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Reviews > Books

Wednesday, August 25 2004

No Turning Back:  The Life and Death of Animal Species by Richard Ellis

Another day, another couple of dozen extinctions. Our calluses are so thick that the word extinction no longer riles even the most strident creationist.

Going to Bend by Diane Hammond

To Hammond's great credit, she seems fully aware of the archetypes she has to work with and focuses plenty of attention on rendering relationship pathos beyond the clichéd characterizations.

A Certain Chemistry by Mil Millington

Millington engages in far too much foreplay before getting to the nitty-gritty of the story. It takes roughly 170 pages until anyone actually drops their pants.

Tuesday, August 10 2004

Stand & Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership, and Hip-Hop Culture by Yvonne Bynoe

Bynoe reminds readers throughout the book 'all of this is about more than hip-hop. Hip-hop is simply the metaphor for our lives.'"

Mischief Night - New & Selected Poems by Roddy Lumsden

His poems are costly, hard-worked monuments to his own internal struggle, jagged, often irregular chunks of language.

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

Hints of a bigger purpose that sprout up in some of the newer pieces, perhaps the vague outline of a history he is recording, albeit filtered through a funhouse mirror.

Cecil B. DeMille’s Hollywood by Robert S. Birchard

Birchard seems utterly, almost willfully, uninterested in DeMille as a man, as a flesh-and-blood human being complete with psyche, self, and soul.

Condensed Knowledge by Will Pearson, Mangesh Hattikudur, and Elizabeth Hunt

Pearson and Maloney credit the success of both the magazine and the book to the original motto: that of successfully 'blurring the lines between education and entertainment'.

Tuesday, August 3 2004

The Winged Energy of Delight: Selected Translations by Robert Bly

What I see being published these days is poetry that either values language over life, or vice versa, rather than a productive friction between the two.

My Life by Bill Clinton

The past and the present are sandwiched together in a sort of unholy fusion of summertime back porch reminiscence and a lunchtime program at the Brookings Institution.

The Last Run by Todd Lewan

The book deals with a different kind of perfect storm -- the emotional lives of the fishermen and of the Coast Guard heroes who save them.

Hollywood Interrupted by Andrew Breitbart and Mark Ebner

The authors 'expose' celebrities' narcissism, sense of entitlement and bad judgment. However, it has often been said that at least two of those qualities are prerequisites to work in Hollywood.

Wednesday, July 28 2004

‘Waking Beauty’ Is a Book That Should Not Be Judged by Its Cover

Friedman spends a great deal of the book inverting common clichés and stereotypes when it comes to femininity and even human sexual power relationships.

The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World by Alister McGrath

Notice is paid to the corruption in theist organizations, but the slightest public indiscretion committed by anyone claiming to be an atheist is used to illustrate the innate failure of atheism.

The Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea

The book follows these men on their unlucky journey through the desert, and how each one is drained of their money, water, hopes, and for some, life.

A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa by Howard W. French

What sets this account apart from so many others is French's sense of solidarity with those who are suffering under some of the most appalling conditions in the world.

Tuesday, July 20 2004

W. G. Sebald - A Critical Companion by J. J. Long and Anne Whitehead

Sebald's writings address memory as a structure of experience, and as a series of metaphors through which he tries to understand history and the responsibilities with which it burdens the present.

The Last Love Story by Rodney Hall

Hall considers the effect of a post-terrorism existence on the young and in love who have little to do with politics and guns and war.

Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

One senses the book becoming more of a lame apologia for the moderate use of technology, rather than emphasizing the merits of 'flipping the switch' on all things electric.

Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists by Ted Rall

The newspaper comics page, burdened with an imagined audience of children, strives mostly for the inoffensive and the palatable and rarely prints anything more upsetting to the system than corn flakes.

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