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Tuesday, February 28 2006

Pretty Little Dirty by Amanda Boyden

If you've seen Catherine Hardwicke's Thirteen, you have read Pretty Little Dirty.


Monday, February 27 2006

The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier

In Brockmeier's prose, the characters are not forged by the infrequent trial or tribulation they experienced in life, rather they are defined by the accumulation of the small details they never bothered to notice.


Thursday, February 23 2006

The Man Behind The Da Vinci Code: The Unauthorized Biography of Dan Brown by Lisa Rogak

Did you know that Dan Brown released two pop records and married his publicist?"


Wednesday, February 22 2006

The Postmodern Preacher: The Rise of Bishop T.D. Jakes by Shayne Lee

I get the sense Lee is saying, 'Don't hate the player, hate the game.' In other words, ye among us who would not accept multimillion-dollar book deals, recording contracts and public acclaim cast the first stone.


Tuesday, February 21 2006

The Dark Side of the Moon: The Making of the Pink Floyd Masterpiece by John Harris

Tellingly, you get a better sense of the synthesizer's personality than the band's. Were the Floyd just following 'the English way', or were they dull, arrogant bastards? You decide.


Monday, February 20 2006

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster

Reading this novel is like watching Auster trying his best to remake his beloved city out of sand castles on Coney Island instead of the shattered fragments of the World Trade Center.


Thursday, February 16 2006

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Hurston's protagonist is shockingly progressive, and her men are vessels on a path toward self-realization, rather than the reasons for her existence.


Wednesday, February 15 2006

Are You Made For Each Other? by Barbara and Allan Pease

The idea of a book full of quizzes that promise to determine the quality of a relationship is symptomatic of a culture that runs screaming at the thought of personal responsibility.


Monday, February 13 2006

Utterly Monkey by Nick Laird

The unexploded bomb is a perfect metaphor for Utterly Monkey.


Thursday, February 9 2006

Cell by Stephen King

It's a work of maturity and of meaning, a novel that actually wants to comment on the state of the world and the pissed off population who seem to be living on and off it.


Wednesday, February 8 2006

Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Despite the many humanizing elements, the actual figure of Stalin only continues to recede from easy comprehension, tangled in layer upon layer of personal contradiction and paradox.


Tuesday, February 7 2006

DaCapo Best Music Writing 2005: The Year’s Finest Writing on Rock, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Pop, Country & Mor

J.T. LeRoy compiles essays for Da Capo's latest Best Music Writing collection. Not that anyone can tell.


Monday, February 6 2006

The Good Life by Jay McInerney

Television and history books have claimed the dry facts and the archival images of 11 September, but the perfect tone and human nature of this novel has captured the people, their emotions, and their stories.


Friday, February 3 2006

The Rough Guide Book of Playlists by Mark Ellingham

I would have included 'Bags' Groove' on my Miles list, 'A Case of You' over 'California' on my Joni list, made room for 'Man Out of Time' and 'Oliver's Army' on my Elvis Costello list, found a place for Rush and Buddy Holly.


Thursday, February 2 2006

The Doctor’s Wife by Elizabeth Brundage

It is rare to read a novel concerned with the intersection between two characters who have made life-altering choices: the one by Dr. Knowles to perform abortions, and the other by a religious fanatic to perpetrate violence against him.


Wednesday, February 1 2006

Dermaphoria by Craig Clevenger

If an employee, facing prison time like Eric, decides to betray the organization, then Toe Tag is dispatched to issue a severance package.


Tuesday, January 31 2006

Big Lonesome by Jim Ruland

Beneath his clever camouflage of trendy, go-to-hell coolness, Ruland is a philosopher decrying our dehumanization and depersonalization.


Monday, January 30 2006

Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta

Mehta has managed to paint a rich and intimate portrait of Bombay, one informed by a journalist's eye, and a homecoming heart.


Wednesday, January 25 2006

Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s by Michael W. F

Flamm eventually pieces together an all-too familiar scenario in which scheming conservatives (barely) triumph over befuddled Dems via mantra-like repetition of easily digestible sound-bites.


Monday, January 23 2006

Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue by Spalding Gray, Francine Prose

It just sounds like the way Spalding Gray would die. His would not be a life finished by old age, or the standard natural causes. No, Gray's existence was fated to end like most of his monologues.


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