Friday, October 25 2013
A.N Wilson's The Elizabethans is a very readable history, despite the author's inability to get out of his own way.
Monday, April 21 2014
Nickolas Butler’s golden-toned Bon Iver-inspired novel about four friends in a small Wisconsin town has gorgeous intent, but too little purpose.
Friday, April 18 2014
What can the ‘failed’ constitutions of American history teach us about building community and galvanizing social movements?
Thursday, April 17 2014
"We think we have time to love, cook dinner, take walks, become enlightened, but one wave can take us, or it can spit us out." -Gretel Ehrlich
Love Is a Canoe is about how people in love will latch onto any floating bit of debris to salvage their sinking relationships.
Wednesday, April 16 2014
This is an ambitious undertaking, weaving American history, popular culture, and Bruce Springsteen’s music into a cohesive narrative.
From applying leeches to mapping the shape of the human skull, Erik Janik describes a drama of medical history in Marketplace of the Marvelous.
Tuesday, April 15 2014
Walter Potter crafted hundreds of animals, amphibians, and birds into intricately assembled Victorian dioramas for the delight of his fellow Britons.
Monday, April 14 2014
In this thoughtful, entertaining novel, Marcel Theroux explores the ways in which we construct 'a workable self out of all the dissonant parts.'
Given Brian O'Nolan and his sly guises, one must wonder what this erudite satirist makes of this posthumous tribute to his tetchy talents.
Friday, April 11 2014
If you haven't yet read a Michelle Huneven novel, what are you waiting for?
Thursday, April 10 2014
At first glance, Black Moon might appear to be just another variation of the zombie theme, but it isn't: this novel is written for adults.
In his publisher John Calder's view, Samuel Beckett retreats in his later texts, as did God from Genesis.
Wednesday, April 9 2014
Smart, stylish, and more than a little sad, Vernon Downs gives readers a lot to think about.
Paul Robeson was a powerful singer and orator whose towering intellect and strong beliefs in the dignity of all mankind may have cost him his reputation and career.
Tuesday, April 8 2014
Cubed considers how lonely crowds, power elites, hidden persuaders, and organization men in gray flannel suits collude to lock up Americans in conforming cages.
Little Feat's place in rock 'n' roll history is undeniable, as is Ben Fong-Torres' role as a rock 'n' roll scribe.
Monday, April 7 2014
Schools aren't failing, but we're failing at understanding them. Diane Ravitch doesn't just illuminate the problem, she provides real solutions that can be achieved.
Is Thomas Christopher Greene tipping his hat to the great Russian writers, particularly Dostoevsky, who combined thrillers, romance and domestic drama, too?
Friday, April 4 2014
Philip Short's book is a masterfully written, sweeping narrative of Mitterrand’s life with decisive, revealing anecdotes and a meticulous chronicling of fact that is remarkable enough to be fiction.