Reviews > Books
Fire in the Grove: The Cocoanut Grove Tragedy and Its Aftermath by John C. Esposito

As Esposito explains, a fearful crowd is far more dangerous and deadly than a calm one.

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Ether: The Nothing that Connects Everything by Joe Milutis

Milutis' book is a manifesto for something that seems to be driving artists everywhere. Although it hides behind language of academic criticism, it is an anti-critical call to arms.

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Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Michael Eric Dyson

In an ancillary sense, the author uses the events of Katrina to tell the African American community that they cannot have it both ways. One should not shout 'Amen' when Bill Cosby disses poor black folk yet cry foul when the media refers to African American citizens stranded at the Superdome as 'refugees'.

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Tony and Me: A Story of Friendship by Jack Klugman (with Burton Rocks)

In a notable departure from many Hollywood celeb tomes, Klugman eschews any self-aggrandizement to focus on honoring the memory of his best friend while also resisting the temptation to canonize him.

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Mohr by Frederick Reuss

The strength of Reuss's writing is more in his observations, the way he builds emotions out of little details like the objects in the clutter of a room or the way a certain person moves.

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Body Brokers: Inside America’s Underground Trade in Human Remains by Annie Cheney

Morbid curiosity drives our interest, and there is plenty of disturbing subtext involving doctors who substitute PVC pipe for bones and freezers overflowing with headless, limbless torsos.

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1 May 2006 // 12:00 AM

King Dork by Frank Portman

There's a lot that separates King Dork from, say, Harry Potter. First off, although much has been made of his continuing maturation, Harry Potter has yet to receive a blowjob.

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Winning by Losing: Drop the Weight, Change Your Life by Jillian Michaels

Her method is refreshing because it deliberately and aggressively counters late-night TV revolutions and the South Beach-Atkins-Scarsdale-No-Carbs-High-Carbs-Carmen Electra-Strip-Yourself-Thin health product glut.

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Sprawl: A Compact History by Robert Bruegmann

Bruegmann maintains that there are at least two causes of sprawl in its modern form, increased affluence and the spread of democracy.

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Half/Life: Jew-ish Tales from Interfaith Homes by Laurel Snyder (editor)

For many of the essays, the most heartbreaking moments occur after the child has declared his or herself a Jew, only to be rejected by members of the tribe.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel by Jonathan Safran Foer

Foer writes on these tragedies with wide-eyed sincerity, undiffused optimism, and his heart on sleeve, without venturing into the mawkish.

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The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors by Ann Gibbons

Ann Gibbons tells the story of human origins and evolution by addressing one of its aspects, the search for the earliest human, that critter who, so long ago, decided not to be a chimp.

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19 Apr 2006 // 12:00 AM

A Bit on the Side: Stories by William Trevor

Trevor's work has long been marked by his ability to merge bleakness and grandeur, to find an aching loveliness in the desolate and the isolated.

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A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller by Frances Mayes

If Tuscany is her brand, then Frances Mayes' most recent literary product, A Year in the World, is the franchise.

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America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy by Francis Fukuyama

If there's a reason to read Francis Fukuyama's denouncement of neo-conservatism over any of the others than line the bookshelves, it's for the simple reason that he is, or at least was, one of them.

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PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren

Cards bearing messages like 'I love to pee when I'm swimming' could be deceptive emotions, the Internet equivalent of an anonymous prank call.

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10 Apr 2006 // 12:00 AM

Break, Blow, Burn by Camille Paglia

It seems right, somehow, that someone who so enthusiastically embraced pop-culture, and the plethora of images pouring in, now patients us to the slowness and focus required for poetry.

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After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World by A. N. Wilson

After the Victorians executes an especially tricky high-wire act in that Wilson manages to keep the tone engaging and almost intimately cordial without compromising anything in the way of authority.

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Kiss Tomorrow Hello: Notes from the Midlife Underground by Twenty-Five Women Over Forty by Kim Barne

What could be more valuable for a young woman than the learning experiences of those who have gone before?"

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28 Mar 2006 // 12:00 AM

Fascination by William Boyd

Boyd's rendering of dissolution is persuasive precisely because we trust his language: this is how people speak, and this is how people fall apart.

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Trickle Down Corruption in 'This Is the Police'

// Moving Pixels

"In a world of hitmen, snitches, mobsters, murderers, terrorists, rapists, rioters, bombers, thieves, and serial killers, your greatest enemy is your boss.

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