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Book Reviews

Ryan Nerz | Eat This Book: A Year of Gorging and Glory On the Competitive Eating Circuit

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Friday, 30 June 2006 18:00

Contests involving spicy items, like the jalapeño-eating championship, can cause hours of intense pain later on.

Jason Leopold | News Junkie

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Written by Janelle Greenwood Tuesday, 23 May 2006 06:22

As a former Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires, Leopold takes the memoir deep into his own rabbit hole of addiction, theft, and eventual recovery.



Jonathan Cott (ed.) | Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews

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Written by James McAnally Tuesday, 23 May 2006 06:19

The Essential Interviews effectively does the most important work a book on Dylan can do—namely, it lets him speak.



David Mitchell | Black Swan Green

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Written by Byron Kerman Tuesday, 23 May 2006 06:16

Black Swan Green is small, as childhood is small, and epic as only coming-of-age can be. It doesn’t wear out its welcome.



Douglas Coupland | JPod

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Written by Shandy Casteel Tuesday, 23 May 2006 06:11

Coupland himself mocks Ethan and prowls the countryside of China, humorless Chinese underworld kingpin Kam Fong becomes a family friend and dance partner, and Ronald McDonald is the object of ridicule and desire—and ultimately the murderous avenging demonic force the jPodders hope to slip into their game, which is gradually being wrestled way from them.



Graham Roumieu | Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir

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Monday, 01 May 2006 05:56

Who knew Bigfoot was so eloquent? Or angry? Or hilarious? The big guy has had his share of ups and downs.



Steven Johnson | Everything Bad is Good for You

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Written by Shandy Casteel Tuesday, 25 April 2006 07:50

As Johnson writes, his approach is more “systemic than symbolic,” eschewing the usual tact of “zeitgeist” criticism and academic cultural studies, something that is closer “to physics than to poetry.



Colson Whitehead | Apex Hides the Hurt

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Written by Shandy Casteel Tuesday, 25 April 2006 07:45

What is the name that will give me the dignity and respect that is my right? The key that will unlock the world.



Vendela Veda (ed.) | The Believer Book of Writers Talking To Writers

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Wednesday, 29 March 2006 12:52

One piece that stands out is the conversation between Ben Marcus and George Saunders. The two touch on such nuts-and-bolts aesthetics as realism, to which Saunders says: “I think it’s interesting, though, that some writers of our approximate generation have a sort of queasiness around the issue of realism. I know I do. There’s something about the normal approach (‘Bob, age forty-three, pale blond hair—a senior-level accountant—felt good about his marriage. He got into his tan Lexus, thinking of Meribeth.’) that makes me scared and sick. I am always trying to avoid it.”

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Kevin Smokler (ed.) | Bookmark Now: Writing In Unreaderly Times

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Wednesday, 29 March 2006 12:46

Meghan Daum’s “If I Had a Stammer” is equally magnificent, calling to task the Stammering Class, a group of down-talkers whose standard-bearer William F. Buckley gave way to such personalities as Ira Glass and Terry Gross.

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Isa Chandra Moskowitz | Vegan With A Vengeance

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Wednesday, 29 March 2006 12:37

Moskowitz peppers the book with little hints called “Punk Points,” and the occasional commentary, whether it’s on pizza dough, veganism on the Internet, or bake sales, which she blames for the results of the 2004 election: “I thought back to what the lefties did ‘wrong’ and the only thing that I could really put my finger on was this one ‘Baking against Bush” bake sale I went to. There were actually store-bought items, wrapped in plastic. Good people, that is not a bake sale.”

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Jen Trynin | Everything I'm Cracked Up To Be: A Rock & Roll Fairytale

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Wednesday, 29 March 2006 12:31

As record label interest in Trynin begins to grow, she smartly hires a high profile, New York–based entertainment lawyer, Neil, who begins to shop around her self-released disc, Cockamamie. Attorney in place, Trynin is poised for the bidding war soon to erupt. With her conversational tone and realistic delivery, Trynin perfectly sets the scene and lets the events unfold.

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