I just finished reading Why You Should Read Kafka Before You Waste Your Life, by James Hawes. He does a great job of dragging you through Kafka's biography and a history the critical response to his writing. You may have guessed from the title that the author tries to be a little hipper than one might hope for and there is a bit of that. He tries to draw out the "intriguing" aspects of Kafka's psyche and actions but, really, there's no disguising the fact that Kafka's personal life was not terribly thrilling.
When Jennifer was visiting she left Robert Baer's See No Evil for me. I'm about halfway through it and so far it is a very exciting memoir by a pretty bad writer. He's writing in the first person about the CIA before 9-11. His prose is awkward, he tends to ramble, and he seems compelled to end each section with a real killer sentence. There is a police detective show where scene changes are indicated with a doleful trainwhistlish donk-onk; this book makes me think of that. "The bombers had disappeared like diamonds in an inkwell." That appears early on--I read it and stared into space for a minute or two, first trying to extend the analogy and then getting off-track with the whole How is a Raven Like a Writing Desk thing. Finally I shook it off, said donk-onk (in my head), and kept reading.
James Hawes, on the other hand, has got my attention. He's written some novels and I plan to check them out.