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Sunday, June 6 2004

The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favori

Yuppie feeding frenzies have driven other species to the brink of extinction. Might that be the lobster's fate?"


Image Ethics in the Digital Age by Larry Gross, John Stuart Katz, and Jay Ruby

The deep control that software gives us over images also softens our trust that they represent something genuine.


Wednesday, June 2 2004

The Urban Picnic by John Burns and Elisabeth Caton

The picnic is an everyday possibility, a refuge from the demands of the working world that can be accessed in the city as well as the countryside.


Radio Activity by Bill Fitzhugh

While decrying the pop culture mass-produced state of the music industry, Fitzhugh veers dangerously close to contributing to the mass-produced made-for-the-movies state of the publishing industry.


I, Shithead: A Life in Punk by Joey Keithley

When Ted Koppel and the Dixie Chicks are arguably more 'punk' than most politically lazy Generation-Y rock bands, you know something's amiss.


Between Two Rivers by Nicholas Rinaldi

After re-experiencing the World Trade Center attacks, there can't fail to be a sense of history in the making, for Rinaldi manages to convey the peculiar fascination of September 11th and its lasting effect on the American consciousness.


Wednesday, May 26 2004

Way Past Legal by Norman Green

What elevates this book far beyond other page-turners is Green's acute understanding of the emotional bonds between people: father and son, husband and wife, boss and subordinate.


The Last Ride by Denise Young

The author has wants only to champion the self-awareness of some of them rather than challenge their idea that a bad upbringing is a license to be an asshole.


The Dog Fighter by Marc Bojanowski

What separates this book from McCarthy's hopeless bloodbath is that Bojanowski has given us the gift of the narrator's voice.


Tuesday, May 18 2004

A Red Death by Walter Mosley

Part Chester Himes' flawed hero, part Raymond Chandler's maverick private eye, Easy Rawlins is a complex, engaging and lean creation.


Hopeful Monsters by Hiromi Goto

Goto's explorations become more compelling when she links displacement with motherhood and with culture.


The Geese of Beaver Bog by Bernd Heinrich

Heinrich is admittedly tightly bound to the animals he's observing. He cares. He ain't objective and that's not good science.


Tuesday, May 11 2004

The Pornographer’s Poem by Michael Turner

If you're expecting drippy, dewy-eyed Spielbergian schmaltz, or a wistfully nostalgic look back into the bygone days of lost youth, you best look elsewhere.


The Language of Sharks by Pat MacEnulty

The stories wear their pop culture on their sleeves, critically contrasting with the existential longings expressed by the various characters.


Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky

The world did not suddenly become extraordinarily dangerous on September 11, 2001. What has changed since then is the reinterpretation of basic terms now being used to justify US policies.


Headless by Benjamin Weissman

The 16 'stories', such as they are, are divided into four sections that explore different aspects of manhood and male sexuality in an endlessly frustrating and facile manner.


Tuesday, May 4 2004

Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb

With the recent brouhaha over the latest actions taken to legalize gay marriage and the conservative Right's counteractions to ban such unions, it's surprising to learn that there were advocates of gay marriage within the church over a hundred years ago.


Project X by Jim Shepard

But somewhere through the decades, teenagers stubbed out their cigarettes and traded fast cars for Kalashnikovs.


Naked: Writers Uncover the Way We Live on Earth by Susan Zakin

Nature-centered writing has degenerated into stories about rare animals or exotic places, a niche market of upscale Baby Boomers. It is written by folks who've sworn off deodorant or humor or both.


The Book Against God by James Wood

For all those writers who got rather stinky reviews from James Wood, I'm sorry to say that you should stop holding your breath and hoping for the worst, because Wood's first novel, The Book Against God, is finely crafted.


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