Latest Blog Posts

by Alice Mills

17 Nov 2015

A short and  pleasant little tour with Howard S. Becker into the world of marihuana.

Whether you’re 18, 28 or even 78 years old, maybe there’s a part of you that has always fancied yourself as a bit of a weed loving, skunk smoking Bob Marley. But even if you don’t fall into this category, Howard S. Becker’s Becoming a Marihuana User is more than a humorous ‘how to’ guide to the ways of pot; it’s a “short little tour” into the world of marihuana and how it has become more than just an accessory to make you look badass in front of all your friends.

by Diane Leach

23 Oct 2015

If you're old  enough to drink whiskey, you're too old for scratch n' sniff.

A novelty item about a serious topic, The Essential Scratch & Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All is a cheerfully childish book for the recently-legal drinker. It’s also the perfect gag gift for that friend just back from touring the Scottish, or Tennessee distilleries.

Whoever the audience, the guide is well-intentioned if imperfect. At 12 pages, with large print and a breezy writing style, it’s unlikely to confer know-it-all status. That said, authors Richard Betts, Crystal English Sacca and Wendy MacNaughton offer a decent overview of a complex subject within a limited space.

by Chelsea Smile

7 Aug 2015

Rock music and  baked goods have always been mutually exclusive. Until now.

The release of Bake In Black by Dave and Eve O’Sullivian shatters the concept that rock music and baking aren’t naturally and intrinsically interlinked. What began as a blog in an East London kitchen by a music journalist and a food critic has developed into a professional and polished book of varied and delectable eats.

by John L. Murphy

15 Jul 2015

Dante's English  Public glances at current adaptations of Dante's work, from the comic Nightcrawler's Inferno to Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves.

Many poets and painters have responded in our language to Dante. Rather than document the reactions by authors and artists since Chaucer to their Italian inspiration, Nick Havely investigates the conditions under which “intellectual, religious, political, bibliographic, textual” reactions occurred since medieval times. Havely specializes in the reception of Italian literature in his English homeland, so this Dante scholar at the University of York seems ideally suited for this scholarly study.

by Diane Leach

22 Jun 2015

As the Bay  Area Rapid Transit escalator carried me upward, toward the first annual Bay Area Book Festival (6th and 7th, June), I repeated my new mantra. I would buy no books.

Montage from Bay Area Book Festival

I would buy no books. 

As the Bay Area Rapid Transit escalator carried me upward, toward the first annual Bay Area Book Festival (6th and 7th, June), I repeated my new mantra. I would buy no books.

I would wander the streets lined with booksellers and listen to author panels.I would eavesdrop in ladies’ rooms and eat mediocre street truck fare. I would see An Evening With Judy Blume. 

But I would buy no books.  Our small home is awash in books, any semblance of order long forgotten. The bookshelves need bookshelves. 

Steeling myself, I began walking.

Five city streets were given over to booksellers and publishers, who were grouped by topic: Literary Lane, Radical Row, Writer’s Row, Eco Alley, and Mind and Body Blvd.  At Civic Center Park, the Lacuna, a circular installation of 50,000 free books, gradually came down as people made their selections. 

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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