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Wednesday, April 2 2003

101 Poems That Could Save Your Life: An Anthology of Emotional First Aid by Daisy Goodwin

Despite the variety of emotional ailments they address, it is done so with a general monotony of procedure and voice.


Naked at Work and Other Fears: How to Stay Sane When Your Job Drives You Crazy by Paul Hellman

Just because your boss grunted at you does not mean he hates you and is about to fire you . . . he may just be having a bad day.


Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh

Like a surgeon, [the author] cuts to the bone of what makes love between two people such an elusive, baffling, frustrating, contradictory, confounding sort of thing.


Important Things That Don’t Matter by David Amsden

The plot is pure pop culture -- coming of age, learning about sex, going through puberty, and defining family in whatever functional/dysfunctional terms fit.


Glory Goes and Gets Some by Emily Carter

The reader is softly insinuated into a world where everything slips out of kilter.


The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The characters are believable, the fictional premise intriguing, and it has two major components to insure sales -- the Knights Templar and the search for the Holy Grail.


Bandits & Bibles:  Convict Literature in Nineteenth-Century America by Larry E. Sullivan

It captures [an] era when bad guys wore black and good women fell for them.


Wednesday, March 19 2003

Pandora’s Handbag: Adventures in the Book World by Elizabeth Young

Elizabeth Young is ultimately a book lover's reviewer rather than a conventional industry hack.


A Plague of Frogs; Unraveling an Environmental Mystery by William Souder

Frogs are supposed to be a 'sentinel species' . . . If frogs are doing badly, we have reason to be anxious.


The New Biographical Dictionary of Film by David Thomson

Both in throwing his bricks and presenting his bouquets, [the author] seems curiously off the mark.


Layne Staley: Angry Chair by Adriana Rubio

The book is nothing more than one fan's viewpoint on the tortured existence of Staley.


Inviting Disaster: Lessons from the Edge of Catastrophe by James R. Chiles

Disasters rarely happen by accident. Instead, they occur when one link in a long chain of events fails.


Food and Loathing: A Lament by Betsy Lerner

What we have here is yet another memoir -- excuse me, lament -- on disordered eating suitable for a made-for-TV movie.


About Schmidt by Louis Begley

Offers an important meditation on the enduring meanings of age, maturity and experience in a world increasingly devoted to the brevity of youth.


Wednesday, March 12 2003

What About The Kids? Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce by Judith S. Wallerstei

Dr. Spock and others publish child care books. Well, this is a divorce care book.


The Spirit of Terrorism: And Requiem for the Twin Towers by Jean Baudrillaud

Terrorists are using our own systems against us, and inherent in our systems is paranoia.


The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson

I was pleasantly surprised to discover [the book] is really about that nearly missing ingredient in today's world -- responsibility -- and its re-release is timely and significant.


The Little Friend by Donna Tartt

There is a certain mystery around femininity that involves china teacups, cigarettes, old-fashioned perfume and a glamorous Sunset Boulevard sort of decay.


Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood 1910-1969 by William J. Mann

[This book] is essential for anyone interested in Hollywood -- particularly its heretofore unwritten past -- and for gays and lesbians looking to recover some of their history.


Wednesday, March 5 2003

Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems by Mahmoud Darwish

[Mahmoud Darwish] is a force, undoubtedly the most popular and powerful poet of the Middle East.


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