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Thursday, June 2 2005

Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track: The Letters of Richard P. Feynman by Richard

Feynman's letters remind us of what we're supposed to be doing: pursuing discovery.


Wednesday, June 1 2005

Cream: The World’s First Supergroup by Dave Thompson

Think of you and about 15 or 20 of your friends from high school... now imagine the lot of you irrevocably and inarguably change the course of music history. That's what happened in the era covered in this book.


Tuesday, May 31 2005

Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It by Thomas de Zengotita

Postmodernism is an amoeba-like 'blob' that amalgamates cultural and demographic differences together into a pureed mush, and that we are now all method actors busy with the task of performing the identities we have determined to be our own.


Friday, May 27 2005

Self-Help Books: Why Americans Keep Reading Them by Sandra K. Dolby

Dolby wants to appeal to an academic readership as well as a popular one, and the results are uneven.


Tuesday, May 24 2005

One For My Baby by Tony Parsons

Today's Tony Parsons writes like a sensitive new millennium New Man, but he's still the same old unreconstructed hack he ever was.


Friday, May 20 2005

Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads by Greil Marcus

Like a Rolling Stone is not great cultural analysis or musical study, but it's a work that's both insightful and fantastic.


Thursday, May 19 2005

My Life in the Middle Ages: A Survivor’s Tale by James Atlas

Atlas is at his best in the essays where he examines larger issues that resonate in his own life.


Wednesday, May 18 2005

Spooky Encounters: A Gwailo’s Guide to Hong Kong Horror by Daniel O’Brien

Reading a book on movies one has, for the most part, not seen is the proverbial double-edged sword.


Monday, May 16 2005

Deliver Me from Nowhere by Tennessee Jones

Tennessee Jones's piece tells a dramatically different tale than Springsteen's song, but most of these stories simply elaborate upon the originals, filling in back stories and supplying details where the Boss's minimalist approach gave none.


Monday, May 9 2005

A View from the Eye of the Storm; Terror and Reason in the Middle East by Haim Harari

The book turns into one of the three basic types of literature dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, the pro-Israeli diatribe.


My Depression: A Picture Book by Elizabeth Swados

This can be a tricky audience to write for; after all, they'll just stop reading the book if it's too, well, depressing.


Home Land by Sam Lipsyte

The loser, writing about a loser, wins. How life affirming is that?"


Delaying the Real World: A Twentysomething’s Guide to Seeking Adventure by Colleen Kinder

I have to wonder how much experience Kinder has in doing any of the things she suggests in this book.


Barney’s Crew by Sean Carswell

Carswell concerns himself more with substance than style, and shrugs off the desire to seek out fame and fortune.


Tuesday, May 3 2005

Ticknor: A Novel by Sheila Heti

Sheila Heti is the next big thing being primed to come out of the Canadian literary scene.


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.


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