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Tuesday, February 22 2005

Then They Started Shooting: Growing Up In Wartime Bosnia by Lynne Jones

The children who distanced themselves from the war, who avoided talking about it and trying to make sense of it, were often the healthiest psychologically.


Heloise & Abelard: A New Biography by James Burge

Burge describes the letters between the two as 'a sort of creation myth for their affair; the golden age upon which they would always look back, longing to return'.


Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood by Steven Mintz

The closer the book gets to the end of the story, the more general and obvious the conclusions that it draws.


“Fear: Its Political Uses and Abuses”, Social Research by Arien Mack

The weight of evidence presented and deconstructed by the various researchers could lead the average reader to shrink before the seeming omnipotence of the neoconservative cabal now at the nation's helm.


Tuesday, February 15 2005

A Hacker Manifesto by McKenzie Wark

By mashing up Romantic idealism with historical materialism and looping in some samples of cyberpunk futurism to boot, Wark offers a glimpse of potential new worlds.


The Final Solution: A Story of Detection by Michael Chabon

Is Michael Chabon only interested in treading water after winning the Pulitzer?"


FABULOUS!: A Loving, Luscious and Lighthearted Look at Film from the Gay Perspective by Donald F. Re

Reuter picks all the right films, but if he even understands what makes them gay under the surface he does a lousy job explaining it.


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.


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