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Book Reviews 05/2017

Perverted poet Patricia Lockwood runs wild in the memoir Priestdaddy
While Lockwood meanders at times within the episodic structure—a drunken church dinner, a trip to the “nation's wang” of Florida—she anchors the book with insights into how she, an atheist surrealist poet, could have possibly come from these two ...

Cheryl Strayed on Richard Ford's Masterly Memoir of His Parents
Usually, when I take my aged copy of the book from my shelves and turn to Page 39 to find those lines once more, I'm disappointed. In my memory of them they're more piercing than they turn out to be on the page, where they state only what's plainly ...

'Bombshell' book review: CD Reiss shows a different side of Hollywood
Given the synopsis, I thought this book would be light and fluffy but it wasn't really. I wouldn't necessarily call it dark, but there are some very intense situations and topics dealt with in the novel. Basically, it was a trope that I enjoy reading ...

Book review: Detailed look at American economy doesn't paint rosy picture for future
Robert J. Gordon's detailed study of the startling growth of the American economy from approximately 1870 to 1970, and its subsequent decline since 1970, more or less agrees with the classic or “organic” theory of history: Great civilizations rise ...

Book Review: Tools Of Titans
The name “Tim Ferriss” meant little to me until his father, a friend, showed me some magazine articles with his son on the cover, noting, proudly, that Tim's business podcasts are #1 on iTunes and that “The Tim Ferriss Show,” the first such podcast on ...

Book Review: 'Spoils'
When the recent news that the 'mother of all bombs' was dropped in Afghanistan to wipe out a stronghold of ISIS, I immediately thought about Brian Van Reet's debut novel Spoils, a propulsive novel that empathetically depicts both sides of our ruinous ...

Children's Book Review: Holly's Day at the Pool (Disney Animation Artist Showcase)
The Walt Disney Animation Studios Artist Showcase is a series of children's books created by the same talented artists that work on Disney's latest string of animated hits, like Frozen, Zootopia, and Moana. The series started in 2014 with No Slurping ...

The Given Life (a book review)
With little money for book purchases, I soon exhausted the local library's stock of Berry books and novels, and have only returned to him sporadically over the intervening years. Understandably, I jumped on the opportunity to get my hands on a review ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign'
This highly entertaining and fast-moving book provides an extensive analysis of what caused the failure of Hillary Clinton's unwieldy and hugely expensive campaign to carry its highly favored candidate across the finish line. From the outset ...

Having Trouble Having It All? Ivanka Alone Can Fix It
The preface of Ivanka Trump's new book, “Women Who Work,” is anodyne enough. But something about the third paragraph stuck deep in my craw. I didn't see it coming, at first. “Over the last year and a half,” it begins, “I've had the honor of traveling ...

A Fantastic, Fantastical Book for the New, Cool Woman in My Life
She loves to read George Saunders and Octavia E. Butler and watch “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Game of Thrones” (she's also read the books by George R. R. Martin). Can you help me think of a book I could recommend for her that would knock her ...

Comic Book Review – Tekken #1
All new comic series based on the iconic fighting game franchise! Written by Cavan Scott (Doctor Who, Vikings) and illustrated by Andie Tong! This sensational new comic series will tap into TEKKEN's rich history, and will feature memorable characters ...

Book review: 'Beartown: A Novel' by Fredrik Backman
As soon as they hit the court, field, or rink, they play their hearts out to win. And win. And win. The competition is… well, there really isn't much competition but, as in the new book “Beartown” by Fredrik Backman, trouble may come from within ...

Book Review: The Spectacular Sisterhood Of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters From Comic Book History
Well, it is about time. I am oh so happy to see a book that chronicles the amazing female comic characters that readers have loved for decades. You might have noticed that there have been several comic hero chronicles of late; I have reviewed a couple ...

Book Review: Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for the Real James Brown
517brown.book.jpg Born to a black minister and his white wife, McBride grew up in New York City, studied musical composition at Oberlin, and earned a degree in journalism at Columbia. He's written for major publications, has composed music for Spike ...

Donald Osborne's 'Transatlantic Style: A Romance of Fins and Chrome' is a beautiful tribute to midcentury Italian design
Osborne's book takes a detailed look at the style trendsetters that are still not given sufficient credit outside the world of professional designers, like the Cisitalia 202 Gran Sport and the Lancia Aurelia B20. But the book really makes its mark, not ...

