Reviews > Books
Sometimes, a Budweiser Is Better

Recreating the world's oldest fermented drinks should make for entertaining reading material. It doesn't.

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Thi Bui Asks Readers to Reconsider Their Assumptions About the Vietnam War

Bui’s powers as a documentarian and oral historian make The Best We Could Do a thought-provoking take on Vietnam and immigrant experiences in general.

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‘The Sisters Chase’ Gives Us a Protagonist Worth Taking the Journey With

Sarah Healy's The Sisters Chase introduces a flawed heroine for the ages in its breezy, affecting narrative.

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Yoshio Aramaki’s ‘The Sacred Era’ Is Anything But a Heavenly Read

As much as I had hoped, Cloud Atlas, The Bone Clocks, or even 1Q84, The Sacred Era is not.

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Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Dis Mem Ber’ Paces the Blurred Line Between Horror and Reality

For all the horror, the blood and ugliness, nothing in these pages is all that unthinkable.

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The Visual Storytelling of Black Life in America

Graphic novels The Souls of Black Folk, Fire!! The Zora Neale Hurston Story and Six Days in Cincinnati suggest the visual storytelling of black life is almost as vast as black life itself.

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Poetry and Imagery in Abdellah Taïa’s ‘Another Morocco’

Taïa is a writer whose talent shines brightly enough to illuminate the difference between an imitator and an original.

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Author Lee Smith’s Memoir Is a Balance of Sweetness and Heartbreak

Dimestore should take its place alongside Welty’s One Writer’s Beginnings and King’s On Writing as a beautiful and haunting memoir about the American journey.

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The Stories in ‘All Stories Are Love Stories’ Are a Haunting Tribute to Perseverance

Four characters search for healing and resolution in the wake of a San Francisco earthquake.

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‘Hard-Boiled Hollywood’ Is a Fine Entry Point Into the World of Postwar L.A.

Film scholar Jon Lewis takes a look at some of the more infamous happenings in postwar Hollywood while also exploring the political and cultural climate of the day.

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‘Shake It Up’: All the Music That’s Fit to Freak Out About

The Library of America’s rollicking greatest-hits volume of music criticism is an awesomely unwieldy pile of opinion that celebrates not just music, but the very act of appreciating and understanding it.

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The Journey to Paul Gauguin’s Other World Is Well Worth Taking

Graphic novel Gauguin: The Other World traverses the tropical landscapes and surreal mindscape of self-titled “savage” artist Paul Gauguin.

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‘Broad Strokes’ Beautifully Illuminates Often Overlooked Women Artists

Art historian Bridget Quinn is an engaging writer with a knack for choosing the telling anecdote. The result is a fun book full of beautiful art.

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17 May 2017 // 12:30 PM

Make America Cool Again

Joel Dinerstein's The Origins of Cool in Postwar America is an oddly reassuring handbook for the future of resistance

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All the World Really Is a Stage in Dominic Dromgoole’s ‘Hamlet: Globe to Globe’

Dromgoole’s account of touring the Globe’s production of Hamlet to almost 200 countries is a moving, funny and enlightening testament to ambitious ventures.

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Each of the Stories in Murakami’s ‘Men Without Women’ Is a Psychological and Existential Mystery

If Lars Svendsen helps one to understand loneliness cognitively, Haruki Murakami allows one to experience it affectively, giving it a slow, desperate pulse.

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Understanding the Archaeology of the Archive in ‘Archive Everything’

Through participatory Web 2.0 culture, archives have moved from preserved, cherished documents to the structure of everyday life.

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My Life May Be a Mess, But ‘Wait Till You See Me Dance’

In this excellent volume of stories, Deb Olin Unferth uses a slippery sense of perspective to stoke empathy for characters acting out.

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‘The Cross’: A History of One of the World’s Most Iconic Symbols

The Cross manages to re-tell an old story comfortably and enjoyably, without getting dragged down into pedantry or the dry distractions of academic writing.

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Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art: A Definitive History and Showcase in a Genre-shattering Collective

Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey “Po” Powell of Hipgnosis could scarcely have imagined the ways their album art would impact culture.

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How a Song By Unknown Newcomer Adam Johnston Ended Up on Blondie's New Album

// Sound Affects

"Adam Johnston of An Unkindness wrote a song at 17 years old and posted it online. Two years later, magic happened.

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