Reviews > Books
Romance and Rebellion in the Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley

Charlotte Gordon's dual biography of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley is an engaging read, but it's hampered by pedestrian writing and a too reverent perspective of its protagonists.

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Margaret Atwood’s Latest, ‘The Heart Goes Last’, Takes Us Back to Our Future Dystopia

True love ultimately endures in The Heart Goes Last, but so do the real terrors ever-present in Atwood's novels.

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There’s a Perverse Thrill in Reading a Book That Presages the Possible Extinction of Humankind

Superintelligence is a serious, intellectually disorientating treatment of ideas, imagining the inevitable future when we are able to create an artificial general intelligence.

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‘Imaginary Cities’ Is a Book to Enjoy Getting Lost In

In charting the cities of human fancy, Darran Anderson has created the opposite of an atlas.

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‘The Pop Festival’ Seems to Have Missed the Music

The Pop Festival is largely an overly self-serious look at an essentially less-than-serious pop cultural event.

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Salvador Dalí’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Work Finally Gets Some Mad Love

This edition is valuable because it underscores a variety of connections that are generally not foregrounded in the work of either Lewis Carroll or Salvador Dalí.

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‘The Fantastic Made Visible’ Suffers From Some Blind Spots

The essays within display a fantastic array of quality.

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Felicia Day Bares All (But Not That) in Her Precocious Memoir

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) is a frank and funny look at how Felicia Day's unconventional formative years set her up to become the talent she is today.

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Salman Rushdie’s ‘Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights’ Can’t Tether the Muses

All the rowdy little devils from Persitan have settled down here, a bit, but Rushdie's mischievousness will not be tamed.

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Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul

Dreams to Remember recounts the triumphs and tragedy of '60s soul icon Otis Redding

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Paul Theroux’s ‘Deep South’ Takes Us Inside America’s Third World

After a career spent traveling the world, Paul Theroux makes a revelatory journey through the blighted, wounded, struggling, well-armed, and resilient small towns of the American South.

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What Should One Make of Childlike Comics Depicting the Exploits of an Erotic Dancer?

Canada's first autobiographical comic chronicles the drama of a stripper's life in a lighthearted and welcoming way.

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‘Monster Mash’ Is a Veritable Catalogue of the Damned

Nearly every consumer good sold in America from 1957-1972 had some kind of monster on it at some point.

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Corey Taylor Grumpily Sorts Through Society’s Rubble

Proclaiming himself, “The Great Big Mouth” Taylor’s third book takes a critical and shameless look at the state of society.

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What Happens When Public Health Becomes a Battleground for the “Moral Language of Health&#8221

After the Wrath is an amazing read and full of thought-provoking ideas and theories about how religion – leaders, institutions, and policy – frames responses to disease.

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Can Magic Cure Madness?

Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is a complex but wonderful, masterful story with a charming sense of humor.

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In ‘The Fly Trap’ Fredrik Sjöberg Writes Much Like His Subjects Behave

If Sjöberg's stylistic tics are an impediment to real investigation, they at least provide an aesthetic pleasure all their own.

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‘The Meaning of the Library’ Goes Beyond Mere Bricks and Mortar

Despite their apparent tidiness, libraries are also formidably entropic spaces, messy jungles, with their own undergrounds.

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‘The Pawnbroker’s Daughter’ Tells Us How to Write Well and Live Beautifully

Maxine Kumin's final memoir is painfully brief, but like all her work, ever lyrical.

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Disco, AIDS and Nuclear War Permeate Jane Smiley’s ‘Early Warning’

Smiley doesn’t overlook defining political moments in part two of her trilogy, including the 1981 presidential election of Ronald Reagan and the ensuing sociopolitical shift rightward.

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//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

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