Book Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
For the longest time, one of my best friends kept badgering me to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. She ranted and raved about how amazing the book is and since it's a literary classic, I decided to give it a try. I'm really intrigued ...

6 unexpected things I learned about Ivanka Trump from her new book
The book, which the first daughter and White House adviser wrote while her father was running for president, reads like a mashup of countless essays and articles written in the past decade aimed at female entrepreneurs. That isn't to say all the advice ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'War and the Art of Governance'
Most Americans like to think a war has ended when the last shot is fired or when the opposing army surrenders; these include politicians and senior military officers. In her excellent book, “War and the Art of Governance,” Nadia Schadlow argues ...

Book review: 'The Animators': A touching portrait of female artists ...
Book review: 'The Animators': A touching portrait of female artists ...

Book review: An old murder fragments a family in Don Chaon's
In his haunting sixth book, “Ill Will,” Dan Chaon examines the seams between true identity and self-narrative and the deceptive ground that lies in between: What are the stories we tell ourselves? Do we remember the truth? Or do we fabricate lies that ...

Book review: Oil wealth, greed, prejudice fueled murders of Osage
The FBI burnished its reputation by gunning down Depression-era gangster John Dillinger and bringing to justice the kidnapper of Charles Lindbergh's baby. However, a more challenging but long forgotten investigation a decade earlier gave the fledgling ...

Book review: Evangelicals' long road from the 1730 Great ...
Book review: Evangelicals' long road from the 1730 Great ...

Book Review: The Road To Ruin
The book is awkward, but has some interesting features. He describes various pop mathematics techniques for economic and financial analysis, although the book does not provide enough details to be able to evaluate them. James Rickards joined the LTCM ...

Many Working Women Won't See Themselves In 'Women Who Work'
Trump's new book shares a name and a mission with her company's marketing campaign: Women Who Work. Organized into sections with titles like "Dream Big" and "Make Your Mark," Women Who Work is a sea of blandities, an extension of that 2014 ...

Talking with New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul about 'My Life With Bob'
Remarried with three children, Paul has been editor of The New York Times Book Review since 2013. She considered the challenges of juggling writing, reading, editing and parenting in a recent conversation from her office. It has been edited for length ...

Book Review: 'Burntown' by Jennifer McMahon
Where she invariably falls short — in this reader's estimation — is in satisfying the breathless expectations she's established. In this regard, her new novel, Burntown, is no exception. Yet there's much to praise in this book. McMahon moves beyond ...

Book review: 'Beartown: A Novel'
... to enjoy this story; in fact, you might like it a little better if you don't. You may even love it if you're a fan of keeps-you-guessing novels of exquisite storytelling. Undoubtedly, if you're a big Backman fan, you need this book because ...

Book Review: “Papaya Sunset”
Robert E. Schiller, a life-long and highly sought-after public education administrator now serving as the interim superintendent of the Falls Church, Virginia, public schools, knows basketball, and in “Papaya Sunset,” he manages to draw the reader into ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'Where Bartenders Drink'
The late, great Steve Allen was a true polymath: comedian, musician, composer and author. He may also have been a psychic. Decades before his death 17 years ago he warned of a coming menace. One shouldn't allow children to mix drinks, he said, ...

Review: 'The Jungle Book' at Imagination Stage
Imagination Stage presents The Jungle Book, based on the classic story by Rudyard Kipling and adapted for the stage by Greg Banks. Janet Stanford directs a small cast of five in this production who, by way of talent, ingenuity, and several flash ...

Book review: 'Anything Is Possible' visits Lucy Barton's hometown
As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout was writing "My Name Is Lucy Barton," she started a companion novel to catch the overflowing stories of the minor characters in Lucy's life. That was the beginning of the newly published "Anything Is ...

Book review: Food is the true main course in 'Feast of Sorrow'
If true gastronomy resides at the intersection of food, art and culture, then Crystal King's debut novel can only be described as a gastronomical delight. Like much of the best in historical fiction, "Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome" features ...

Gabourey Sidibe: By the Book
The actress and author of “This Is Just My Face” found herself rereading Ruthie Mae Bolton's “Gal,” “each time understanding more and more, the blessing and the burden of being a black woman.” What books are currently on your night stand? I'm currently ...

