Reviews > Books
How Pioneering Blues Women Were All But Written out of “Official” Blues History

While industry gatekeepers were invested in a specific image of black performance, black performers themselves had different ideas.

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13 Jan 2015 // 8:00 AM

Pop Like an Egyptian

Cairo's youth find meaning and identity in a genre that can't get any respect.

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‘Ada’s Algorithm’ Dishes the Dirt and Makes the Case for the World’s First Programmer

With the enthusiasm of a celebrity journalist and the deep reading of an academic, James Essinger presents a flawed portrait of the flawed life of Lord Byron's daughter, Ada Lovelace.

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There’s More Than Just Magic in Neil Patrick Harris’ Clever Autobiography

What's most remarkable about Harris' freewheeling bio, Choose Your Own Autobiography, is that even with all its tricks and jokes, there's actual substance to be found here.

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Saint the Boss, Intercede for us Sinners…

In attempting to distance Springsteen from his sainted reputation by humanizing him, Ryan White only manages to sanctify him all the more.

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‘People of the Twenty-First Century’ Reveals Just How Invisible Our Clothes Make Us

Hans Eijkelboom’s approach to street style photography is effective because it parodies the unique-individual-who-stands-out-in-a-crowd trope.

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‘How to Be a Good Wife’ Fits the Feminist Legacy of Stories About Misdiagnosed Women

Outwardly, Marta and Hector Bjornstad’s long marriage appears tranquil, harmonious, happy. So why is Marta having visions nobody else sees?

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‘A Temporary Future’ Unpacks David Mitchell’s Nesting Doll Novels

Patrick O'Donnell's survey of David Mitchell's six novels dives into the labyrinthine, "screaming Russian doll" structures they all share.

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‘A Serial Killer in Nazi Berlin’ Tells of a Killer Hiding Amidst Mass Murderers

The way in which serial killer Paul Ogorzow turned his victims into his own playthings of wickedness is a small allegory of the corruption that seeped the entire Nazi system.

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‘Melancholy II’ Is a Poignant Novel That Lives Up to Its Name

This melancholic Norwegian masterpiece is a beautiful, albeit acquired taste, now finally available in an English translation.

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‘Syllabus’ Explores the Unconscious Mind in a Composition Book

"Accidental professor" Lynda Barry's Syllabus is a graphic novel lesson plan, one that invites readers to reflect on their unconscious perceptions.

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Donald Rumsfeld Becomes Donald the Duck in ‘Ricky Rouse Has a Gun’

The cringe-worthy humor of Ricky Rouse undercuts whatever salient satire it might have had, such as Donald Rumsfeld's disguise as the beloved Disney character Donald the Duck.

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‘A Cuban In Mayberry’ Travels From America’s Hometown to an All-American Nowhere

Gustavo Perez Firmat's book is a serious examination of why The Andy Griffith Show is still rerunned and revered in the 21st century, even as it slumped to its end with Mayberry R.F.D.

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‘World Film Locations: Athens’ Is Equal Parts Film Scholarship and Travel Guide

These essays provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of Athens, its relationship with the cinema, and how that relationship has evolved.

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One of Ireland’s Greatest Living Writers Hits Another Home Run With ‘Nora Webster’

Colm Toibin's latest literary outing is like a complex Persian rug: the reader must work to notice and appreciate the patterns.

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‘Green: The History of a Color’ Is a Monochrome of Multiplicities

Green: A History is a broad-spanning visualization of this multifaceted color, one that reveals the value of seeing different shades of meaning in the color of historical artworks.

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Edward St. Aubyn’s ‘On the Edge’ Brings Some Humor to Life’s Fathomless Oddness

Here's another reasonably entertaining novel of ideas from this internationally-celebrated satirist.

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‘London: A Literary Anthology’ Captures the City’s Candelit Circles and Foggy Shadows

This wide-spanning anthology is a mélange of London experiences, encapsulating rich and poor, native and immigrant.

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‘Hate Crimes in Cyberspace’ Shows Us the Steps to Overcome Online Bullying and Terror

From revenge porn to cyber mobs to trolls, Hate Crimes in Cyberspace shows the ugly side of the Internet and, most importantly, what people can do about it.

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‘See You in Paradise’ Casts a Shadow Over the Domestic Sphere

J. Robert Lennon's morbidly dark vision of American domesticity drains the light out of the human dream of domestic bliss to leave it shrouded in shadow.

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