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Reviews > Books

Thursday, December 18 2014

‘See You in Paradise’ Casts a Shadow Over the Domestic Sphere

J. Robert Lennon's morbidly dark vision of American domesticity drains the light out of the human dream of domestic bliss to leave it shrouded in shadow.


‘The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress’ Is a Historical Mystery With Panache

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress is all about speakeasies, gangsters, glamour, and mystery. Best of all? The mystery is a true story.


Wednesday, December 17 2014

‘The Imaginary App’ Shows How Real Apps Have Become to Us

Apps changed everything. The Imaginary App explains how.


‘The Strange Library’ Is Classic, Opaque Murakami

Whimsical and frustrating, Murakami's latest may alienate some readers, but fans will want to add this oddity to their collection.


Tuesday, December 16 2014

Buddhism Wins and Crack Loses in ‘Herbie Hancock: Possibilities’

Herbie Hancock's memoir shows us how possibilities in and of themselves can be fleeting, but their ripple effects can go on nearly forever.


Monday, December 15 2014

A Calm Surface, an Inner Rawness: ‘World Film Locations: Florence’

Like the other entires in the World Film Locations series, this Florence installment acts as a great starting point for serious scholars of film.


‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’ Is White-Hot Storytelling by a Mind Possessed

These stories are as delightful and fizzy as Hilary Mantel's many awe-inspiring historical novels.


Free Speech Came of Age in ‘The Great Dissent’

Thomas Healy offers up a masterful psychological portrait of one of America’s great thinkers, one whose legal opinion would eventually shape free speech in America.


The Story of Glyn Johns’ Life in ‘Sound Man’ Is Refreshingly Unpretentious

Sound Man gives you a look through 50 years behind the studio glass with the premier engineer/producer of the classic rock era, without any obsession over fame or status.


Friday, December 12 2014

‘The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.’ Reveals a Talent for Understatement

It's only in America that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.


Thursday, December 11 2014

The Heart That Refused to Burn Steadfastly Holds Its Secrets Close: Joan of Arc

Kathryn Harrison's longtime fascination with the Catholic Church finds its ultimate expression, and biggest challenge, in this biography of Joan of Arc.


Computational ‘Superintelligence’ and Human Idiocy: What Does Our Future Hold?

Superintelligence may evolve or it may be engineered; either path leads to an existential threat to humanity, perhaps in decades, perhaps in hundreds of years.


Wednesday, December 10 2014

The Results of True Collaboration: ‘The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio’

Reading this book is like entering the offices of Simon and Kirby and rifling through their files, scouring the slush pile, even breathing in the smoke from one of Kirby’s cigars.


Could It Happen in America? The Rise and Fall of Fritz Kuhn’s German-American Bund

Could America have become a Swastika nation in the '30s? Arnie Bernstein assembles a riveting in-depth portrayal of the rise and fall of Fritz Kuhn's German-American Bund.


Tuesday, December 9 2014

Lou Reed: Uptown Dirt, Downtown Man

Waiting for the Man is a beautiful read, fluid like a long conversation with a friend in your favourite coffee shop.


The Hedonistic Nihilism in ‘Moomin’ Comes to the Fore in This Collection

While children may laugh at the simplicity of the non-sequiturs in the Moomin stories, adults will be drawn to the droll humor -- and something much darker.


Monday, December 8 2014

Remember When Youth Culture Was Not Served on a Platter?

Some Wear Leather, Some Wear Lace offers a thoughtful and stunning visual and oral history of '80s postpunk and goth.


‘Terence Davies’ Is a Perceptive Exploration Into the Filmmaker’s Work

An illuminating, queer theory-influenced study of the work of one of Britain's most distinctive filmmakers.


Sunday, December 7 2014

‘Austin City Limits’ On a Pedestal

Austin City Limits has defined how music is experienced through television for 40 years. This is a look back at a cultural institution that has always pushed forward.


Saturday, December 6 2014

‘Pressed for Time’ Shows That Technology’s Not All That Bad

Pressed for Time suggests new ways of looking at how we fit in as individuals with the rapid evolution of time and technology.


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