Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 32
January 12 - January 20, 1998

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Books Top Tens
The Chronicle lit critics review the year in books. [2]

Press for Success
The headquarters of High-Lonesome Books looks nothing like the concrete and glass palaces of New York publishing. [3]
Leo W. Banks

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Tragic Stuff
Robert Olen Butler's "The Deep Green Sea" transplants Electra to post-war Vietnam. [4]
Paul Kafka

Tinsel Tales
"American Hot Wax" screenwriter John Kaye's Hollywood novel "Stars Screaming" is the damnedest book to characterize. [5]
Charles Taylor

Literary Lunkhead
He swore he'd never do it again...But our boy just can't help himself: He's read another Clive Cussler book. Somebody please shoot him. [6]
Tom Danehy

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Seduction Line
A Brookline, Massachusetts couple take a factory tour of America and prove that the industrial state still exists. [7]
Tom Scocca

Finely Composed
Sir George Solti's memoirs are much like his conducting -- blunt. [8]
Emil Franzi

Made in Hong Kong
Authors Frederic Dannen and Barry Long examine the world's third-largest movie industry. [9]
James DiGiovanna

Being There
The art of the deal according to "Fair & Square," a new book by Memphis mogul John Tigrett. [10]
Leonard Gill

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  have to admit, I was getting a little bit tired of those Top 10 for 1997 lists. I mean, the New Year is just the changing of a number. Nothing really "ended" and nothing's really "beginning," okay? We flipped a digit, that's all.

And you know, I think lists are a cop-out as an article. A real piece of writing requires flow, explanation, buildup, that sort of thing. The writer has to follow a train of thought and not fall off into the treachery below, which takes sustained effort. But lists bypass all that and just -- bam, bam -- drop a bunch of names.

I think whoever invented the Christmas holidays probably invented New Year's right afterwards so alternative newsweekly writers could take it easy for a week by submitting "Best Of" lists instead of actual articles. That's what I think.

Or what I thought until I read this excellent Best Books of the Year article. Instead of listing out titles, it does something entirely different: it asks specific questions about why readers enjoyed certain works. It places their favorites in context. For as many of you know, the experience of reading can often be as important as the work itself. It's a "Best Of" article that shows the signs of effort.

Okay, enough of that. Just read the article. And after you're done, be sure to take a gander at the other book reviews contained within:

See? That was easy.

Book Festival

Northern Arizona Book Festival
Feeling multicultural? Then be sure to check in with the phenomenal and varied group of authors meeting at this free conference February 6 through 8. Presented by Weekly Wire, the festival includes dozens of the most respected names in literature. Don't miss it!

Now What?
Love to read? Need some clever ideas? Our library of resources and staff picks are guaranteed to turn on plenty of mental light bulbs via your electrified eye sockets. [11]

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