BOOK REVIEW: Camille Paglia tackles the 'tyranny' of 'tolerance'
History moves in cycles, and the plague of political correctness and the attacks on free speech that erupted in the 1980's have returned with a vengeance, argues Camille Paglia. “We are plunged once again into an ethical chaos where intolerance ...

'Avenged' book review: All thriller, no filler
While there are a few action sequences (some more brutal than others), the book's strength is its portrayal of politics and consequences. While that kind of stuff would normally seem quite boring, Tintera has a way of making even the smallest maneuver ...

10 New Books We Recommend This Week
In his review, Jeff VanderMeer writes, “'The Book of Joan' has the same unflinching quality as earlier works by Josephine Saxton, Doris Lessing, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin and J.G. Ballard. Yet it's also radically new, full of maniacal invention ...

Book Review: 'Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome'
However, it's the food that's the true main course in the 450-page book. Each section begins with a recipe, ranging from honeyed wine and mustard beets to grilled mullet and dormice. The ending is satisfying, but readers are left hungry for more — if ...

Book review: 'High Stakes' gives voice to George RR Martin's proteges
The moments that should be a break are really just an intense layer of suspense. When you read this book, be prepared to have it stuck in your hand or carried with you at all times. And, get ready, because you'll want to read the rest of the books in ...

Book Review: Soul Food Advisor, Recipes And Tips For Authentic Southern Cooking
For people who are tired of hearing waiters say “locally sourced” – for people who rejoiced when a pot-roast recipe from Tippah County won grudging and incredulous approval from editors at the “New York Times” – this fine, no-nonsense book on Southern ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Death and Life of the Great Lakes' by Dan Egan
BOOK REVIEW: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan (W.W. Norton & Co.) 2017. In the early 1980's, while on a fishing excursion out on the open waters of Lake Michigan, my grandfather hooked a coho salmon (a fish originally from the Pacific ...

Book Review: Dark Side Of Glowing Watches Explored In Kate Moore's 'The Radium Girls'
Readers who are not too jaded will be astonished by what this book tells us about the workplace of the dial-painters at that time. Each girl was instructed to dip her small paintbrush in a radium mixture and to “point” the brush by putting it between ...

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Fix'
Equally mysterious but far more ruthless is the life and times of Anne Berkshire, the school teacher murdered by Dabney, who proves to have a lurid history made even less excusable by her use of a dying child and his book to provide a channel of ...

Book Review: Through his speeches, McCullough holds the nation up to the mirror
He is the author of 10 books. Two of these, “Truman” and “John Adams,” have garnered Pulitzer Prizes. All have earned critical acclaim. This book is a gathering of McCullough's speeches, 15 selections in all. They span from 1994 remarks to a graduating ...

Book review: 'Judas' explores the vindication of traitors
'Judas,' by Amos Oz. Translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 305 pages. $25. This isn't a cheerful book, but it is surely a fascinating one. It is set in Jerusalem, in the winter of 1959-60. A left-wing university ...

Book Review: 'A $500 House in Detroit' by Drew Philp
In 2009, at age 23, a skinny white kid named Drew Philp bought a decrepit house in inner-city Detroit for $500. Philp came from a long line of working men (“I'm the oldest male member of my family with all of my fingers intact,” he says), and despite ...

Book Review: Baxter Turns Down His Buzz
I assigned this book to my son to read one morning in homeschool. Bunny Baxter won the last forest race, but did it by pushing animals over, then he hogged all the water bottles afterward. Uncle Barnaby teaches him to “turn down his buzz” through ...

Book review: 'The Perfect Stranger' is the perfect summer thriller
The new thriller from Megan Miranda, author of last year's hit “All the Missing Girls,” tells the story of Leah Stephens, a former star reporter from Boston who relocates to work as a high school teacher in the western Pennsylvania backwoods with her ...

Gabourey Sidibe Talks About 'This Is Just My Face'
Gabourey Sidibe talks about her new memoir, and Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.” Pamela Paul. In The New York Times Book Review, the actress Gabourey Sidibe, the author of a new memoir, “This Is Just My Face: Try ...

Book review: 'Towers in the Sand: The History of Florida Broadcasting'
From the beginning of the book, I was drawn to both the flow of events and the many characters who brought Florida broadcasting into being. The story of the industry's evolution is itself captivating. It is full of the frustrating experiences of the ...


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