Reviews > Books

9 Nov 2006 // 4:00 PM

Anonymous Lawyer by Jeremy Blachman

The laughs come from Blachman's Seinfeld-like eye for detail and [Woody] Allen-like fondness for the absurd.

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8 Nov 2006 // 4:00 PM

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

'Have you ever loved someone and it became yourself?' It is a question that nearly all the characters of Nightwood can answer in the affirmative.

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Catch a Wave by Peter Ames Carlin

At this point in music mythology, any author foolish enough to take on the saga of Brian Wilson and those damned dysfunctional Beach Boys is asking for a world of literary hurt.

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Dangerous Nation by Robert Kagan

Kagan is a realist who understands idealism; a rare combination among historical writers, and part of what helps make Dangerous Nation such a gratifying and illuminating read.

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Rain Village by Carolyn Turgeon

I felt as though I, like Tessa, was flying through the air without a safety net.

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2 Nov 2006 // 9:00 PM

The End by Lemony Snicket

Because their desperately perilous circumstances force them to behave in ways they would have never previously imagined, the children begin to wonder if they are losing their moral compass.

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2 Nov 2006 // 9:00 PM

Wolf Boy by Evan Kuhlman

Wolf Boy portrays children on the threshold of that crossing over into the far less interesting concerns of adolescence, capturing the last golden summer of weird, perfect youth. The circumstances into which he places his characters, however, are neither perfect nor golden.

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1 Nov 2006 // 9:00 PM

Everything That Rises Must Converge

It's become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to find an appliance that merely serves its original function -- a phone that is just a phone, for example.

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The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas

Where are all the female cult writers?

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State of Denial by Bob Woodward

Why delve into a piece of nonfiction that simply fleshes out a number of points already well hashed-over in that mainstream liberal media so loathed by the right? (Note to vast liberal conspiracy: Job well done!) The reason is simple: you may think you know, but you don't.

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27 Oct 2006 // 12:10 AM

Conservatize Me by John Moe

The idea behind John Moe’s Conservatize Me sounds too much like something Morgan Spurlock would come up with on an off-night for his 30 Days

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Games and Sport in Everyday Life by Robert Perinbanayagam

If there’s a sociological study that would seem to have broad appeal, it’s one that looks at games and sport. Hunter College professor

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The Asian Mystique by Sheridan Prasso

If ignorance breeds prejudice, then a well-informed, comprehensive survey of racial perceptions is a good antidote. This is certainly Sheridan Prasso’s intention with The

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Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock and Roll by Rick Coleman

The first real literary look at Antoine "Fats" Domino and his legitimate claim as the true king of rock and roll is an ambitious but frequently overreaching book.

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The Republican Playbook by Andy Borowitz

Stains on the pages, doodles in the margins, a facsimile of a fundraising letter from God -- all appropriate for a book that has made its home in the back pocket of President George Bush.

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Reading Writing by Julien Gracq

Julien Gracq is smarter than all of us.

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Exile on Main St by Robert Greenfield

All this righteous posturing distracts from the narrative itself, distorting its no-bullshit prose into downright surliness.

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19 Oct 2006 // 12:00 AM

Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara

Hirahara's detailed characterization makes these old-timers so real, we can imagine her borrowing from a deaf great-uncle here or a forgetful grandfather there.

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18 Oct 2006 // 12:00 AM

White Rat by Gayl Jones

Because Jones has already created such a definitive image of black identity through dialect, she forces the reader to question the underlying assumptions behind the way language identifies us.

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Not in Kansas Anymore by Christine Wicker

Today's bedroom occultists and kitchen mystics are part of ordinary life, co-existing, often amicably, with Baptists, Presbyterians, and Atheists.

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