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Tuesday, May 3 2005

Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead by Phil Lesh

From the idealistic Heaven of that three-day music festival to the chaotic inferno created at the hands of some of Hell's own 'Angels', these sequences literally vibrate off the page.

The Mutt: How to Skateboard without Killing Yourself by Rodney Mullen with Sean Mortimer

Skateboarding's like indie films or Nine Inch Nails fans: lots of flakes to wade through, but some truly interesting faces in there as well.

Casanova in Bolzano by Sándor Márai

Márai writes of subjects we may have exhausted over coffee or tequila, but haven't quite figured out: what it means to love, to lust, and to live.

Born Losers: A History of Failure in America by Scott A. Sandage

Scott A. Sandage reminds us of an age-old fault even more despicable than being broke: to lack ambition in an America where 'berry picking was a higher crime than bankruptcy.'"

Monday, April 25 2005

Winslow in Love by Kevin Canty

She never becomes much more than a cipher for Winslow's waning desires and advancing age-- part muse, part male fantasy, but very little character.

The Ultimate Guide to Chick Flicks: The Romance, the Glamour, the Tears, and More! by Kim Adelman

Where are Lisa Cholodenko, Sofia Coppola, and countless other writers and directors who assume and reveal the complexity of people and their situations.

No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan

You don't read No God But God. You face a struggle between the text, your personal opinions, and what little you know about Islam.

Case Histories: A Novel by Kate Atkinson

If any of these scenarios intrigue you, Atkinson has already done the easiest part of her job.

A Changed Man by Francine Prose

Vincent Nolan's act is a convincing one; one that even he begins to believe the more he preaches it.

Tuesday, April 19 2005

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein

The joke does, of course, wear thin, but Silverstein's poems are smarter and more robust to rely entirely on this gimmick.

A Portrait of Yo Mama as a Young Man by Andrew Barlow and Kent Roberts

The problem with the decontextualization of the yo mama joke is that the fun of yo mama snaps has always been the interplay between the joker and the jokee.

Frankland: A Novel by James Whorton Jr.

One could say that John Tolley possesses a prevalent characteristic of modern times -- the preoccupation with celebrity, especially those notorious for their exploits.

Drift: Poems by Kevin Connolly

What separates Connolly from the pack, however, is that the guy can also be very, very funny.

Tuesday, April 12 2005

A Time of Angels by Patricia Schonstein

We find out that the real hell exists on earth in the forms of war, death and destruction.

My Eyes Are Nailed, But Still I See by David Niall Wilson and Brett Alexander Savory

I found my brows had furrowed, my fingers were numb, and I wanted to put the book down and run away. And then I realized -- that's why I read horror fiction.

The Greedy Bastard Diary: A Comic Tour of America by Eric Idle

Idle's humanity, ultimately, saves this book from becoming a run-of-the-mill title that usually clogs the humor section at your local bookstore.

The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury by Sam Weller

Ray Bradbury's stories stick in the mind like myths, because they are so terrible and vehement in their plotting.

Tuesday, April 5 2005

Travel in the Mouth of the Wolf by Paul Fattaruso

Fattaruso avoids letting the tale drown in its own inventiveness, instead impelling the undersized novel's surrealist vibe with the romantic heart of a poet, a Fellini film scripted by Neruda.

Safety of War by Rob Benvie

Man, I cannot begin to bitch enough about impenetrable prose of the sort you'd normally find on the lyric sheet to 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway'.

Pound for Pound: A Biography of Sugar Ray Robinson by Herb Boyd with Ray Robinson II

When Boyd does make attempts at description, he produces painful prose. The boxing metaphors just keep coming.

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