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Books

Volume I, Issue 41
March 16 - March 23, 1998


Biography
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Is That a Biography in Your Pocket..?
Reviews of biographies "Becoming Mae West" and "The Ghosts of Medgar Evers" plus "SCTV: Behind the Scenes" by Dave Thomas and "Monster: Living off the Big Screen" by John Gregory Dunne. [3]

Batter Up
The history of baseball, as interpreted by two of its leading lights. [4]
Gregory McNamee

Idiot Messiah
Marilyn Manson's biography reveals some compelling ideas, but he can't quite get around his personal foibles and win our -- or even his own -- respect. [5]
Ted Drozdowski


Fiction
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Bedtime Reading
Jonathan Coe's "House of Sleep" moves away from the glittering surfaces of satire into deeper waters. [2]
Richard C. Walls

Bug Out
Victor Pelevin's "The Life of Insects" and Bernard Werber's "Empire of the Ants" reveal bug life in translation. [6]
Megan Harlan


Non-fiction
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Desert Prose
Akex Shoumatoff's "Legends of the American Desert." [7]
Ernie Longmire


O









kay, maybe not all of the biographies in this week's "biographies" section are really biographies. Sue me. "Becoming Mae West" by Emily Wortis Leider is an actual biography, of course, but the Babe Ruth and Albert Spalding books are more about baseball than about the men who play them. (If you're wondering who Albert Spalding is, just meditate on his last name while visualizing a tennis ball.)

Then there's the Marilyn Manson book. I ask you, what could it possibly be other than an autobiography? Yep, the narcissistic chronic masturbator and aggressively Goth-postured rocker has finally put his life to pen. But does the pen come to life?

There's plenty more biographical bookage here, but I'd like to specifically point out a review of Dave Thomas's book on SCTV. Again, not technically a biography, because it deals more with the cast than Dave himself. But it's still a terrific book for anyone who's ever enjoyed or wondered about SCTV -- a show that could kick Saturday Night Live's butt without cameras on. Where are the comedic equivalents today? "MAD TV"? Ha!


Mini Reviews
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Speed Reader
"The Sky, The Stars, The Wilderness" by Rick Bass; "La Vida Nortena" by David Burckhalter; "Tall in the Saddle" by Peggy Thompson; "Catch the Fire!" by Derrick I. M. Gilbert. [8]
Julie Birnbaum, Blake de Pastino, Devin O'Leary, Valerie Yarberry


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. [9]


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