Books in which my work appears:

Street Gallery, by Robin Dunitz, 1998 edition (in which I am proud to say I appear)
is the most comprehensive compendium of murals in the Los Angeles Area. Because this comes from a small private publisher, there is no discount on the publisher's price. It is, however, well worth the modest price, with photographs, descriptions, directions, and artists' bios from WPA projects through 1995, when the addendum was published.
Remembering Farley
is a collection of original strips revolving around Lynn Johnston's For Better or Worse dog, Farley. Throughout the book are readers' letters and their memories of family pets. I wrote a very negative letter to her after the death of Farley--and I hadn't been a fan of the strip: I got sucked in by the beautiful drawings of the dog underwater just before he drowned and felt my interest had been abused. It is a tribute to Ms. Johnston that she exerpted a very positive part of the letter for inclusion in the book. The book is available here at a much lower cost than direct from the publisher. If you're a comic fan, this one is worth adding to your collection for the lovely line work that is, incidentally, that of a woman cartoonist drawing a strip in which characters grow and age, in the tradition of Gasoline Alley.
This list to grows and changes; these are personal favorites linked with Amazon Books*, making them directly available at discounts from 20% - 40% to visitors to my pages. I encourage you to try their services through the links on this and other pages.

This page is created and maintained by Alison McMahon Johnson
Last modified 25 August 2001

Last modified 25 August 2001

Because I am in association with,* you can click on any titles you see on this page to look at and order at discounted prices. Most books are delivered within a week, and you can pay direct by credit card, or you can order and write a check (which is a little slower).

Personal Favorites: (click here for details on and links for books listed below)

Sun Setting on the British Empire, or the era of Toffs and Tweeds:(click here for details on and links for books listed below)Books for Hashers: (click here for details on and links for books listed in this group)Anthony Burgess: (click here for details on and links for books listed in this group)
Hunter S. Thompson
The Proud Highway (hardcover)
The Curse of Lono
Classic Thompson: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
Classic Thompson: The Great Shark Hunt
The Lazlo Letters: The Amazing, Real-Life, Actual Correspondence of Lazlo Toth, American, Don Novello
Citizen Lazlo! The Continuing Unrelenting Correspondence of Lazlo Toth, American, Don Novello
Mierda! The Real Spanish You Were Never Taught in School, F. de Talavera Berger
Más Mierda!, F. de Talavera Berger
Holidays in Hell, P.J. O'Rourke
In Few Words/En Pocas Palabras: A Compendium of Latino Folk Wit and Wisdom, José Antonio Burciaga,
Books in Which My Work Appears
Street Gallery (with addendum), by Robin Dunitz
Remembering Farley, by Lynn Johnston
Books I've Reviewed for Amazon Books' Online Catalog:
Honey for the Bears, by Anthony Burgess
The Doctor Is Sick, by Anthony Burgess
The Long Day Wanes: A Malayan Trilogy, by Anthony Burgess
Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.
The Curse of Lono, by Hunter S. Thompson
Staying On, by Paul Scott
Desolation Angels, by Jack Kerouac
Kowloon Tong, by Paul Theroux
Surprise Pick
The Media/Media Literacy/Humanities with Humor
Bonfire of the Humanities, by David Marc
Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud,
Diners, by John Baeder

