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Tuesday, February 15 2005

Footprints: The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter by Michelle Mercer

Dealing with abstract-thinking introverts is no easy task. There's always the pressure to glean conflict and drama from lives short on dramatic excess.


Tuesday, February 8 2005

My Last Sigh by Luis Bunuel

What else might one expect from the man who proclaimed, 'I'm still an atheist... thank God!'?"


Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison: The Making of a Masterpiece by Michael Streissguth

Using his own extensive research and interviews with Cash and his band/entourage, Streissguth recreates the legendary day that Cash stepped inside Folsom's walls and put history to tape.


Eighty-Sixed: A Compendium of the Hapless (Stories) by Brian Ames

I think it wouldn't be a stretch to suggest that some readers might soon be calling Word Riot Press the Sub Pop of the book world.


Blackbodying by Dimitri Nasrallah

Nothing is absolute in Blackbodying, its narrators cannot be trusted and its conclusion is far from a satisfying inevitablity.


The Best American Science Writing, 2004 by Dava Sobel and Jesse Cohen

To fiddle confidently in the field of general relativity or to wander among the molecules busily making protein and then to write about it for mass consumption takes talent and courage.


Tuesday, February 1 2005

Tori Amos: Piece by Piece by Tori Amos & Ann Powers

The coverage goes beyond name-dropping and timelines in an effort to communicate and create new conversations around Amos' music.


The Proust Project by Andre Acimen

It celebrates the very act of discovering Proust, an occasion Acimen likens to 'wandering through a totally unfamiliar land and finding it peopled with kindred spirits and sister souls and fellow countrymen'.


The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby

Nick Hornby is just humble enough that you cannot hate or resent him, yet authoritative enough that you still retain some reason to respect and be interested in his opinion on books.


Cheat and Charmer by Elizabeth Frank

Elizabeth Frank's first novel -- arriving 20 years after her Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of the poet Louise Bogan -- delivers many compelling scenes of a woman's struggle to balance her own needs with those of her family, but dually flounders in its disregard for pithiness.


Tuesday, January 25 2005

The Whole by John Reed

The author should be commended for having the bravery to take celebrity worship to its logical end -- the celebrity actually becomes a goddess, and actually is worshipped.


The Great Movies II by Roger Ebert

The real problem is Ebert's capacity, like Oprah Winfrey through her book club, to name what's valuable by sheer force of personality and mass media exposure.


For Those About to Rock: A Road Map to Being in a Band by Dave Bidini

What's truly refreshing about this attempt at juvenile rock memoir, rock history and all-around 'how to make it' guide,' is that Bidini doesn't talk down to his young audience.


Tuesday, January 18 2005

The Society of Others by William Nicholson

The novel unintentionally answers one of modern literature's most puzzling questions: What if the characters in Generation X actually had to do something?"


How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers

The book is infused with the hope that travel can be revelatory and monumental; also hanging over these stories, however, is the depressing realization that you cannot run from your problem.


The Colonel’s Dream by Charles W. Chesnutt

The novel is a literary treat in its examination of Southern culture and northern industrialism, the fall of the Southern aristocracy and the rise of a new middle class.


Black Hat: Misfits, Criminals, and Scammers in the Internet Age by John Biggs

It's partly a technical book, partly a detective novel, and partly a sociological treatise.


Tuesday, January 11 2005

The Year is ‘42 by Nella Bielski

Bielski no doubt invokes Dostoevsky because he is literature's finest chronicler of the human conscience in revolt.


Truth or Dare: A Book of Secrets Shared by Justine Picardie

This is less about confession, and more about who these writers are and how they got that way.


Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig

Traig paints a strangely colorful and flippant picture of a life with a host of serious mental and physical problems.


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