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Books

Volume I, Issue 46
April 20 - April 27, 1998

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Fiction
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Drifters
Abigail Thomas's fiction follows characters who don't know where they're going. [2]
Kate Tuttle

Pioneer Grit and Newfangled Novels
Author Debra Monroe and her new novel, "Newfangled." [3]
Tom Doyal


Non-fiction
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Flighty Aphrodite
"Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses" makes for sensuous reading. [4]
Margaret Wappler

Retro Cooking: Recipes for Disaster
Tasty information for you to chew over. [5]
Noah Masterson and Mary Ann McDonald

Rebel Knell
In his book "Confederates in the Attic," journalist Tony Horwitz debunks many myths that have been born in recent years about the Civil War. [6]
Tracy Jones

A Spoonful of Sugar
"Bad Medicine" is a low-impact science mystery novel about the hantavirus outbreak on the Navajo Reservation in the summer of 1993. [7]
Christine Wald-Hopkins

Battle Decry
It was a "short, vicious" conflict that, by proportion of population, inflicted greater casualties than any other war in American history. [8]
Gregory McNamee

The Nashville Scene
Will the circle be unbroken? Not at country music's currerent rate, says Bruce Feiler, author of "Dreaming Out Loud." [9]
Leonard Gill

Mondo Cinema
Chatting with Judy Stone, author of "Eye on the World: Conversations with International Filmmakers" [10]
Devin D. O'Leary

Unfiltered Facts
Author Stanton Glantz provides an insider's view of how the tobacco industry works. It's not pretty. [11]
Gregory McNamee


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. [15]


S












everal reviews of magazines, fiction books, cookbooks, erotic cookbooks, and poetry collections aside, there seems to be a theme running through many of the works discussed this week.

That theme appears to revolve around America's roots -- particularly its frontier and Southern roots.

What else could explain the two separate reviews of non-fiction books about indians? One looks at the fate of the Algonquins in New England; the other examines the mystery of the hantavirus that swept through a Navajo Reservation in New Mexico. Coincidence?

What else could explain the coexisting reviews of books on America's misconceptions about the Civil War, and on the tobacco industry's wars (and war-like tactics) that grew out of those same battle-weary Southern states? I ask you again: Coincidence?!

How else do you explain this phenomenon? The crumbly goodness on the apple pie is this book review. It's an examination of the negative trends in country music that have turned a once-pure American music form into something glittery, overproduced and testicle-challenged.

I consulted my Ouija board for an answer to these coincidences, but it just spat back the word "purty." I had no idea what that meant, so I put aside all the roots-America reading and cast my eyes on a book about international filmmakers. Czech it out.


Mini Reviews
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Speed Reader
"33 Moments of Happiness" by Ingo Schulze; "Advertising Outdoors" by David Bernstein; "Snowboarding to Nirvana" by Fredrick Lenz; "Red Blood and Black Ink" by David Dary. [14]
Susan Schuurman, Jessica English, Todd Gibson, Angie Drobnic


Poetry
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Booster Shots
Too often, contemporary critics are content to describe the state of poetry without burning to change it. [12]
Adam Kirsch


Magazines
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Media Mix
The phrase "thoughtstyle magazine" and Michael Stipe's ever more-unhealthy cover image notwithstanding, the first anniversary issue of "Icon" is full of good things to read. [13]


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