And what’s he doing on the cover of that magazine?

Over at Fast CompanyI have a long nonfiction essay about the Iraq War, modern propaganda, and how the traditional tools of government-funded “public diplomacy”—such as radio stations and glossy magazines—are failing in the era of social networks and the dank meme. It’s called “Hi, We Failed to Sell You America,” for reasons that will become achingly clear once you start reading.

And it’s light reading. I swear! I swear! There are even some jokes in there!

I consider this part two of an unofficial “foreign policy” trilogy that started with my piece earlier this year on Iran and book publishing. And having declared that, I now need to, er, come up with a part three of some sort…

Quick, look over there! What the hell is that?

Never mind, it got away. Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah, “Boise Longpig Hunting Club” has been out in the wilderness (re: bookstores) for a month, and it’s been getting some pretty solid reviews. “No filler or fluff, but not just gun battles and explosions for the sake of it either. Yes, it’s violent, but also very original. So two wins right there,” one reader wrote on Amazon. The bloggers have generally enjoyed it, too. If you feel so inclined, please consider snagging a copy; a guy’s gotta eat.

If you’re facing a particularly long airplane flight—or you just need a lot of books to read as you head into Fall—I have a few others to recommend. Paul Tremblay’s “The Cabin at the End of the World” is a great book with a controversial ending that I thought really worked; I don’t read a lot of horror, but I’m a huge fan of Paul’s, and I think he took the standard cabin-in-the-wood tropes into interesting and unexpected places. To go any further is to plunge into spoiler territory, but trust me: this one has a lot of heart. And actual hearts. And gore.

And if you’re in the mood for non-fiction, and you want something reallyheavy, check out C.J. Chivers’ “The Fighters,” which features the interwoven stories of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. I bought it for research (for the sequel to “Boise Longpig,” no less) and quickly found myself down the rabbit hole. It reads like a sweeping novel, and parts of it will hollow you out.

That’s all for now. The West is burning. The East is about to drown in hurricane waters. Who knew the end times would be so much fun?