Recent Features
The Best Non-Fiction of 2011

Books have a long shelf-life. A loved book may outlast its original owner by a generation – or more -- if well cared for. With that in mind, we recall our best loved books of 2011 here, well into 2012. Better late than never...

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23 Feb 2012 // 10:00 PM

Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘The Last Holiday’

This posthumous memoir provides Scott-Heron’s keen insights into the music industry, the civil rights movement, modern America, governmental hypocrisy, and our wider place in the world.

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Charles Dickens 200: Great Expectations: Bright Hope and Dark Resignation

Where we are now, in 2012, is on a darker plain especially for the large "Underclass". Perhaps Dickens can light our way?

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Celebrating the Possibilities of Fiction: A Conversation with Jennifer Egan

Pulitzer Prize winning author Jennifer Egan discusses her unique combination of influences, the role of genre and satire in her work, and the importance of distance in her creative process.

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Black Music, White People / White Music, Black People

These two books show how knotty the connections between culture, race and music have become, even though the only thing the worlds they explore share in common is that in both cases, the audiences are almost all white.

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20 Questions: Gail Simmons

Eat. Write. Travel. Cook. Four little words, an amuse-bouche in the great feast that is food for thought, if you will, that would lead Gail Simmons to her prestigious roles with Food & Wine Magazine, Top Chef and Top Chef: Just Desserts.

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The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies Dreamers—and the Coming Cashless Society

The usefulness of physical money -- to say nothing of its value -- is coming under fire as never before. Told with verve and wit, this book explores an aspect of our daily lives so fundamental that we rarely stop to think about it. You’ll never look at a dollar bill the same again.

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What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and the Power of Music?

Denise Sullivan represents the insider intellectual stamina of rock 'n' roll journalism without the pomp and pretense. She is the past and future of the form, rolled into one uncanny style.

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Some People Have a City Instead of a Life: The Work of Tim Hall

Tim Hall possesses the uncanny gift to compress startling insight into short phrases with such care and concision that he could likely turn a Twitter feed into a system of philosophy.

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12 Feb 2012 // 10:00 PM

Hip Hop Es Mi Cultura

This travelogue takes us four locales: Havana, Chicago, Sydney and Caracas. Each locale translates into distinctive interactions with hip-hop and its pillars of deejaying, emceeing, b-boying, and graffiti.

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Nick Cave’s The Death of Bunny Munro: A Rock Star’s Midlife Crisis or Valid Literature?

Regardless how history comes to look Nick Cave's The Death of Bunny Munro, in the context of Cave’s career, it stands alone as the purest distillation of his artistry -- a poetic novel with Cave’s inimitable brand of the grotesque, absurd and often comic nature of humanity.

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‘Nebraska’: Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Heart of Darkness’

In 1982, with the charts ruled by “Physical”, “Don’t You Want Me” and “Eye of the Tiger”, along came a low-tech record about killers, small-time thieves and other forgotten souls -- and it's still one of the best albums in American music.

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Carole E. Barrowman’s Authorial Journey to Hollow Earth

Hollow Earth isn’t just any book. It may be the Next Big Thing in young adult (YA) literature. It’s cover proclaims that “Imagination can be a dangerous thing,” but fans of John and Carole E. Barrowman are more than willing to take that risk.

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Tower Songs: Townes Van Zandt

I'll Be There in the Morning offers an affectionate but hardly rose-colored view of Townes Van Zandt and his influence on other songwriters.

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‘Library After Air Raid’: On the Survival of Culture Amid the Barbarity of War

War is a science, science is an art and art, as Library After Air Raid attests, is everything.

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Riding Into a Nightmare: ‘A Train in Winter’

Caroline Moorehead's A Train In Winter, like Daniel Mendelsohn's The Lost, leaves nothing to the imagination, a decision that makes reading it simultaneously engrossing and deeply disturbing.

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Doing The Worst Things Well: What We Can Learn from Anthony Burgess

The 50th anniversary of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, along with the recent discovery of a vast archive of the author's unpublished work, should shine fresh light on one of the 20th century's most prolific, daring and underrated writers.

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Machine Guns and Metaphors: Outlaw Poet Todd Moore Remembered

The tough, vernacular, and outsider writer Todd Moore became an icon of Outlaw Poetry; he disdained academia, embraced gangsters like John Dillinger, and made American poetry pulse with dark blood.

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If at First You Don’t Succeed, Failure May Be Your Style: ‘The Queer Art of Failure’

Rather than searching for ways around death and disappointment, the queer art of failure involves the acceptance of the finite, the embrace of the absurd, the silly, and the hopelessly goofy.

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12 Jan 2012 // 10:00 PM

The Sexual History of London

If Paris is the city of love, then London is the city of lust. From the bath houses of Roman Londinium to the sexual underground of the 20th century and beyond, this is an entertaining, vibrant chronicle of London and sex through the ages.

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More Recent Features
//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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