My life via books: heist and pirate included

BOOK REVIEW time: I must admit, I’m on a roll with interesting reads these days. Here are my top three books from February.

“Sex on the Moon, the Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History,” by Ben Mezrich; “Under the Wide and Starry Sky,” by Nancy Horan; “Truth in Advertising,” by John Kenney

“Sex on the Moon, the Amazing Story Behind the Most Audacious Heist in History,” by Ben Mezrich; “Under the Wide and Starry Sky,” by Nancy Horan; “Truth in Advertising,” by John Kenney

The moon one: recounts a 2002 heist—where a NASA safe containing priceless moon rock samples is stolen. By an intern. (Who ended up in Federal prison.) Yup. The story’s a bit padded, and some reviews have taken a decent swing at the author’s artistic liberty. But beyond the writer’s jazz hands and Barbie-d roles of women—the story itself is nuts. Maybe a good Economist article would have been a better source for me. But I enjoyed it all the same.

The wide sky: is historical fiction about the life of author Robert Louis Stevenson (think pirate/“Treasure Island”) and his wife Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne. (And told by the author of “Loving Frank”—a story that recounted the personal life of Frank Lloyd Wright, which I also loved.) After reading it, I found myself in Powell's Books, looking at a whole shelf of old canvas-covered editions from RLS. I was suddenly sentimental about the journey behind these stories. Running my fingers across the gold embossed lettering of his last—unfinished—novel.

I find I’m attracted to the retelling of true stories. Of fantastic scope. This look into health, family, home, hardship and the unstoppable drive of artistry? Was enchanting. And hello? An ocean-crossing with zoo wildlife?! Of course I love it.

Advertising: I grabbed this book at the library purely because the font and the cover were fabulous. It’s a first time novel from a long time columnist/contributor to the New York writing scene. A fictional glimpse, with humor and heaviness, into the advertising world behind everyday items—like diapers. It’s quick. Witty. Full of unexpected and insightful sentences that make me want to hug him. The author. Not the diaper guy. Well maybe him. He kind of needs a hug, too.

Anything fun that you’re reading these days?

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