Reviews > Books
‘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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Recovery and Renewal: Showa’s Magnificent Epic History of Japan Continues to Deliver

The third and latest edition of Shigeru Mizuki’s acclaimed history of Japan chronicles the pivotal period of 1944-1953, in which a shattered Japan began its rebirth into the form we know today.

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On Chasing an Enemy That’s Too Small to See

Confronting Contagion tries to capture the 3,000-year history behind a modern scientific breakthrough: the discovery that tiny organisms invade our bodies and make us sick.

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Donald Hall’s ‘Essays After Eighty’ Is an Unsparing Look at Extreme Old Age

To presume to review works of this level is farcical; we can only be overjoyed by their continued existence.

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The Unending Saga of Internet Cops, Robbers, and the Rest of Us

Creative chaos may be the mother of Internet invention. But inventiveness is a threat to the Powers-that-be. Is crime-fighting just another handy euphemism for Orwellian consolidation?

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Glen Duncan’s Existential Horror Is So Good, It’s a Curse

These characters navigate a constellation of theological ruins and failed rationalizations, wherein existential nausea must do battle with the hunger of the werewolf Curse.

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September 11, 2001, Is Said to Be the Most Photographed Disaster in History

9/11 and the Visual Culture of Disaster examines the tremulous memory effects of the destruction of the World Trade Center.

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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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Ubisoft Understands the Art of the Climb

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