Reviews > Books
Was George Carlin Right About Everything?

What the F explores the colorful, sophisticated science of cursing and why it feels so #$@&%* good to swear.

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Critical Shortcomings in Cynthia Ozick’s ‘Critics, Monsters, Fanatics & Other Literary Essays’

It's so easy to be distracted by the powerful writing and insightful analysis that one misses Ozick's inability to deliver on the larger thematic promises of her latest collection.

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‘Scurvy’: Chronicling the Etiology of an Affliction

Jonathan Lamb's authoritative study affords an interesting perspective on one of history's most unpleasant afflictions.

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‘The End of Ownership’: The Digital Industry Wants You to Just Let It Go, Already

Millions of consumers are caught up in the streaming revolution, but what price are we paying in the realm of ownership?

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‘Bar Yarns and Manic-Depressive Mixtapes’, or, Music criticism, Minnesota-style

Jim Walsh’s writing combines heartfelt personal stories with knowledgeable music criticism. Reading this collection feels like having a conversation with an old friend.

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‘The Subsidiary’ Is a Chilling Experimental and Fragmented Tale About the Evils of Corporate Power

The lights go off in a subsidiary office; the phone lines go down and the exits are closed off. What happens next is told by an employee keeping records via rubber stamps.

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Ted Rall’s Bernie Bio Has Extra Relevance in the Wake of the Democrats’ Presidential Defeat

While clearly endorsing Bernie Sanders’ politics, Rall offers an interesting and balanced portrait of the man behind the politics.

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‘Nietzsche’s Journey to Sorrento’: Wherein Nietzsche Finds His Voice

Paolo D'Iorio writes of the costs and rewards of a man in the midst of transformation.

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‘A Wild Swan and Other Tales’: A Twist on Fairy Tales for a More Sober Time

Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham gives a compelling demonstration of how to reimagine magic while retaining a literary legacy.

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‘Reading the Silver Screen’ From a Man Who Really Knows How to Teach

Thomas C. Foster’s little narrative method is a smart bit of teaching in a book that’s filled with great teaching techniques.

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Naomi Duguid’s ‘Taste of Persia’ Demystifies and Enchants

Duguid is particularly well-qualified to address the jewels in Persian cuisine's crown: exquisite rice cookery and a vast array of flatbreads.

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Zadie Smith’s ‘Swing Time’ Does a Difficult Dance

Learning from the past is not as simple as pressing rewind: it's a dance that's quite difficult to execute.

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Roger Ebert Was Tuned in to the Average Reader’s Frequency

The Great Movies IV may be thinner than its predecessors, but it's just as essential for fans of the late critic.

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‘Agnes’ Is a Bleak Tale About the Misuses of Storytelling

Peter Stamm's work is an example of how stories can hold their creators in their power.

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‘The Road Not Taken’ Travels the Blurred Boundary Between Sincerity and Performance

David Orr's exploration of Robert Frost's famous (and famously misinterpreted) poem will have you questioning Frost's intentions -- and your illusions of self-agency.

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Biography of X-Men Comics Writer Chris Claremont Is Weighed Down With Words

Claremont's long-form X-Men story, told over 186 issues, proves he's the master of the form. Jason Powell's new book offers an exhaustive issue-by-issue commentary.

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Alexander von Humboldt Carried the Spirit and the Genius of Goethe

Humboldt knew that nature, when properly channeled and understood, is something felt and experienced deeply and personally, that stimulates the imagination as well as the intellect.

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22 Nov 2016 // 3:15 AM

Font Matters

Simon Loxley's Type Is Beautiful will have you realizing that you haven't fully lived until you've stared into the depths of Louis John Pouchee’s 18 Lines No. 2.

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‘The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016’ Takes a Different Approach, This Year

When I learned that the content chosen for this anthology had been selected by high school students, I got nervous.

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‘Eileen’ Is a Grimly Funny and Dark Story of Breaking With the Past

Eileen is an atmospheric thriller with a seductively ugly narrative voice.

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'The Chamber' Keeps the Drama and Suspense Going

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"The Chamber is the filmic equivalent of a fairground ride, the stimulation of emotion over ideas.

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