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Monday, February 10 2014

Must One Wear Out Nine Pairs of Shoes in Order to Truly Appreciate New York?

Sociologist William B. Helmreich tramps through every neighborhood on foot to record New York City's density and diversity for The New York Nobody Knows.


A Visual Feast, a Melancholy Tale, Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Birthday of the Infanta’

Anyone who thinks fairy tales have happy endings either hasn’t read enough of them, or hasn’t read enough of the original, pre-Disneyfied material.


Friday, February 7 2014

Lovecraft and Culbard’s ‘The Shadow Out of Time’ Is a Brooding, Unsettlingly Epic Tale

This is a story whose audacious premise is grandiose enough to swallow most anything the reader could think to throw it at.


The Two Worlds of Susan Minot’s ‘Thirty Girls’

Jane's is the tourist's world of "towering eucalyptus smelling of mint" and an evening sun "cracked in a marble sky". Esther's is a world is full of violence and the fear of dying at any minute.


Thursday, February 6 2014

Cracking Up: Why Writing and Drinking May Not Be Such a Great Combination, After All

The Trip to Echo Spring contemplates the vexed relationship between six great American writers and the alcoholism that undermined their lives.


‘Being Here’ Poses Some Serious and Pertinent Questions to Notable Jazz Musicians

These interviews range from the succinct to the sublime with many artists feeling they are only vessels for the music which somehow comes from some universal wellspring of the human experience.


Wednesday, February 5 2014

A Message Carefully Wrapped and Sealed in a Ziploc Bag

Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being is an enormous step forward from her prior novels, taking on nothing less than the meaning of time itself.


Not Even Letters Can Solve the Mystery of Who Leonard Bernstein Really Was

The most fascinating element about Leonard's Bernstein’s letters is that he was inventing a character his entire life.


Tuesday, February 4 2014

The Future Is Always Now: ‘21st Century Science Fiction’

Science fiction was never really about predicting the future so much as it was extrapolating and speculating on possible futures.


‘Vanished’ Loses Its Reader

Reading Vanished sometimes feels like listening to a storyteller who wants to tell you so much that he forgets the original point.


Monday, February 3 2014

‘Wonderbook’ Illustrates That Nothing Can Contain the Power of Imagination

Sure to please literature snobs and those devoted to images, Jeff VanderMeer has created a work of art that's also educational.


Friday, January 31 2014

Tom Stoppard’s Inability to Stop Delighting His Audience

A hodgepodge of The Wizard of Oz, Pink Floyd, game theory, and philosophical thought experiments, Darkside is a self-reflexive interrogation of the nature of reality and fiction.


It’s Not Hip to Be Hip Anymore

The Cool School reminds us why sometimes it’s better not to be cool because if being cool means being as unbearable as some of these hopheads, what’s the point?


Thursday, January 30 2014

A Daring Study About Queer Influence in the Way the World Looks

A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk reveals many of the fashion industry's dirty little secrets hidden under all that fabric.


Not All Werewolves Are Like “Twilight’s” Jacob Black

The White Devil: The Werewolf in European Culture gives you what you wish your teachers taught you in school: Werewolf History.


Wednesday, January 29 2014

The Long Journey and Many Masks of William S. Burroughs

Barry Miles' Call Me Burroughs may the best biography written about the man to date.


‘Scent of Darkness’ Leaves Readers Longing for a Whiff of Something More Substantial

This is a story that asks: which way will she jump? In order to be compelled by this question, the reader needs to have an interest in the protagonist’s options.


Tuesday, January 28 2014

‘A Life of Barbara Stanwyck, Steel-True’ Has Moments of Energy and Verve

The long-awaited first volume of an encyclopedic biography of Barbara Stanwyck’s life and career arrives on shelves with plenty of flaws for the second installment to correct.


Chico Buarque’s More Than a Little ‘Spilt Milk’

Chico Buarque's fourth novel emphasizes the significance of a life fully lived, despite its brevity.


Monday, January 27 2014

Howard Sounes’ ‘27’ Has That Train Wreck Kind of Appeal

This is an exhaustive, if exhausting analysis of the debauchery and bad decisions that link the most famous members of the "27 Club".


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