Reviews > Books
Sandra Newman’s ‘The Country of Ice Cream Star’ Is a Heavy Read

There’s talk of war, rape, disease -- all things we associate with the worst of adulthood. But Newman never lets us forget that these are children.

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Michel Onfray’s Philosopher’s Guide to Good Food

From Nietzsche's 'Sausages of the Anti-Christ' to Kant's 'Ethical Alcoholism', the French celebrity philosopher serves up a sumptuous smorgasbord of philosophical plates.

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‘Soul!’, the Groundbreaking Public TV Show From the Black Power Era Is Rescued From the Archives

Musical acts ranged from Rahsaan Roland Kirk to Ashford & Simpson. Nikki Giovanni and James Baldwin interrogated each other in a two-episode arc. Try finding a mix like that in the current PBS lineup.

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‘Preaching on Wax’ Is an Introduction to a Neglected Subset of Early Black Pop and Its Biggest Star

Rev. J.M. Gates was a hit from his 1926 debut, worlds apart from his stodgy predecessors. His best work can still really get the goosebumps going.

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Crossing the Troll Bridge With ‘Marvel Comics in the 1980s’

It’s almost as if Pierre Comtois is trolling the reader, treating the printed page as a message board on which to make fans go crazy.

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Now, Voyager: Barry Hill’s ‘Peacemongers’

'Peacemongers', by the Australian poet and journalist Barry Hill, is an epic travelogue and probing meditation on the importance and elusiveness of peace.

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‘The Lost Boys Symphony’ Has a Fascinating Concept and Strong Plotting and Pacing

This realistic novel about a collegiate love triangle develops into a fascinating genre-bender about time travel and mental illness.

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Why Are Critics Falling All Over Deepti Kapoor’s ‘A Bad Character’?

Too many reviews of this book universalise Idha’s experience and praise it for providing a window into the Indian woman’s experience. Which women would that be?

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‘Times Beach’ Gives Us Theater, Free-form Jazz, Art Cinema, and Southern Gothic Literature

Times Beach is less a collection of poetry as it is an anthology of performance art presented under the guise of poetry.

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The Romance of Obsession in ‘Schubert’s Winter Journey’

Tenor Ian Bostridge has sung Winterreise hundreds of times and here gives it the equivalent of 33 1/3 entry -- only denser in substance, more elaborately written, and with some fascinating tangentials.

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Coming Full Circle as the Children of Immigrants

The Blind Writer is less about South Asians and the Indian-American experience as it is about Indian-American men and their (in)abilities to navigate life.

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‘The Queen’s Bed’, the Queen’s Body, and the Body of the State

A rigorous, middle ground between lurid populist histories and dry academia, Anna Whitelock provides an excellent biography as a well trained historian.

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The Heart Says Whatever in ‘Hausfrau’

Jill Alexander Essbaum’s first novel bleakly evokes the life of a woman adrift. However well built, it is story constructed over a sinkhole.

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‘Ravensbrück’: The Nonfiction of Nightmares

Sarah Helm’s Ravensbrück is a searingly comprehensive look at the sole concentration camp built to house women. It is the nonfiction of nightmares.

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Perception vs. Reality in Tracy Manaster’s ‘You Could Be Home By Now’

Some books you just don’t want to end. Manaster’s debut is one of those books.

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Per Petterson’s Tales of Innocence and Experience

Petterson's closely-knit stories sadly and beautifully reveal the passage from boyish innocence to "manhood", and show us what it means to be a man.

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Comedy Is a Lower Form in B.J. Novak’s ‘One More Thing’

B.J. Novak forsakes an impeccable sense of timing and an acerbic wit to patronize with this collection of cast-off skit ideas and sappy short-stories.

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‘Wayward Volume One: String Theory’ Beautifully Captures Accurate Folkloric Context

The comic series Wayward depicts the struggles of a group of supernatural teens growing up and fighting evil on the streets of modern Tokyo.

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Signs of Genius at the End of the World

Signs Preceding the End of the World is a moving novel about borders, identity and the world to come.

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‘Culture Crash’ Aims to Draw Attention to the Dwindling Creative Subset of the Middle Class

Has the US abandoned its middle-class creatives? Scott Timberg explains in Culture Crash.

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Call for Papers: Do You Believe in Life After Auto-Tune?

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"Which is better, Cher’s voice before or after Auto-Tune?

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