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Wednesday, March 5 2003

Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff

The sometime first-person narrator is really just one of dozens of personalities literally shacking up in the head of the protagonist.


The New Southern Gentleman by Jim Booth

[It] takes the cultural confusion, the anachronism that is the New South and with tongue firmly in cheek, describes the region's dwindling pseudo-aristocratic heritage.


Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power by Gerald Posner

Gordy wasn't running a record company; he was running a factory.


From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey by Pascal Khoo Thwe

He is . . . a skilled writer who infuses a tale of war with warmth, magic and humanity.


Boy Still Missing by John Searles

This is your quintessential dysfunctional family with intriguing secrets popping up all over the place.


Wednesday, February 26 2003

The Photograph by Penelope Lively

This desire to know and to accept that knowing is the only possible way forward is the theme tackled by Penelope Lively in her latest novel.


On This Day by Nathaniel Bellows

A beautifully written but ultimately unsatisfying novel about the trappings of life and the artifice of friendship.


The Long Silence of Mario Salviati by Etienne van Heerden

Carefully and meticulously, van Heerden chronicles the notion of apartheid and its effect the inhabitants of Yearsonend.


The Honey Gatherers: A Book of Love Poems by Maura Dooley

The best love poetry (and there's a lot of it in this book) achieves this mingling of the solid and the intellectual.


Wednesday, February 19 2003

Unknown Quantity by Paul Virilio

A work of mourning -- mourning for a humanity, an earth which has lost control through globalisation, through the irresponsibility of power-crazy politicians and businessmen.


She’s Not There by Mary-Anne Tirone Smith

It is sparkling, sophisticated and heady -- and more than a little addictive.


Our Votes, Our Guns: Robert Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe by Martin Meredith

An intense extrapolation of the crises that have sullied Zimbabwe over the last three decades.


Old Gods Almost Dead: The 40-Year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones by Stephen Davis

Deserves a spot on every bookshelf (Stones fan, or no Stones fan). And to the gentlemen of the Rolling Stones we have this to say: Thanks, and for our sake, please keep rockin'.


The Fall by Simon Mawer

Has little to do with mountain climbing and a lot to do with the general situation of humankind.


Wednesday, February 12 2003

Underground USA: Filmmaking beyond the Hollywood Canon, Edited by Xavier Mendik and Steven Jay Schne

Hollywood moulded some of the most promising filmmakers into mainstream clones.


Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way by Charles Bukowski

'Regular people' can read and appreciate Bukowski. I doubt scholars will find a distinct identity in each successive volume of his posthumous work, but that doesn't seem terribly unusual to me.


Our Land Before We Die: The Proud Story of the Seminole Negro by Jeff Guinn

Records the tale of a people who are at the intersection of the two groups most terrorized and abused during American's colonial and post-colonial history.


Ignorance by Milan Kundera

The story is interesting in the cultural context the author provides but, ultimately, it fails to satisfy on a deeper level.


I Want That!: How We All Became Shoppers by Thomas Hine

As I sit here in a fabulous new pair of striped, sparkly, 1972 polyester pants and a furry-collared shirt with dachshunds racing across the sleeves, I wonder what my shopping habits say about me in the context of these words from cultural critic Thomas Hine's newest book.


Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren by Michael Gross

It doesn't really matter whether you believe he's a fashion genius or the world's luckiest tie salesman, because anyone who has read the book on Ralph Lauren knows that he's both, in addition to something else: an ice-cold businessman with a heart of steel.


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