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Tuesday, November 11 2003

Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait by Midge Dector

Dector has said that Rumsfeld is her attempt to speak directly to the American people over the heads of the media. But she's only interested in telling them what she and her fellow neocons want them to hear.


Quickies 3: Short Short Fiction on Gay Male Desire by James C. Johnstone

But in the short short story, with only 1,500 words or less available, each comma must count. The story must be an assassin.


Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Based on her own personal experience of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Marjane Satrapi introduces us to the effects of cultural change through the eyes of a child.


The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks at the World Trade Center, 38 jetliners en route to the United States were re-directed to Gander. What occurred over the succeeding four days was an outpouring of what could be termed hospitality, although that word is barely adequate.


Wednesday, November 5 2003

Yellow Dog by Martin Amis

Perhaps more than any living writer, Martin Amis suffers for being who he is.


The New Imperialism by David Harvey

The United States, David Harvey notes, has long sought to control the flow of oil from the Middle East as a way to maintain political and economic superiority.


Lunch at the Picadilly by Clyde Edgerton

Clyde Edgerton, a combination of Mark Twain and Will Rogers, is the quintessential southern storyteller.


Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K. by Barr McClellan

Painting a stark portrait of Johnson as a 'psychopath,' McClellan unravels a lurid tale of power, fear, and paranoia.


Wednesday, October 22 2003

The Tree of Life: A Book Depicting the Life of Charles Darwin by Peter Sís

Children need heroes. Science has many. Unfortunately, few of them have lived lives as adventuresome as Robin Hood.


My Cold War by Tom Piazza

As a phenomenologist, Delano recounts his childhood and family life in the same way he explores public history: by plundering the surfaces and small events for meaning.


Lizard Dreaming of Birds by John Gist

John Gist's second novel isn't concerned with forensics and sleuthing; it simply surveys the ever-increasing carnage that Gist implies is symptomatic of our world gone wrong.


Eagles and Angels by Juli Zeh

The real states here, though, are states of mind, and in particular those freaked-out mental states that characterise the tradition of drug-trade books and films from Burroughs to Welsh.


Thursday, October 16 2003

Stalking the Divine: Contemplating Faith with the Poor Clares by Kristin Ohlson

Imagine a small group of cloistered nuns, right in the middle of Cleveland, who pray for the City, all day, all night. This is their calling. In 2003. Gives you chills, doesn't it? The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, cloistered in a monastery, they're praying for you.


Leaving You: The Cultural History of Suicide by Lisa Lieberman

The work is also a reminder of how the taking of one's own life can be representative of more than just depression, that rather, it can become, for better or worse, a deliberate act of independence.


Charlie Big Potatoes by Phil Robinson

The novel appears to fear we might miss the message: You don't need chemicals to have a good time. In that way, despite Robinson's deftness of touch and sharpness of wit, the novel sometimes resembles M.A.D.D. filmstrip day or a Very Special edition of Maxim.


Bodies by Jed Mercurio

Mercurio's main objective is to blow a big, fat hole in the E.R.-inspired non-reality that hospitals are dens of comfort and that all doctors are hunky heroes.


Thursday, October 9 2003

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

While providing tremendous insight into the history of science and the study of the world at large, Bryson's most interesting observations lie in his fascinating description of said scientists and their peculiarities and obsessions.


A Secret Burial by Penelope Sell

Growing up, Elise soon realizes, is as much about the turning of the clock as it is about circumstance. Dead mother or not, 15 is still 15.


The Girls in 3-B / In a Lonely Place / Skyscraper

Pulp's classic 'femme fatale' is Clytemnestra in Chanel no. 5, all temptation, castration and, in her inevitable defeat, the eventual restoration of masculine order.


Diary by Chuck Palahniuk

What's transpiring is equal parts incisive satire and artistic shell game from an audacious writer whose weakness is his emotional detachment from his characters and situations. Getting involved would not violate the rules of satire, although it might fly in the face of postmodern 'cool.'"


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