Reviews > Books
‘The Never-Open Desert Diner’ Is Beautifully Written With a Delicate Sense of Humor

A book with this kind of subtly, lyricism, and quiet intensity isn’t just appreciated—it’s restorative.

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The Programmer as Author in ‘If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript’

This inventive and engaging book imagines what JavaScript might look like in the hands of 25 writers, including William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Tupac Shakur, and J.K. Rowling.

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The Characters in ‘The Half Brother’ Are Formulaic, at Times Startlingly So

Charles Spooner Garrett, Harvard English degree in hand, has no particular talents, ambitions, or goals when he lands a teaching position at the Abbott School, in Abbottsford, Massachusetts.

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‘Scarcity’ Suffers From Trying to Cram Too Much Into One Box

Although the interesting model of Scarcity makes it worth a read, like too many behavioral economics texts, it tries to cram too many global phenomena under its framework.

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‘The Struggle for Pakistan’ Masterfully Summarizes a Country’s Troubled History

Dr. Ayesha Jalal's thorough survey will remain the definitive history of Pakistan for decades to come.

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These Protestant Communities Understood Persecution Firsthand, and the Nazi Agenda Horrified Them

The remote mountain villages of le Chambon and the Plateau Vivarais-Lignon were Protestant havens that opened their homes to shelter countless Jewish children during WWII.

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What Does a Mexican Comic Hero and a Citizens’ War Crimes Tribunal Have to Do With Each Other?

Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires is a blend of narrative genius with deep political philosophical significance, couched in a surreal blend of comic and prose.

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John Carpenter and His Works, in Still Life

Gazing upon this vast collection of images with an abundance of rare and previously unseen stills, one cannot help but feel that Gottlieb-Walker captures the films' ontological identity.

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Reality, One Grain at a Time

There’s more of value in one Calvino essay about Roman pig sties than there is in a week’s worth of slop from the Huffington Post.

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Having Trouble Sleeping? Relax, It’s All in Your Mind

Funny and direct, as well as useful and nurturing, Sane New World is a must read for anyone who has been up at night worrying about the future or regretting the past.

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A Convent Goes Psycho-Sexual in ‘The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio’

Based on the detailed notes from the original Roman Inquisition investigation long buried in a Vatican archive, Wolf unravels a tale of religious madness and power trips.

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‘All the Light We Cannot See’: People in the Dark, Hunting the Right Frequency

In Anthony Doerr's richly romantic jewel quest of a war novel, a blind girl and an engineering prodigy pulse ever closer to each other across a ravaged Europe.

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This Collection of the Band’s Memories Makes Led Zeppelin Actually Likeable

No matter how grandiose the Led Zeppelin legend gets, hearing the golden gods tell their tale is both astounding and more real than anything anyone could ever make up.

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This ‘Vanity Fair’ Retrospective Reveals the Spirit of the Early Decades of 20th Century America

Bohemians, Bootleggers, Flappers and Swells is a celebration of progress, of progressives, prophecy, and prescience.

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‘Naked Cinema: Working With Actors’ Resonates

In this absorbing volume, Sally Potter provides an exploration of the director/actor relationship that teems with insight and intelligence, offering inspiration whatever your creative pursuits.

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Diving Deep Into the Other Worlds of Japan’s Most Famous Living Writer

Haruki Murakami is famous for his magical worlds rich in issues of identity and psychology. Strecher's book is the road map to understand the twisting, metaphysical 'Over There' of Murakami.

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‘The Price of Thirst’ Offers a Disturbing Analysis of Forthcoming Chaos Over Water Inequality

From California to Iraq; from Chile to India; struggles over water are coming to define the political and military conflicts of the 21st century.

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‘The Transcriptionist’ Is Immersed in Words

For Lena Respass, the last transcriptionist working at New York's daily newspaper, The Record, a brief bus ride beside a blind woman changes everything.

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‘The B-Side’ Is an Entertaining Study of the American Songbook

This will be one big revelation for anyone steeped in a rock-centric understanding of pop history, and validation for those who treasure the Songbook in all its glory.

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The Story of a Robot Named Stinky and the Four Boys Who Built It

Even with the discussion of refractions, range finders, and thermocouples, and the light moments and humor, deportation and immigration status concerns are always there for these four boys.

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A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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