Home / The Early Word: New Books for the Week of April 29

The Early Word: New Books for the Week of April 29

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This week's new releases finally gives us a chance to find out how CIA Director George Tenet smuggled lawyers, guns, and money to Warren Zevon.


At the Center of the Storm by George Tenet, Bill Harlow

Starting with his installation as Director of Central Intelligence in 1997, George Tenet's memoir of his leadership of the CIA reveals behind-the-scenes workings of the intelligence agency, with a special focus on events running up to 9/11 and the aftermath. Included are accounts of CIA operations inside Afghanistan, the plan to fight terror, his warnings to White House officials in the spring and summer of 2001, and the plan for a response just six days after the attack. Tenet also discusses the CIA's efforts since 9/11 to capture members of Al Qaeda's leadership. In a broader context, Tenet also reflects on the future of U.S. intelligence and its role in foreign-policy decisions, offering an informed plan for building a more secure world.

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon, Carl Hiaasen

    I've got a .38 special up on the shelf
    I'll sleep when I'm dead
    If I start acting stupid
    I'll shoot myself
    I'll sleep when I'm dead…

The mordant title is typical Zevon, but considering the raucous enjoyed-every-sandwich life and often caustic music of the subject, and the sure-to-be riotous assistance of mystery writer Carl Hiaasen, you can be sure this is far from a typical biography of a sorely missed artist, one who balanced his colorful character with witty and tender songwriting craftsmanship. Indeed, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead is an unusual oral history of Zevon, drawing on over 80 interviews with such fans and co-conspirators as Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Stephen King, Bonnie Raitt, and countless others.

Jack Nicklaus: Simply the Best by Martin Davis, Dan Jenkins, Dave Anderson

Einstein: A Biography by Jurgen Neffe, Shelley Frisch (Translator)

The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's War by Robert D. Hormats

Leave the Building Quickly: True Stories by Cynthia Kaplan

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp

Punk Rock Dad: No Rules, Just Real Life by Jim Lindberg

Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage by Dina Matos McGreevey, Anonymous

Weird Virginia: Foreword by Mark Moran, Loren Coleman, Troy Taylor, Mark Sceurman, Jeffery Bahr

Bastards of the Party: The Evolution of Bangin' by Cle Sloan, Magalis Martinez


No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong

Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg

Strike Force by Dale Brown

Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot

The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon

Undead and Unpopular by MaryJanice Davidson

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris


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About Gordon Hauptfleisch

  • Charlene Komar Storey

    The quote used in the review of “I’ll SLeep When I’m Dead” is NOT from Warren Zevon’s song of trhe same name.

    These are the lyrics:

    So much to do, there’s plenty on the farm
    I’ll sleep when I’m dead
    Saturday night I like to raise a little harm
    I’ll sleep when I’m dead

    I’m drinking heartbreak motor oil and Bombay gin
    I’ll sleep when I’m dead
    Straight from the bottle, twisted again
    I’ll sleep when I’m dead

    Well, I take this medicine as prescribed
    I’ll sleep when I’m dead
    It don’t matter if I get a little tired
    I’ll sleep when I’m dead

    I’ve got a .38 special up on the shelf
    I’ll sleep when I’m dead
    If I start acting stupid
    I’ll shoot myself
    I’ll sleep when I’m dead

  • Thank you, Charlene — saves me from doing it myself.

    The difference between Warren Zevon and Bon Jovi (whose song is quoted in the post) is the difference between chicken salad and chicken shit. Or maybe the difference between heartbreak motor oil and Bombay Gin.

    Carl Hiassen wrote the intro and was one of many, many people interviewed for the book. It’s not as if he co-wrote it.

    A terrific book, by the way, but Zevon does not come off all that well in it. He gave his blessing to the project and apparently wanted to make sure the hard, cold truth of his life got old — and I’m afraid it did.

  • Gordon L Hauptfleisch

    It’s official! You’ve both been deemed hipper-than-thou. Congratulations!

  • Charlene and Rodney are correct. And, while I enjoy a good Bon Jovi song from time to time, it is a pretty damn sad commentary on journalism standards at the San Diego Untion Tribune when one of the book reviewers can’t even be bothered to quote the song lyrics that actually belong to the person who’s biography he’s reviewing.

  • Gordon L Hauptfleisch

    Yes, Hank, I made a mistake. And had this been a review, and not merely a list of new books, I would’ve been more careful. I didn’t even know Bon Jovi had done a cover version, so when I impulsively went to a lyrics website to quote some lines, I was too hasty and didn’t stop to think that these words seemed unfamiliar.

    Now excuse me–I have some more misquoting to do for a book review.

  • RogerMDillon

    Hank, your comment is a sad commentary on people with too much time on their hands.

    Not only is there no “San Diego Untion Tribune,” but if there was, I’m not sure how their standards would have anything to do with what’s published here.

    That’s like saying an error by a washroom attendant at one nightclub has an impact on the way you hand out paper towels and cologne.

  • Roger, if there is no San Diego Union-Tribune, why does the author claim to be a book reviewer for it?

  • Gordon L Hauptfleisch

    Um, maybe Roger’s point was that you misspelled the name of the paper. You also mis-used “whose.”
    Pretty damn sad commentary…