Category Archives: non-fiction

Working Stiff

Woops – radio silence around here for a bit. Stupid life stuff… Each body tells a story. This is the tale of a woman’s decision to switch over from her residency as a surgeon to training as a medical examiner. … Continue reading

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The Art of Selling Movies – John McElwee

It’s an absolute joy to see newspaper ads for film going back to the beginning of the medium. It’s like sifting through archaeological strata of the country’s culture. The birth of film, all the pre–Hayes–Code ads (!), the tremendous hype … Continue reading

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The Plots Against Hitler – Danny Orbach

You know the saying “The devil takes care of his own”? My deeply Catholic mother reminds me of that one a lot when I complain about the way God arranges things; there is, she says, another power at work in … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a Song – Marc Myers

I love this stuff. I love learning the background, the genesis for a work, be it a book or painting, tv episode or – obviously – a song. Websites like SongFacts are huge rabbit holes that I can and do … Continue reading

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History of Rock and Roll in Ten Songs – Greil Marcus – Henry Rollins

Ringo Starr isn’t in the R&R Hall of Fame as an individual? Who do I write to about that? The reason I bought this book is the narrator, Henry Rollins. I’m not a fan of punk music, so I didn’t … Continue reading

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Something in the Blood – David J. Skal, James Patrick Cronin

I was glad to receive this audiobook from the publisher on CD, because using the CD player in my car makes what is for me a long commute that much easier. This book in particular wasn’t much of a boon, … Continue reading

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Unlocking Worlds – Sally Allen

First of all, what a terrible advanced copy this was. The book is basically a list of books with brief synopses and discussions of each, and in a few cases the book title is entirely missing. Which has no relevance … Continue reading

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The Wicked Boy – Kate Summerscale

This book, this case of a boy killing his mother (or boys), is more proof that playing violent video games shapes young minds in ways that lead to violen – Sorry? Oh, it’s not 1995, but 1895? Oh. Right. This … Continue reading

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How To Be a Person in the World – Heather Havrilesky

“Who do I think I am, giving other people advice?” I thought. “I’m not qualified for this! I don’t have it all figured out. What the hell am I doing?” I was so glad to read that. Because it’s going … Continue reading

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American Heiress – Jeffrey Toobin

The stupid runs very deep in this story. Patricia Hearst was young and ignorant and self-centered; the revolutionaries were pretty much morons, or delusional at best; the FBI wasn’t any too sharp… The other notable characteristic of the people featured … Continue reading

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