Reviews > Books

1 Aug 2005 // 12:00 AM

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

With her astonishing run of the first five books, Rowling's magical thrillers have grown increasingly darker, using deaths in books four and five to really give the story's arc an emotional heft the first trio were thin on.

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Why White Kids Love Hip-Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes and the New Reality of Race in America by B

Just because Kitwana and other outside observers believe that youth in general should be rising up against its misguided elders, unfortunately doesn't mean that such a movement is underway.

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Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam by Paul Clayton

In this novel, Paul Clayton pulls off the remarkable feat of being resoundingly anti-war yet simultaneously pro-troops.

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Elvis by the Presleys: Intimate Stories from Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley and Other Family

It's a puzzling decision: these images of banal ephemera simultaneously humanize Elvis and canonize him, treating his possessions as holy objects.

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26 Jul 2005 // 12:00 AM

The Lives of Rain by Nathalie Handal

This is a fiercely global poetry, one that requires (and provides) a wide if not particularly thorough knowledge of this planet's cultures.

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A Movie… and a Book by Daniel Wagner

Essentially, A Movie... and a Book is a novel about writing a novel, which in terms of irritating and clichéd artistic gestures, is second only to movies about starving actors written and directed by actors, Garden State not withstanding.

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22 Jul 2005 // 12:00 AM

The Rough Guide to Elvis by Paul Simpson

Simpson gives more evidence of Elvis's curious mind by listing selections from Graceland's library: Classics like Melville's Moby Dick, and St. Augustine's City of God, could be found alongside religious hokum like The Scientific Search for Jesus' Face.

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21 Jul 2005 // 12:00 AM

The Silence Living in Houses by Esther Morgan

These poems are like my football hero Art Monk: they go about their job with a sense of dignity and devotion, without much flash, simply doing the job really, really well.

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The Mexican Masked Wrestler and Monster Filmography by Robert Michael “Bobb” Cotter

One of just three books published about Mexican wrestling films, Cotter's excels in providing the most information and the best laid out history of the genre so far.

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18 Jul 2005 // 12:00 AM

10:01 by Lance Olsen

Imagine if Ulysses had began with a paragraph like this: 'Leopold Bloom wondered what it would be life if the sum total of the verisimilitude of life and living could be summed up metaphorically in one day, quite coincidentally shaped to provide allegorical parallels to Homer's Odyssey.'"

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1215: The Year of the Magna Carta by Danny Danziger and John Gillingham

Their analysis reveals the popular culture of those days and slays many mythical dragons along the way.

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78 Reasons Why Your Book May Never Be Published and 14 Reasons Why It Just Might by Pat Walsh

Walsh's advice is not for the sensitive. He comes out swinging with the very first reason your book will not be published: you have not written it.

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Monkey Business: The True Story of the Scopes Trial by Dr. Marvin Olasky and John Perry

Olasky and Perry feel that creationists got a bad shake in the Scopes trial due to a liberal media bias, and that the time is nigh for a new battle.

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Meet the Beatles: A Cultural History of the Band That Shook Youth, Gender, and the World by Steven D

At the outset of this interesting and often incisive cultural history, Steven Stark tackles this obvious question: 'Why on earth would anyone need another book about the Beatles?'"

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How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life: Reluctant Confessions of a Big-Butted Star by Kirstie All

The most refreshing aspect of Kirstie Alley's story is that it's her story -- find yourself offended by that triple-X laundry service comment? Doesn't matter, this isn't your fat-experience.

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This Is Pop: In Search of the Elusive at Experience Music Project by Eric Weisbard

'Creativity has become reduced to taste games,' says Reynolds, and thus 'music for music's sake' has become the primary force driving the authorial role in pop. Will someone knight this guy, already?"

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Richard’s Poor Almanac by Richard Thompson

In the realm of modern newspaper publishing, a strip like Richard's Poor Almanac is an anomaly. The well-documented homogenization of the funny pages has resulted in increasingly generalized and toothless strips aimed straight at the largest possible demographics.

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1 Jul 2005 // 12:00 AM

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

Suicide strikes me as a singularly solitary endeavor, but these four wankers all choose the one spot in all of London at the one time in all of the year when they'd be likely to encounter other suicidal roof-climbers.

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29 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Acts of Faith by Philip Caputo

Doug and Quinette's Manichean worldview proves particularly disastrous when combined with a singularly American strain of optimism, a kind of militant Pollyanna spirit often expressed by neoconservatives and some liberal humanitarians.

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28 Jun 2005 // 12:00 AM

Thirty-Three Swoons: A Novel by Martha Cooley

Danny is a nagging, childish pain, Camilla's ex-husband is just too damn nice to be believable, and Camilla's best friend Stuart, the former mime now book shop owner, is the poster boy for the self-absorbed pretentious arty-farty.

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