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Thursday, December 4 2014

Comics Are Not Just an American Artform…

Comics: A Global History, 1968 to the Present is an informative and well-written exploration of worldwide comics. Yet it attempts to cover too much, and it will leave you wanting more.


Wednesday, December 3 2014

‘Sexuality’ and Art as a Dynamic Force

This excellent collection, expertly curated by Amelia Jones, brings together the core ideas that inform the relationship between contemporary art and human sexuality.


In Anne Rice’s ‘Prince Lestat’, the Vampire Blood Is Thin

If Blood Canticle was meant to be the farewell book to the Vampire Chronicles, Prince Lestat is its funeral.


Tuesday, December 2 2014

Why Didn’t Alice McDermott’s ‘Someone’ Win the Pulitzer?

Someone is among this risk-taking writer's very best books.


‘The Man From Essence’ Is the Inside Story of What Would Become the Pre-Eminent Black Women’s Brand

Essence magazine proved its founders’ bets were right: black women comprised a significant market with money to spend, and the right product with the right approach could virtually own it.


Monday, December 1 2014

Clarence Page Provides a Stable Treatise on the Most Hot-Button Issues

In Culture Worrier, Pulitzer Prize Winner Clarence Page tackles a multitude of issues in his intelligent newspaper columns from 1984-2014.


Do College Classrooms Really Need to Be More Like Video Games?

Research suggests that RTTP games provide historical education, create a sense of community, foster long-term friendships, aid in memory retention, and help create moral leaders.


David Foster Wallace and the Work That Made the Man

The posthumous The Pale King finally gets its day in court.


Sunday, November 30 2014

Literary History’s Best Celebrated Failures

Whether you entertain delusions of grandeur or merely write to justify alcoholism, The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure is a book for you.


Saturday, November 29 2014

Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof

From Jerome Robbins to an all-black school production, Solomon cherishes the Fiddler's legacy.


Wednesday, November 26 2014

David Bowie’s Affective Relationship With the Remarkable, Schizophrenic City of Berlin

Tobias Rüther’s exploration of Bowie’s artistic and personal development in mid-'70s Berlin offers few cogent insights and a confusing timeline of an artist in a city.


Alex Capus’ Latest Book Is a Wild Ride Through the Wild West

Filled with six charming tales about the American West in the 19th Century, Skidoo is an off-the-wall history lesson about the American Frontier most of us were never taught in school.


Tuesday, November 25 2014

In an Underground Bar With America’s First Bohemians

Rebel Souls tells how Walt Whitman and a cast of colorful characters helped define American culture from a dark, 19th century basement bar in Manhattan.


Is ‘Gimme Indie Rock’ Another One of Those Essential Guidebooks?

At its best, Gimme Indie Rock shows enough joy to remind its readers why books like these are made in the first place.


Monday, November 24 2014

Žižek Continues His Love Affair With Hegel in ‘Absolute Recoil’

Absolute Recoil is less a "major philosophical intervention" and more a natural continuation of Žižek's decades-long project of interpreting the world through Hegelian and Lacanian analysis.


Can’s Impossible Music

German rock band Can's masterpiece album is the subject of yet another thinly-veiled memoir in the 33 1/3 series, but the approach fits the enigmatic subject better than expected.


Sunday, November 23 2014

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Will Have You Seriously Considering That the Rich Really Should Be Eaten

This tale takes pains to emphasise the difference between the crass newly-rich mainland Chinese (yay!) and the rich-for-like-forever distinguished Chinese families (boo!).


Saturday, November 22 2014

The Heavy Absence of Star Presence

If trying to grasp screen presence is like reaching for the stars, James Harvey shows noble reach in his book, Watching Them Be.


Friday, November 21 2014

The Meaning and Power of Memory Are at the Heart of ‘There Was and There Was Not’

As the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide approaches, a new generation struggles to understand its meaning, and role, in their lives


Thursday, November 20 2014

Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Lovely, Dark, Deep’ Is Not Bad, Pretty Good, Okay

A line in one of the stories here neatly summarizes Oates’ works: “In private, a nervous collapse is an illness. In public, it can be a career.”


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