Book Reviews Feed

With all of the insanity of 2020 raging at full speed, a reader probably has two basic options when choosing a book this year. First, you can find something that will distract you from a tension of a global pandemic and presidential politics. Maybe something lighthearted that features a puppy who gets separated from his family and has a great adventure as he makes his way back home. The other choice is that you can lean in hard to the madness and dive into something like Chuck Palahniuk's new novel, The Invention of Sound (out now.) The Fight Club author's... Read more →

I was starting to think Allie Brosh was a figment of my imagination. I read her first book, Hyperbole and a Half in 2015. I was not in a great headspace at the time, but I'd heard good thing about this new humorist and thought I would see what all the buzz was about. I'd never encountered anything like that book, which was somewhere between a graphic novel and a collection of blog posts. It had crude (i.e. rudimentary) graphics that were endearingly weird. The accompanying stories included her family, random adventures with things like hot sauce, her battle with... Read more →

As stories of police misconduct continue to dominate the headlines, we repeatedly hear the calls for the implementation of micro-reforms like cultural competency training, body cams, and the firing of so-called "bad apples." Sociology professor Alex Vitale argues in his recent book, The End of Policing, that these changes would be helpful, but they're nibbling at the edges. Instead, Professor Vitale says what we really need to do is completely revamp how we see the role of the police in our society and to stop using them in situations where they do little to nothing that increases public safety (and... Read more →

Jim Ross is widely regarded as one of the two best professional wrestling announcers of all time. However you rank him with Gordon Solie is right. Ross was the voice of the WWE's "Attitude Era," and he provided the memorable soundtrack for the exploits of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, and others, for 20 years. Longtime wrestling fans will remember his work with WCW in the late 1980's and Mid-South Wrestling before that. In addition to being an announcer, Ross has also been part of management. He's seen it all, the highs and the lows, both professionally... Read more →

We have reached the point in the pandemic where we are combing through our shelves for books we have never gotten around to reading, because this seems like a perfect time to cut down the backlog. First up, we have Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a stunning collection of fictional short stories about the author's time in combat during the Vietnam War. Originally published in 1990, the book is a gripping look at both war and the human condition, as well as being a masterclass in storytelling. Taken literally, "the things they carried" include items like pictures of girlfriends,... Read more →

We've found that one of our favorite ways to escape from the craziness of 2020 is to periodically binge-watch a few episodes of The Office. It's easy to do, considering that it's constantly playing on Comedy Central, and the entire series is available on Netflix. You can jump in at just about any point and lose yourself to some well-written-and-performed comedy for an hour or two (although, be warned if you see Will Ferrell or James Spader on the screen.) It was a brilliant show that deserved an insightful look at its history, and that's what Andy Greene provides in... Read more →

The United States has suffered immensely from Donald Trump's psychological issues for the past three years. The man lies as easily as he breathes, he lives in a fantasy world where he is in any way an exceptional individual, he takes responsibility for none of his failures, and he seems driven by an immense innate cruelty that few others can match. He also has the emotional stability of a three-year-old child. When faced with criticism, his reflexive response is to lash out in a tantrum on Twitter. None of this is breaking news. However, there is a question that needs... Read more →

Racism has dominated the headlines recently in light of a number of high-profile murders, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, among others. The flames of animosity have been furthered fanned by Donald Trump, who is counting on racial discord to help him win a second term in the White House. Black Lives Matter protests are being held across the country and consistently met with pushback in the form of "All Lives Matter" chants. At first glance, it seems pretty easy to distinguish the "bad" guys from the "good" guys. The problem is that drawing that line allows all... Read more →

Actor Maurice Benard is known by soap opera fans around the country as Sonny Corinthos, the longstanding mob boss of Port Charles on General Hospital. He's been a central character on the show for almost 30 years and has seen it all: enemies, wives, children, you name it. In addition to all of that, Sonny suffers from bipolar disorder which has been a recurring storyline for years. There's no doubt that's the biggest opponent Corinthos must face. The diagnosis hits close to home for Benard, who has been dealing with bipolar disorder for most of his life. It's taken Benard... Read more →

There once was a young girl known as Ace who traveled through space and time with the 7th Doctor (known to her as "Professor.") The two had many exciting adventures together, but the Doctor had a strong manipulative streak that eventually led to them parting ways after a terrible incident. Thirty years later, the former Ace is now known as Dorothy McShane, a millionaire philanthropist who runs the organization, "A Charitable Earth." She's moved on with her life after saying goodbye to the Doctor. However, something is pulling her back to an otherworldly danger, as well as to the newest... Read more →