MaronI discovered Marc Maron about five years ago, when I was trolling for new podcasts to add  to my “work iPod.” Back then I listened for about 10 hours per day, five days per week, and was ripping through an enormous amount of material.

One of the first Maron podcasts I heard was his infamous encounter with Gallagher, which was episode 145. As I type this, he’s up to 673 episodes, and I’ve listened to them all. Except for one, which I turned off in disgust: his interview with the pretentious-cock lead singer of Radiohead. Oh my god!

In any case, I’ve become a Maron fan. He’s a longtime stand-up comic, and interviews “creatives” (comics, actors, writers, musicians) on his bi-weekly podcast. He also has a very funny situation comedy on IFC, that’s successfully worked its way into my bloodstream. I was just watching it last night, laughing my ass off.

And this morning I noticed his memoir is temporarily reduced to $1.99 for Kindle. I own it, of course, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. I do not hesitate, however, recommending it. Snag the thing, before the price goes back to twelve bucks, or whatever. The man has had his share of adventures.

PythonI’m not a huge fan of “oral histories.” I’ve certainly read some good ones, like the MTV book, but I generally prefer a more traditional approach.

However… this is about Monty Python, and the surviving members cooperate. So, it earned a place on my Amazon Wishlist. It feels like I know a lot about this stuff, and yet there’s much, much more I don’t know. Ya know?

A cousin introduced me to Monty Python, way back in 7th grade. It was impossibly silly and absurd, and sometimes there was nudity! I became fully-invested, as did many other people I knew. We’d never seen anything like it. At the time, comedy on American TV meant Alice or Maude. Monty Python felt like it was being beamed in from a distant, far-cooler planet.

This morning, while scrolling through the ol’ Wishlist, I noticed that Monty Python Speaks! is temporarily 99 cents for Kindle. Oh, hell yes. My cursor was a blur to the Buy Now button. And my massive reading backlog continues to grow. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In Times Like TheseI finished reading this one a few weeks ago, and had a great time with it. As the title suggests, it’s, you know, an adventure story involving, well, time travel.

It begins with a group of friends waiting out a thunderstorm in a dugout, hoping to get their planned softball game in once the rain and wind moves on and becomes somebody’s else’s  problem. But it’s not to be. A power line is knocked loose by the storm and drapes the dugout, blasting our new pals ass-over-tits. When they regain consciousness, something feels a bit off, and it doesn’t take them long to learn the reason. They’ve woken up in freaking 1985!

The novel is a lengthy, fun ride. The characters are likable and real, and there’s no shortage of twists and turns in the plot. Will they figure out a way to return home to 2009? Will they even want to? Along the way they meet plenty of memorable characters,  and encounter any number of compelling situations. It’s highly entertaining. And today it’s free for Kindle. If it sounds like your kind of thing, you won’t be disappointed.

DC TripI knew nothing about this book or its author, but it was recommended to me by a creepy Amazon algorithm that seems to know what I’m thinking, my moods, and all about that terrible thing in August of 1979 with the beanbag chair, etc.

I liked the cover, and the $1.99 price was right in my wheelhouse. But it was this customer review that sealed the deal for me:

This book was seriously hilarious. I hope they make it into a movie and somehow make the movie as good as the book. D.C. Trip is full of horrible teenage girls, underage drinking, accidental drug use, public bathroom BJs, many f-words, and all kinds of inappropriate behavior, which is part of what makes it so good. It made me wish I was a teenager again so I could get in the kind of trouble that makes a great story to tell the grandkids but doesn’t do any lasting damage.

Sounded like my kind of thing! And at two bucks… sign me up. I just started reading it last night, and was alone in my silent living room laughing my ass off. Like a mental patient. I’m only about 15% into it, but can already recommend this one. It’s well-written, hilarious, and kinda filthy. Perfect!