Reviews > Books

23 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

Spook Country by William Gibson

Apparently some critics look at Gibson's work and think, "Mmm, no coherent story, big reputation -- that must mean it's lit'rature!"

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The Prince by Hushang Golshiri

In early 20th century Iran, old-fashioned photographs prompt a distorted fever-dream journey through memory for one of the last members of the fading nobility.

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22 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

The Spiritual Brain by Mario Beauregard and Denyse OLeary

As a guide to the war zone from the antimaterialist perspective, it's a valuable read.

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22 Oct 2007 // 10:58 PM

Orpheus Lost by Janette Turner Hospital

Beautifully written and disturbing, the book takes us from earth to underworld as a mathematician and a musician repeat the roles of Eurydice and Orpheus, with a few twists.

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1776 by David McCullough

It’s one thing to simply read Washington’s words as they are related through the eyes and pen of an intermediary like McCullough, but to hold in your hands a faithful recreation of his original letter, to follow the loops and valleys of his script handwriting -- this experience significantly personalizes the history.

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21 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

There's history, adventure, wit, and suspense. It's no surprise that the book won Britain's Costa Book of the Year in 2006.

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Strange Skies by Matt Marinovich

In Paul Mauro, writer Matt Marinovich may have created one of the most immediately unlikable antiheroes in some time.

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18 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

Brother, Im Dying by Edwidge Danticat

Danticat comes head-on at the painful tale she has to tell, with results that are both eloquent and devastating.

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How the Irish Invented Slang by Daniel Cassidy

Those who have controlled words have had the power to shape the world around them, and to confer, seize, or retain the social status. This book, alas, doesn't harness that power.

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17 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

How to Read the Bible by James L. Kugel

This book efficiently lays bare the challenges presented in Bible texts and the different ways of dissecting them, new and old.

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16 Oct 2007 // 11:00 PM

Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz

Redemption Song is quite an achievement, as it is not only the definitive account of Strummer’s life as its title promises, but also adds an important perspective to the existing literature on the Clash.

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16 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

The Buried Book by David Damrosch

For a thousand years, "The Epic of Gilgamesh" pervaded the world's ancient civilized culture, a poetic narrative serving as a literary and political touchstone in the same way Homer, Shakespeare or the Bible has done for more recent Western cultures.

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15 Oct 2007 // 11:00 PM

Cape Wind by Wendy Williams, Robert Whitcomb

US Senator Ted Kennedy sums up his opposition to the massive wind farm project proposed three miles out from Nantucket Sound, a wealthy coastal area of Massachusetts: “Don’t you realize, that’s where I sail.”

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15 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

The Day of Battle by Rick Atkinson

Relying on military histories and documents, the private letters and diaries of generals and front-line soldiers, news accounts and interviews, Atkinson creates a seamless, stunning narrative that is the equal of An Army at Dawn.

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14 Oct 2007 // 11:00 PM

Ultra-Talk by David Kirby

Ultra-Talk succeeds primarily when it allows Kirby the literature professor to do his thing most directly: explaining Shakespeare, Whitman, Dante, or Dickinson. But when he attempts to explore more mundane topics, Kirby reaches conclusions about the ordinary that may be revelations only to him.

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14 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam

In the inimitable manner that the famously ambitious author constructed his first sort, The Coldest Winter comes at you not like one but two of the actual tanks that rumble across its pages.

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11 Oct 2007 // 11:00 PM

Manifest Destinies by Laura E. Gómez

Despite a somewhat flat, repetitive narrative style, Gómez’s insights into the struggles at play in the 19th century Southwest are extremely relevant for today.

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11 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

Garibaldi: Citizen of the World by Alfonso Scirocco

These two major new studies assess the most famous Italian of the 19th century, who once was, according to Englishman Philip Gilbert Hamerton in 1870, "the most famous man on the planet."

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James Dean Transfigured: The Many Faces of Rebel Iconography by Claudia Springer

A flawed but fascinating study that blends intellectual insight with pop-culture savvy.

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10 Oct 2007 // 10:59 PM

Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanagh

Kavanagh's Nureyev: The Life, though meticulously researched and often gracefully written, never quite finds the man behind that mystique.

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