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Monday, October 31 2005

The Bedside Book of Birds: An Avian Miscellany by Graeme Gibson

Graeme Gibson's bedside book provides a glimpse of what every literate birder, professional, scholar or amateur, should want to read.


Friday, October 28 2005

Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization by Pat Choate

The intellectual property debate typically divides into two camps -- those who defend the rights of ownership and those who defend free speech.


Thursday, October 27 2005

Lolly Scramble: A Memoir of Little Consequence by Tony Martin

Martin listens when people talk; he watches how they move. The results are something superb.


Gifts of the Desert: The Forgotten Path of Christian Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides

In an era when many have turned to Eastern religions in their pursuit of spirituality, Markides's book shows that Christianity has an established tradition of searching for inner meaning.


Wednesday, October 26 2005

World Shores and Beaches: A Descriptive and Historical Guide to 50 Coastal Treasures by Mary Ellen S

The problem isn't, however, with what's included, but what isn't. Why these three East Coast beaches and not Cumberland Island? Or Cape Romain? Or the Florida Keys? Or the Chesapeake Bay? Or Cape May?"


Tuesday, October 25 2005

Freud’s Requiem: Mourning, Memory, and the Invisible History of a Summer Walk by Matthew von Unwerth

Freud's Requiem is subtly but importantly concerned with the increasingly strange, remote world of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Part of what it seeks to do is illuminate that world.


Monday, October 24 2005

Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times by Kevin Smokler (editor)

To proclaim that blogging and 50 Cent constitute a new vanguard of literature strikes me as an American intellectual's version of Stockholm Syndrome.


Friday, October 21 2005

Rip It Up and Start Again: Post-Punk 1978-1984 by Simon Reynolds

Focusing primarily on British and American music between 1978 and 1984, Reynolds emphasizes the idea that the glossed-over post-punk years were not marginal to the history of rock: they actually spawned a range of sounds that were more revolutionary than punk itself and that left a far more significant legacy, laying the foundations for the subsequent emergence of alternative music in all its myriad forms.


Thursday, October 20 2005

The Last Duel: A Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France by Eric Jager

Jager's medievalism for the masses does a commendable job of filling in the gaping spaces around what is a precariously narrow focus for a legitimate book-length study.


Wednesday, October 19 2005

The Push Man and Other Stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi

While there are no fantastical elements present in Tatsumi's stories, the overall sense of dread and undisguised revulsion at the human condition which pervade his worldview are strong enough to evoke the most horrific of reactions.


Tuesday, October 18 2005

Mission to America by Walter Kirn

The novel's main problem is that Kirn lacks the right touch for this kind of material.


Monday, October 17 2005

Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie

Though Rushdie is rigid in his opinions, he is not judgmental when it comes to his characters.


Friday, October 14 2005

Contrary to Popular Belief by Joey Green

These kind of books are always fun, especially when they take on those most misunderstood of communal realities -- the urban legend.


Wednesday, October 12 2005

Darkwitch Rising: Book Three of the Troy Game by Sara Douglass

Douglass' writing contains a neutrality that resists forcing the readers into believing in the good or evil of her characters.


Monday, October 10 2005

It’s Called a Breakup Because it’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Breakup Buddy by Greg Behrendt and Amiir

Behrendt's latest offers the same obnoxious bottom-line as the first: You may be a superfox, but all of us are desperate losers just dying for love and approval.


Friday, October 7 2005

The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss

The world's greatest pickup artists, who can have their pick of any female, damage their brotherhood over a woman.


Thursday, October 6 2005

The Flavor of our Faith: Reflections on Hispanic Life and Christian Faith by Karen Valentin with Rev

The Hispanic/Anglo issues addressed by Valentin contain universal cultural themes.


Wednesday, October 5 2005

Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish by Abigail Pogrebin

Wieseltier condemns the a la carte Judaism of those who choose what aspect of the religion they like and leave the rest behind and considers those people incompetent because they don't bother to learn what they don't know.


Tuesday, October 4 2005

Dean and Me (A Love Story) by Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan

Lewis does not blame his partner for the inevitable and bitter break-up in 1956. Instead, he makes it very clear that the separation was almost all his idea.


Monday, October 3 2005

Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

Seemingly no kernel of isolated trivia or controversial factoid is small enough to escape the author's notice.


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