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Reviews > Books

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.


Thursday, January 12 2006

The Tent by Margaret Atwood

Would it be out of line to call Margaret Atwood a cranky old broad?"


Monday, January 9 2006

100 Posters, 134 Squirrels: A Decade of Hot Dogs, Large Mammals, and Independent Rock: The Handcraft

Jay Ryan's decade of rock-postering has produced some superb and arresting work.


Friday, January 6 2006

God’s Soldiers: Adventure, Politics, Intrigue and Power - A History of the Jesuits

Wright makes a convincing argument that the papal suppression of Galileo, while regrettable, has unfairly tarnished this era of the Church's scientific activities in the eyes of history.


Thursday, January 5 2006

Magic Seeds by V.S. Naipaul

Both Roger and Willie are, in effect, poorly disguised mouthpieces for Naipaul's right-wing socio-political observations.


Wednesday, January 4 2006

One Nation Under God: The History of Prayer in America by James P. Moore, Jr.

Looking at the United States from the knees of those who fashioned its history offers a fresh perspective on the country's past.


Friday, December 23 2005

Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead by Tamara Draut

I didn't need Tamara Draut to tell me that I'm strapped, but I did need her to tell my mom.


Thursday, December 22 2005

Chasing Elvis by Glenn P. Marcel

Elvis stands in popular culture a singular force whose persona like Whitman's permits contradictions and provokes an urge to make myths.


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