Latest Blog Posts

by Alakananda Mookerjee

25 Oct 2016

Frank L. Baum's  Oz isn't in the land of Aussies, as one might think, but in a far more magical setting.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

“Oz” is a morpheme for Australia. Many know it to be an oblique nod to the other “Oz”, the fairyland setting of Frank L. Baum’s children’s classic. That connection could have had its genesis in Ozma of O” book No.3, published in 1907.

by Diane Leach

11 Jul 2016

There are times  when a reviewer and book simply do not jibe.

When would-be folksinger Rachel Boucher is raped and impregnated by former high school crush Jason de Klerk, the ensuing custody battle tears apart Athens, Ohio. That the aimless, unemployed de Klerk would have any parental rights at all is only part of what puzzles in Rachel’s Blue, Zakes Mda’s deeply peculiar novel.

Rachel, 23, is a would-be folksinger and nascent activist who lives with her grandmother, Nana Moira.The “Blue” of the title refers to the Amish ragdoll Rachel remains oddly attached to:

When everyone was gone, Blue was the one to have stayed. There was Nana Moira, of course, but she didn’t count that much. Blue, on the other hand, was always with Rachel. She was not apt to die in a war or disappear in a fog of drugs.

by Imran Khan

27 Jun 2016

The actor's memoir  is a backtracking through a life under scrutiny and a life eventually left to chance.

His rise to fame was spectacular but brief; as the lead in Berry Gordy’s deathless, runaway cult hit The Last Dragon, Taimak delivered audiences a character whose slash and burn approach to the martial arts was strangely offset by his quiet, unassuming charm. In Bruce Leroy, Taimak created an anomaly of personalities, housed in an individual who became emblematic of the contradiction to black stereotypes in film presented at the time. 

The year of the film’s release, 1985, came and went. And it seemed that Taimak did, too. What should have been a meteoric rise to fame was, in fact, a quickly extinguished flame.

by Erin Giannini

22 Jun 2016

Stephen King and  George RR Martin prove to be a dynamic duo on King's End of Watch tour.

Stephen King and George R. R. Martin (photographer unknown)

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from “A Night With Stephen King”—which sounds amusingly like a reality show with potential horror elements—one of the numerous King author events as part of his tour to promote End of Watch, the final book in King’s Bill Hodges trilogy. The last-minute addition of George R. R. Martin as the moderator left me even more at sea. Would it be a reading from the book? A Q & A where a select few could parse King’s motivations or habits or plot points?

It was actually none of these things, and still managed to be an enjoyable evening. Set at the 2 300-seat Kiva Auditorium at the Albuquerque Convention Center (which looked to be filled at approximately 75 percent capacity), it resembled nothing as much as a two-man, one-act play. The stage was set with two comfortable leather chairs, with King on the left, his long legs stretched out in front of him, while Martin sat to the right, facing King while they traded stories about writing, politics, the nature of evil, and oddly enough, rats.

by Diane Leach

18 Apr 2016

Beneath a thin  veneer of science journalism lies a vegetarian manifesto.

Marta Zaraska opens Meathooked by reassuring readers of her scientific detachment: “I may be a vegetarian, but I won’t tell you how much meat you should or shouldn’t eat. I’ll just give you the facts.”

Instead, readers are subject to a vegetarian manifesto masquerading as scientific journalism. The use of descriptors more commonly applied to drug addicts is unsettling and offensive, e.g., meat is described as an addictive substance people are either “off” or “on”. Any meat-eater, be they human, animal, or bacterial, is “meathooked”.

//Mixed media

Tricks or Treats? Ten Halloween Blu-rays That May Disrupt Your Life

// Short Ends and Leader

"The best of this stuff'll kill you.

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