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Thursday, March 6 2014

The Art of Rube Goldberg, or, The Art of Inefficiency

The Rube Goldberg Variations are finally given a museum-quality recollection by none other than the artist's Granddaughter. It's hardly what you'd call "very simple".


Wednesday, March 5 2014

Don Drummond Was One of the Five Best Trombonists to Ever Play the Instrument

One comes away from Don Drummond with a clearer sense of who the man was and why he is considered by many to be the best musician so few people have ever heard of.


‘Moomin’s Desert Island’ Makes for a Cute, Fun, Dangerous and Weird Odyssey

This classic dark, enchanting, eyebrow raising tale from Finland, wherein talking animals are swiftly slaughtered, can be a bit of a challenge, but it's never boring.


Tuesday, March 4 2014

‘The Sugar Season’ Is a Bittersweet Warning

The addled combinations of sap and syrup, air and gravity, evaporation and consolidation also serve as a humble harbinger of global warming.


Modernity, Rising: ‘Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator’

Lifted is an absorbing exploration into how the introduction of elevators into buildings transformed cities and the experience of living and working in them.


Monday, March 3 2014

Romance and Illusion in ‘The Swan Gondola’

Timothy Schaffert draws upon L. Frank Baum's Oz mythology for his gorgeous fifth novel, The Swan Gondola.


Adam Phillips’ ‘Missing Out’ Offers Pearls of Wisdom in a Sea of Disappointment

Part Shakespearean analysis, part cultural anthropology, part literary criticism and part psychoanalysis, Missing Out is a compendium of insights and musings about our desire to be more than we are.


Friday, February 28 2014

When One Perfectionist Writes of Another: ‘Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven’

Gardiner approaches Bach with a great deal of consideration beforehand, leavened with the knowledge that music is about the transmission of emotion rather than logic.


Thursday, February 27 2014

Small Towns and Short Stories Are Perfectly Matched in ‘Once You Break a Knuckle’

There’s a lot of space in these short stories, a sense of the vastness of the Canadian wilderness which surrounds and sometimes envelops the characters.


‘Night In Shanghai’ Splits Between a Serious Historical Work and a Silly Romance Novel

In the ambitious Night In Shanghai, Nicole Mones attempts to recreate a city of nearly a century ago.


Wednesday, February 26 2014

Charlie Parker’s War with Jazz

If the devil lives in the details, Stanley Crouch’s mission in his biography of Charlie Parker is not just to befriend the devil, but to make him a business partner.


‘The Ballad of Barnabas Pierkiel’ Is Kinda Like a Slavic Lake Woebegone

There ain't no party like a Slavic party, 1939. We get romance and moonshine in advance of the blitzkrieg in this humorous first novel.


Tuesday, February 25 2014

Standing on Soil Soaked in Blood: Rohan Wilson’s ‘The Roving Party’

Rohan Wilson composes a work of historical fiction that never shies away from the horrors that gave birth to modern-day Tasmania.


‘Fallen Land’: A Provocative Descent from Ambition to Madness

Unorthodox literary tactics imbue Fallen Land with psychological drama, keen social commentary, and riveting suspense all at once.


Monday, February 24 2014

Get a Glimpse of an Early Social Network—and Its Hackers—in ‘Exploding the Phone’

One of the earliest, and most illegal, social networks led to one of the greatest technological revolutions of our time.


The End is Always Near in ‘Snowpiercer Volume 1: The Escape’

Imagining the world ending is a safe kind of fantasy because, deep down inside, we don’t think it can actually happen.


Friday, February 21 2014

‘Do Muslim Women Need Saving?’

This is an elegant, concise book on the entanglement of feminism with imperialism by a foremost anthropologist in her field.


Thursday, February 20 2014

Day-by-Day, London Life from Hundreds of Voices over Hundreds of Years

A London Year chronicles marvelous tales and observations by writers known and unknown.


Linda Ronstadt Is a Beautiful Writer and an Adept Storyteller

In Simple Dreams Grammy Award wining Linda Ronstadt takes readers on a ride through the landscape of America's '60s and '70s music.


Wednesday, February 19 2014

Poking Fun at Everyone: ‘Mad’s Dave Berg

Dave Berg's Mad work reveals the true motivations of people, their selfishness and greed, and their utter ridiculousness.


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