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Monday, Sept. 15, 2008

Tonight @ the Mequon Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

Even if mystery fans aren’t familiar with novelist Michael Harvey and his Michael Kelly franchise, knowing that Harvey is the creator of and a writer for TV’s “Cold Case Files” should give readers an idea of what they’re in store for in Harvey’s latest novel, The Fifth Floor—a fast-paced thriller with ample blood and ample . . .
Monday, Sept. 8, 2008

(iUniverse Star), by Timothy English

It's been written that there's nothing new under the sun, and the axiom has been proven over and over in the history of rock 'n' roll. Sounds Like Teen Spirit compares and contrasts dozens of familiar songs that bear resemblance to one another. Some of them are obvious thefts, such as the transformation of Chuck Berry's. . .
Monday, Sept. 8, 2008

Murder, corruption and lies

Today's neocons would love it: Terrorists disturbing the peace and security of the United States are hunted down, not at taxpayer expense, but by a private agency for personal gain. The free market rules! Well, sort of. It was attempted a century ago, when enterprise was not so much private as it was wild and woolly, and concern for such minor legal details as individual rights was even less than it has become in our day. Eventually, of course, the government had to step in to arrest the bad guys and put them on trial-and when it did, the attendant early-20th-century corruption sounds as modern as in a John Grisham novel . . .
Monday, Sept. 8, 2008

Tonight @ the Mequon Schwartz Bookshop - 7 p.m.

Novelist Erin Hunter has stumbled upon an original (and unwaveringly adorable) idea for a children’s book series: It’s an action-packed, battle-filled epic adventure staring… cats. Warriors: The Power of Three, which is now on its fourth book, Eclipse, has proven popular with kiddies who can’t get enough of . . .
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

(Amadeus Press), by John Bell Young

Concert pianist and critic John Bell Young sets out to describe and explain Beethoven's nine symphonies with minimal technical jargon. His Guided Tour largely succeeds. Young offers solid summations of the structure, emotional content and intellectual background of each symphony. He also touches on subjects as various as Beethoven's celebrity status, the role of conductors in interpreting the score, the political backdrop . . .
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

Life in the jungle of love

How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo, co-author of He's Just Not That Into You, is a book that attempts to tackle the massive conundrum of single life for women: It's important to be happy while single, but who wants to spend time working on being happy and single when you can spend time finding a man to make you happy? And that, quite frankly, is the downfall of this book for me, though it might serve as satisfying chick-lit for the masses. Tuccillo, one of HBO's Emmy Award-winning executive story editor's for "Sex and the City," puts her personal spin on the single . . .
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

Book Preview

The United States is lamentably behind the Western and Eastern nations that have already elected powerful female leaders. And despite the dogged perseverance with which she attempted to earn a victory, Hillary Clinton's defeat in the presidential primaries earlier this year helps continue this embarrassing legacy. When Vermont's former governor Madeleine Kunin published her book Pearls, Politics & Power: How Women Can Win and Lead more than four months ago, not only was Clinton very much in the race, but she seemed set to win. Instead of dealing a decisive blow to the glass ceiling that keeps women in America . . .
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008

(Faber and Faber), by Amanda Petrusich

Many words have lost significance through overuse or misuse, and nowhere is this truer than in music jargon. The meaning of "Americana" is at the heart of a travelogue by music critic Amanda Petrusich. The journey takes her to Memphis and the Mississippi Delta, the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York and the homes of neo-hippie "free folk" musicians in New England. Petrusich is a little iffy on the history, often drawing . . .
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008

The Many Modes of Tom Waits

Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen all suffer from genius exhaustion. They are hip nostalgia. Neil Young's superb Greendale went into so many different idioms (album, film, novel, comic book) that our short-attention culture couldn't manage its complexity. It was lost in translation. The Stones, Police and other rock brands are on Viagra tours, artificially getting it up. Weather Report is bringing back fusion that never should have existed and still doesn't if you want to authentically get down with jazz or rock. Tom Waits jumps out in front of all of them by scuttling up from the subterranean nether culture that has permitted him to grow artistically without suffering the kind of fame that can force one to keep going when it is long past . . .
Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

(Oxford University Press), by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu

Goldsmith and Wu, law professors at Harvard and Columbia, were always skeptical of the cyber utopianism of the 1990s with its delusions of a worldwide web without laws or corporate ownership, a Freedonia of the imagination. In the new edition of their important analysis of order and the Internet, the authors

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