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Books

Future Missionaries of America by Matthew Vollmer

Like a throng of aging punk rockers at a Sex Pistols reunion concert, the characters all seem to possess the same type of aggressively apathetic outlook on life.

Rachel Smucker
Books

Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf

Between English- and Japanese-speakers, dyslexics and normal readers, struggling children and fluent adults, Wolf shows the not-so-obvious differences in both brain structure and in areas of activation.

Rachel Smucker
Books

Life: The Classic Collection

This collection emphasizes good photography over technical superficiality ("today's technological advancement, while fine, has done nothing to add excitement to a well-made picture"), and does not assert itself unreasonably.

Rachel Smucker
Books

Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein

In the sort of lip-biting, hair-tossing, impetuous manner for which teenagers are so famous, Klein indirectly highlights discomfort via wit, and pairs shame with over-confidence.

Reviews

Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age

Not until we are shaken out of the comfort zones of our Bluetoothed selves are we able to fully realize where we are, what we have done, and what it has done to us.

Rachel Smucker
Books

Wild Mulberries by Iman Humaydan Younes

Every time the reader is drawn in deeper, Younes pulls away, retracting back into her unaffected prose.

Books

E: The Incredibly Strange History of Ecstasy by Tim Pilcher

There is much to be learned about this little pill, and it is a comfort knowing that everyone -- raver or non-raver, pill-popper or anti-drug -- is able to, in their own way, "keep it real".

Rachel Smucker
Books

B As in Beirut by Iman Humaydan Younes

Through four women who painfully embrace the city that is at once their prison and their home, Younes raises the question: are we powerless to the pull of our past?

Rachel Smucker
Books

Brand New China by Jing Wang

Written like a college textbook and packaged like a novel, this book blurs the line between storytelling and statistical analysis, making for an interesting, complex read.

Rachel Smucker
Music

Beating the System: Radiohead Gives The Man the Middle Finger

Like it or not, Radiohead's new marketing strategy is changing the way people think about digital music.

Rachel Smucker
Books

The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue by Manuel Muñoz

Muñoz paints wonderful pictures of his characters' lives. A little thoughtful reflection can work wonders in small doses.

Rachel Smucker
Books

Obit: Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People who Led Extraordinary Lives by Jim Sheeler

This is almost an anthology of wonderful short stories in which each character, coincidentally, dies at the end.

Rachel Smucker
Books

Bronx Biannual by Miles Marshall Lewis [Editor]

With his selection of stories and mix of old and young Bronx-based writers, Lewis is exposing the side of the BX that many are too blinded with stereotypes to see.

Rachel Smucker
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Mag Review: Entertainment Weekly

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Mag Review: Interview

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Mag Review: American Photo

Rachel Smucker
Books

Karaoke by Zhou Xun and Francesca Tarocco

The authors delve into karaoke technology, such as the popular (and my personal favorite) video game Karaoke Revolution, and even explore the bizarre "pornaoke" found in British Columbia.

Rachel Smucker
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Mag Review: Geek

Rachel Smucker
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Mag review: Mental_Floss

Rachel Smucker
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Mag Review: Bitch

Rachel Smucker
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Mag Review: Paper

Rachel Smucker
Reviews

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Hamid gives us the actions, we create the motives.

Rachel Smucker
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Magazine review: Paste

Rachel Smucker

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