Reviews > Books
The Rough Guide Book of Playlists by Mark Ellingham

I would have included 'Bags' Groove' on my Miles list, 'A Case of You' over 'California' on my Joni list, made room for 'Man Out of Time' and 'Oliver's Army' on my Elvis Costello list, found a place for Rush and Buddy Holly.

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2 Feb 2006 // 1:00 AM

The Doctor’s Wife by Elizabeth Brundage

It is rare to read a novel concerned with the intersection between two characters who have made life-altering choices: the one by Dr. Knowles to perform abortions, and the other by a religious fanatic to perpetrate violence against him.

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1 Feb 2006 // 1:00 AM

Dermaphoria by Craig Clevenger

If an employee, facing prison time like Eric, decides to betray the organization, then Toe Tag is dispatched to issue a severance package.

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31 Jan 2006 // 1:00 AM

Big Lonesome by Jim Ruland

Beneath his clever camouflage of trendy, go-to-hell coolness, Ruland is a philosopher decrying our dehumanization and depersonalization.

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30 Jan 2006 // 1:00 AM

Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta

Mehta has managed to paint a rich and intimate portrait of Bombay, one informed by a journalist's eye, and a homecoming heart.

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25 Jan 2006 // 1:00 AM

Law and Order: Street Crime, Civil Unrest, and the Crisis of Liberalism in the 1960s by Michael W. F

Flamm eventually pieces together an all-too familiar scenario in which scheming conservatives (barely) triumph over befuddled Dems via mantra-like repetition of easily digestible sound-bites.

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Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue by Spalding Gray, Francine Prose

It just sounds like the way Spalding Gray would die. His would not be a life finished by old age, or the standard natural causes. No, Gray's existence was fated to end like most of his monologues.

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12 Jan 2006 // 1:00 AM

The Tent by Margaret Atwood

Would it be out of line to call Margaret Atwood a cranky old broad?"

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100 Posters, 134 Squirrels: A Decade of Hot Dogs, Large Mammals, and Independent Rock: The Handcraft

Jay Ryan's decade of rock-postering has produced some superb and arresting work.

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God’s Soldiers: Adventure, Politics, Intrigue and Power - A History of the Jesuits

Wright makes a convincing argument that the papal suppression of Galileo, while regrettable, has unfairly tarnished this era of the Church's scientific activities in the eyes of history.

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5 Jan 2006 // 1:00 AM

Magic Seeds by V.S. Naipaul

Both Roger and Willie are, in effect, poorly disguised mouthpieces for Naipaul's right-wing socio-political observations.

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One Nation Under God: The History of Prayer in America by James P. Moore, Jr.

Looking at the United States from the knees of those who fashioned its history offers a fresh perspective on the country's past.

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Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead by Tamara Draut

I didn't need Tamara Draut to tell me that I'm strapped, but I did need her to tell my mom.

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Chasing Elvis by Glenn P. Marcel

Elvis stands in popular culture a singular force whose persona like Whitman's permits contradictions and provokes an urge to make myths.

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The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value by James F. English

Without passing any sort of overt judgment on cultural prizes themselves, English instead provides some illuminating research on the driving forces behind the 20th century proliferation of awards.

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Curious Minds: How a Child Becomes a Scientist by John Brockman

We like our lives to be a seamless narrative, and it takes a lot of editing to turn the chaotic jumps of experience into a good story.

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16 Dec 2005 // 1:00 AM

The Beatles by Bob Spitz

Spitz conquers the sensibilities of common logic by telling us a story we know by heart as if we'd never heard it.

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Dr. Golem: How to Think About Medicine by Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch

Reading Dr. Golem is like looking at a diseased heart on an electrocardiogram with improperly placed leads; you can clearly tell something is wrong, but the angles are all distorted.

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Howl for Now: A Celebration of Allen Ginsberg’s Epic Protest Poem by Simon Warner

It's a poem that must be heard, and seen, and felt, a literary 'happening' that can only be captured with divergent artistic facets superimposed and interlaced with each other.

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Never Have Your Dog Stuffed and Other Things I’ve Learned by Alan Alda

The book, with Alda's full life as its case study, presents new ways of looking at old problems; new approaches to long-standing lessons.

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