Some of my personal favorites:
Earthly Powers, by Anthony Burgess
my favorite author, is a study of the evil in good and the good in evil, constructed over the framework of a symphonic structure.
Desolation Angels, by Jack Kerouac,
is a surprisingly sweet journey by the Taoist-Buddhist duo (see home page reference) within the protagonist come to earth from his heaven, a fire lookout in the Northwest.
A Course in Miracles, by the Foundation for Inner Peace,
is a book that saved my life by focusing my energy on one source and one source only, after seeking in many (if you've toured my web pages, you see how hard that was to do). If you throw aside not only your scepticism but also your expectations and do each daily meditation, building your mental muscle over the course of a year (you don't have to stop there), you will see true miracles unfold. It's a "learn-by-doing course and no words can convey how miracles unfold--it's the ultimate "spirits-on" activity.
The Alexandria Quartet,by Lawrence Durrell is probably the book that turned me on to literature.
After several false starts with Justine, I finally became wrapped up in the colors and sensual descriptions and was carried through the confusing narrative on just the feel of the words, to discover that the next three books told the story from three other points of view and, as such, were narrated quite differently. "Pederasty is one thing; hashish quite another," has stuck with me all these years from Balthazar, which goes with a healthy humor into the raucously seedy side of Alexandria and the British expatriates and civil servants that frequent it.
The Long Day Wanes, a Malayan Trilogy,
Anthony Burgess offers one of the funniest books ever written, a trilogy which traces the British and Malaysian population's shift of power from the last of British Colonialism, through the guerilla years of the 1950's, and last, to the coming of the Americans: an archetypal pattern for independence from the colonial yoke and for the literature that surrounds it.
Other books that deal with British Colonialism and its aftermath, or "the era of Toffs and Tweeds," in lively ways are the books in Paul Scott's
Raj Quartet, followed by his
Staying On, a study of the colonials that came later in search of the colonial way of life and stayed on.
The Siege of Krishnapur, J.G. Farrell's Booker Prize novel, also deals with colonials in India, here barricaded at one posting during the sepoy mutiny of 1857. This is a beautifully constructed short novel that deals with the siege colorfully, with humor, and with introspection. (to be published soon--not yet available)
Anthony Burgess is always good for a good laugh.
I still laugh to tears every time I recall the passage about making Stepmother Tea in the Enderby Trilogy, or The Complete Enderby and whenever I need cheering up, I have a cuppa Stepmother Tea. I'll leave it to you to discover the recipe. He's also the only recognized author I know of that not only knows but makes reference to the lyrics to "The Good Ship Venus" and "Balls to Mr. Banglestein...." These are the benefits of a good British education.
The Doctor is Sick
is a wonderfully hallucinatory book. See my review under the catalog listing.
The Right to an Answer
is Burgess' return home after living in Malaysia, where he befriends an expatriate Indian in England who is perhaps more British than he. Returning home, after living abroad, truly is like "having a good sandwich in each hand and not knowing which to take a bite of."
A Vision of Battlements
deals with post-traumatic stress syndrome, but I can't remember exactly how--it takes place in Europe.
Burgess' two-volume autobiography, beginning with
Little Wilson and Big God covers his youth and years in Asia, while the second volume, You've Had Your Time, deals with his return to and flight from England after that. After reading many of his books, I became curious about what kind of a man this could be, so brilliant and so prolific, and so accomplished in bars and ordinary people.
Anthony Burgess was, excuse me, I just have to say it, a truly cunning linguist, and wrote many
books about the English language, as well as the dialogue for 1 Million B.C. Grunts and snorts, but grunts and snorts researched in chronological retrospect; from his vast knowledge of present-day languages, he traced language backward to its beginning sounds, much like he took modern-day Liverpool slang and projected it into the future for the speech in A Clockwork Orange (his admittedly worst and regrettably best-known book). As a linguist, he produced a lively analysis of language in A Mouthful of Air.
Related to the "Toffs and Tweeds" satirical theme are several books revolving around Academe:
The Groves of Academe, by Mary McCarthy,
Real People, by Alison Lurie (unavailable at present)
Imaginary Friends, by Alison Lurie (unavailable at present)
Another of my favorite writers, as you may have guessed by this point, would have to be Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
The Curse of Lono
By association, the Doonesbury Books are all favorites as well: Uncle Duke is my alter-ego (one of them).
Books I want to read: Anybody want to read one with me?
Sailor Song, by Ken Kesey,
an epic set in an Alaskan town invaded by Hollywood
Mason & Dixon, Thomas Pynchon's newest
Loitering With Intent, Vol II: The Apprentice, by Peter O'Toole
Volume I was a bit florid for my taste, so I have my reservations about Vol. II
Collected Stories, by Paul Theroux.

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