Reads

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In contrast with the awful book I read this weekend, I have enjoyed a couple of interesting works of both fiction and nonfiction. And we’ll be discussing these more in the coming days. But to just quickly recap, and get myself out of this funk, here’s the good stuff from recent days.

William D. Cohan’s House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street was an eye-opening look into the collapse of Bear Stearns. I’ll admit up front that I don’t know a whole lot about financial wheeling and dealing. Whenever I need to dirty my hands with some filthy lucre, I just dip into the Slushpile.net gold vaults and come up with a few dubloons. So this book explained a lot about the current economic mess and how we got here. Most interesting is that the first half of Cohan’s book looks at the ten-day period when the company went from financial giant to corporate rubble. He crams so much info into just those few days that the book becomes a real page-turner.

Jason Buhrmester’s Black Dogs: The Possibly True Story of Classic Rock’s Greatest Robbery is a fun little novel involving the notorious theft of about $200,000 from Led Zeppelin during their landmark 1973 American tour. In reality, the crime was never solved and some people even wondered if the band themselves were behind the theft. Buhrmester imagines a plot that involves some good-natured but bumbling thiefs from Baltimore, a 1958 Les Paul, and even a Bible thumping motorcycle gang. It’s a riot of a read and hits bookstores next week, right before tax day.

And finally, Andrew Vachss is back with his latest — and final — Burke novel, Another Life. Described as a coda to the long-running Burke series, this book is classic Vachss. Tight, coiled with rage, and exciting to read.