September 17, 2004
Santa Steps Out: A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups by Robert Devereaux

Santa Steps Out: A Fairy Tale for Grown-ups by Robert Devereaux: in December of 1970, the Tooth Fairy, naked except for a necklace of blood-flecked teeth, decides upon a plan - a plan to seduce Santa Claus.

You see, before the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and even God are who they are now, they used to be creatures from Greek mythology with completely different aspects and desires. The Tooth Fairy, though, is the only one that retains her persona from that time and she’s done with the way things are now. Her seduction of Santa Claus sets in motion events that have huge repercussions not just for these magical creatures, but for several humans as well.

At first, I had great difficulty getting into the book and I suspected that I wasn’t going to like it. Yes, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are having wild, kinky sex (occasionally in the bed of a sleeping child, nonetheless). Yes, it’s terribly shocking to see figures from our childhood given such base emotions. But is it a good read?

I was inclined to say no and half believing I wasn’t even going to finish the novel when, for whatever reason, I found myself becoming more interested in the story and the characters and wondering how it was going to turn out. While it never will never make my favorite book list, Santa Steps Out did manage to hold my attention and I enjoyed the way the book ended.

September 12, 2004
Cool Dead People: Obituaries of Real Folks We Wish We'd Met a Little Sooner by Jane O'Boyle

Cool Dead People: Obituaries of Real Folks We Wish We’d Met a Little Sooner by Jane O'Boyle: a quick little book that tells the tales of people that have passed on.

Jane O'Boyle collected obituaries of over one hundred interesting people (categorized into trailblazers, curators, problem solvers, advocates, and dreamers) and put them in this small book so that we could all learn more about them. While some of the people in here may be known to many, most of them are people that I’d never heard of, doing things I’d never known about. As she put it, “they are everyday people like you and me who did extraordinary things. And that makes them cool.”

As a poker player, I was particularly happy to find the obituary of Stuey Ungar, one of the greatest poker players ever that died at the young age of forty-five. While an incredible card player, he was also a hopeless gambler and addict and even lost $1,000,000 on one football game once.

At a mere 143 pages with larger than average type and smaller than average pages, the book takes hardly any time at all to read, but it’s still pretty darn interesting.