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Wednesday, September 25 2002

Modern Burma isn't so much a country as the residue of a British imperial political organization thrust onto several divergent peoples. To argue for ethnic independence is to argue for Burma's devolution, something the world community isn't likely to tolerate.


Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of a Free Press by edited by Kristina Borjess

With almost one voice the essays contained here contend that the modern news business -- where the emphasis on the bottom line has almost trumped the traditional sanctity of the byline -- has become just that: a business.


The Accidental President: How 413 Lawyers, 9 Supreme Court Justices, and 5,963,110 Floridians (Give

The most remarkable portion of The Accidental President concerns the final Supreme Court decision that effectively appointed George W. Bush president. Most of the criticism leveled in the book is fairly light, but at the end Kaplan rips into the Supreme Court decision.


Monday, September 16 2002

Using the Force: Creativity, Community and Star Wars Fans by Will Brooker

For as much as Lucasfilms would like to be in control over its content, 'Star Wars' has grown too big to fit inside of Lucas' universe anymore. Nearly everyone alive today has a 'Star Wars' story to tell.


Toothpicks and Logos: Design in Everyday Life by John Heskett

Conveys the theory that almost nothing in our environment is completely natural.


This War Called Love by Alejandro Murguia

His narratives are crisp and filled with vivid descriptions of street life, reminding one of a painting that is packed with minute details.


The Season of Lillian Dawes by Katherine Mosby

A lush novel, thick with the heady atmosphere of first love, lust and betrayal, Katherine Mosby's sophomore effort, 'The Season of Lillian Dawes' is part 'Catcher in the Rye', part 'The Great Gatsby'. Original it ain't, but the author's fluid, lyrical prose makes it worth the deja vu.


Screening Party by Dennis Hensley

I'd like to take a moment to reflect upon the fine art of 'riposte au cinema', or talking back to the movies. It's one of those pursuits, like driving and sex, that most people attempt to do but few actually do well.


The Psychology of the Sopranos: Love, Death, Desire, and Betrayal in America’s Favorite Gangster Fam

Gabbard (a professor of psychology at Baylor College of Medicine) delves into the psyches of the Sopranos, and explains why the nation has become seduced by a show about the 'misadventures of a middle-aged thug.' Doesn't sound so odd, really. How many people, after all, refer to 'The Godfather' as an all-time favorite movie?"


The End of Baseball As We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81 by Charles P. Korr

I've just paid too much money for a nosebleed seat in Turner Field and now I can't 'afford' a hot dog, some dickhead behind me has just spilled beer down my back because he can't hold his cup and talk on his cell phone at the same time, and the row in front of me has decided to spend the entire game trying to resurrect the Wave.


Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke

Though Hawke often expertly captures some charming and lush moments, 'Ash Wednesday' is not supposed to be a great work of literary genius (as some of his 'But, he's a Hollywood pretty boy!' detractors seem to think), just an uncomplicated tale of the tribulations of young people in love. Objective achieved.


Wednesday, September 4 2002

Life of Pi: A Novel by Yann Martel

In the best tradition of all good literature, it "shows," but never "tells.


Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes, and Make-Believe Violence by Gerard Jones

In fact, everything in 'Killing Monsters' works, placing it in sharp contrast to the endless sky-is-falling rhetoric of the last few decades, which seems designed for no other purpose than make us fear both the media and our own children.


Dr. Tatiana’s eEx Advice to All Creation by Olivia Judson

I'm appalled by the behavior of the young iguanas of today: I keep encountering groups of youths masturbating at me.


Crocodile Soup by Julia Darling

The themes of loss, isolation, and desperation are ripe with possibility, and yet Darling's treatment of these topics often leaves the reader cold.


Wednesday, August 28 2002

Shed: Poems 1980-2001 by Ken Smith

Smith is a poet of voices, a ventriloquist in writing, drawing on the ancient traditions of balladeers, troubadors, and wandering poets.


Step to the Graveyard Easy by Bill Pronzini

Written with ironic, hard-boiled prose, 'Step to the Graveyard Easy' hearkens back to the soiled elegance of Chandler and Cain.


Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years 1960-1975 by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

I thought of myself as a revolutionary...I wanted to see women liberated, thinking for ourselves, not just organized into a political constituency....


The Courage of Strangers: Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement by Jeri Laber

In chronicling her life as a human rights activist, Laber reveals how human rights theory and practice can be wedded in such a way that both fields are enriched.


Wednesday, August 21 2002

Snobbery: The American Version by Joseph Epstein

Snobbery can be mocked, but at its core, it is a weak, malicious vice that shows our worst.


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