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Thursday, June 23 2005

Black Virgin Mountain by Larry Heinemann

Heinemann launches into a second-person narrative guiding the reader through a tense meditation as a soldier exploring the dark and dangerous unknown. The book breathes again (a stale, humid, underground breath) and it's as if we had never left the genuinely captivating part of his colorful brain.


Wednesday, June 22 2005

The Ocean at Home: An Illustrated History of the Aquarium by Bernd Brunner

Finding a way to keep the creatures alive made it possible for more folks, the average bourgeois, to keep a little of the sea in the front room.


Monday, June 20 2005

All Yesterday’s Parties: The Velvet Underground in Print: 1966-71 by Clinton Heylin

LA Free Press's Robert Gold gets the prize for best scatological-gastrointestinal conceit in a review, 'Her {Maureen Tucker's} heavy, continuous 4/4 outpouring on the drums slams into your bowels and crawls out your asshole.'"


Friday, June 17 2005

Snow White and Russian Red by Dorota Maslowska

A Polish novel that drolly depicts the country as a place where Snow White is a whore as love has been replaced by meaningless sex and strong drugs.


Thursday, June 16 2005

Misfortune by Wesley Stace

Misfortune is a musically rousing treat, hitting Dickensonian notes with Stace's wistful prose.


Wednesday, June 15 2005

In a Queer Time & Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives by Judith Halberstam

In a Queer Time displays Halberstam's sophisticated understanding of contemporary culture in a plain and engaging tone.


Tuesday, June 14 2005

Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith

Smith has clearly harboured a fascination with the moon landings since childhood and has translated this enthusiasm into a grown up project, properly researched and examined with the sober eye of adulthood.


Monday, June 13 2005

Godlike by Richard Hell

The overall affect is the same as if your best friend called one day and said, 'An elephant walked into my apartment today and to get it out I had to beat up a rabbi,' and then hung up.


Friday, June 10 2005

Breath and Bones by Susann Cokal

It was an exciting time to be in America in all of its gritty splendor, and Cokal depicts it with authority and obvious pleasure.


Thursday, June 9 2005

Hating Women: America’s Hostile Campaign Against the Fairer Sex by Shmuley Boteach

My worry, of course, is that young people concerned about the current state of entertainment and women's rights in this country will read Boteach without skepticism.


Wednesday, June 8 2005

Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman

If one can gain anything from Hypocrite, it is perhaps that everyday occurrences can be just as meaningful and life-shaping as depressive hardships -- and absolutely make for a far superior read.


Friday, June 3 2005

Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture by Sharon Zukin

Zukin points out that in a world where 'too many goods chase too few buyers' it shouldn't be surprising that we're shopping more but enjoying it less.


Thursday, June 2 2005

Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman by Richard

Feynman's letters remind us of what we're supposed to be doing: pursuing discovery.


Wednesday, June 1 2005

Cream: The World’s First Supergroup by Dave Thompson

Think of you and about 15 or 20 of your friends from high school... now imagine the lot of you irrevocably and inarguably change the course of music history. That's what happened in the era covered in this book.


Tuesday, May 31 2005

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It by Thomas de Zengotita

Postmodernism is an amoeba-like 'blob' that amalgamates cultural and demographic differences together into a pureed mush, and that we are now all method actors busy with the task of performing the identities we have determined to be our own.


Friday, May 27 2005

Self-Help Books: Why Americans Keep Reading Them by Sandra K. Dolby

Dolby wants to appeal to an academic readership as well as a popular one, and the results are uneven.


Tuesday, May 24 2005

One For My Baby by Tony Parsons

Today's Tony Parsons writes like a sensitive new millennium New Man, but he's still the same old unreconstructed hack he ever was.


Friday, May 20 2005

Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads by Greil Marcus

Like a Rolling Stone is not great cultural analysis or musical study, but it's a work that's both insightful and fantastic.


Thursday, May 19 2005

My Life in the Middle Ages: A Survivor’s Tale by James Atlas

Atlas is at his best in the essays where he examines larger issues that resonate in his own life.


Wednesday, May 18 2005

Spooky Encounters: A Gwailo’s Guide to Hong Kong Horror by Daniel O’Brien

Reading a book on movies one has, for the most part, not seen is the proverbial double-edged sword.


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