Reviews > Books

10 Jan 2007 // 8:00 PM

American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever

Concord's literary lions, fueled by sexual tension?

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10 Jan 2007 // 8:00 PM

Lincolns Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words by Douglas L. Wilson

Lincoln's Sword fondly recalls the U.S.'s public discourse before "talk-radio blowhard" became a job description.

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9 Jan 2007 // 8:00 PM

Somewhere: A Life of Jerome Robbins by Amanda Vaill

Author makes excuses for offstage nastiness of brilliant choreographer Jerome Robbins.

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Why the Jews Rejected Jesus by David Klinghoffer

The Jewish rejection of Jesus, Klinghoffer argues, points to an essential insecurity at the heart of Christian theology: the failure of Jesus and his immediate followers to make the case to Jesus' own people.

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Song of the Crow by Layne Maheu

What makes the novel appealing, though, is less the novel's dogma than its ability to conjure a world orientated around song, flight, and roosts, and its "strange pity" for human and crow alike.

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What Have They Built You to Do? by Matthew Frye Jacobson and Gaspar González

The mother is dead in Psycho, kept mentally alive by her son's psychotic dependency, while in The Manchurian Candidate she's a vigorous presence, empowered by sinister psychologists from two hostile nations.

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7 Jan 2007 // 7:59 PM

The Strangers in the House by Georges Simenon

Simenon is best known, at least in the Anglophone world, for his Inspector Maigret mysteries, but The Strangers in the House is not really a crime novel.

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4 Jan 2007 // 8:01 PM

Alternadad by Neal Pollack

What happens when hipsters have kids? More importantly, what happens when formerly funny hipsters have kids?

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4 Jan 2007 // 8:00 PM

Monopoly by Philip E. Orbanes

Orbanes' passion for the game and devotion to its legendary status shines forth from every word and every page.

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2 Jan 2007 // 8:00 PM

Jimmy Stewart by Marc Eliot

One need only turn the page to be greeted with a fresh example of Eliot's ignorance of film history and technology.

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2 Jan 2007 // 7:59 PM

The Old Way: A Story of the First People by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

The dominance of modern technological life is driving more than animal species to extinction. And imbecilic notions of superiority are not restricted to western nations.

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Exile by Richard North Patterson

In order to assess Patterson's work, then, it might be time to give up the label of "legal thriller," and reach back to an earlier genre: the so-called "social problem novel."

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1 Jan 2007 // 7:59 PM

Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

Fernandez-Armesto's lively mind, pithy phrasing, and stunningly thorough and diverse knowledge are a constant pleasure.

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The Doors by The Doors by The Doors, with Ben Fong-Torres

Death has been very good to Jim Morrison, but it's been even better for those who continue to profit from his fleeting but fruitful body of his work. Not to mention his body. With that in mind, the following words will be eschewed for the duration of this discussion: Shaman, Dionysus, Rimbaud, God, Satan, and Witchcraft.

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20 Dec 2006 // 7:59 PM

The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin

The rise of string theory began a period filled with tantalizing near-miss formulations that continues until today.

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19 Dec 2006 // 8:00 PM

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

If The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, with its equations, charts and diagrams, revels in pushing the ways in which a novel’s boundaries can stretch, then A Spot of Bother’s charm lies in the generosity in which it fills a novel’s traditional boundaries.

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18 Dec 2006 // 8:00 PM

Live Fast, Die Young by Lawrence Frascella and Al Weisel

They put the film in context of the emerging teen, rock and roll culture and discuss everything from hot rod culture to the changing sexual mores, paying particular attention to the way homosexuality was depicted in the media.

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17 Dec 2006 // 8:00 PM

The Creation by E.O. Wilson

Written as a long, personal letter to a fictionalized Southern Baptist pastor, The Creation is one scientist's way of reaching out.

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The Twilight of Atheism by Alister McGrath

There can be little doubt, looking across the horizons of contemporary society and assuming any objective measure, that the notion of godlessness has reached a nadir.

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14 Dec 2006 // 8:00 PM

The Ruby in Her Navel: A Novel of Love and Intrigue in the 12th Century by Barry Unsworth

The emphasis here is less on action than on character and motivation, and the tempo overall is mostly andante moderato, not allegro vivace.

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