needs more demons?

irreverent opinions on books

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Entries Tagged as 'nonfiction'

Tim Leong: Super Graphic – A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe

29 Dec 2013 · No Comments

Imagine, if you well, a Venn diagram, with circles for people who:
* like mainstream comic books
* like indie/alternative comic books
* are interested in information design
* like infographics/”chart porn”
* have a sense of whimsy
If you’re in the intersection of all these, you want this book. I don’t think every graphic succeeds — although maybe the impenetrability [...]

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Tags: criticism · humor · l-author · s-title

Mary Jo Pehl: Employee of the Month and Other Big Deals

22 Dec 2013 · No Comments

This book was recommended to me as really uproarious, which I thought oversold it; It was a one-guffaw read for me. It’s a series of pseudo-autobiographical essays, recounted with some verve, but with not a lot to distinguish them from other amusing pseudo-autobiographical essays about mildly dysfunctional upbringings and somewhat stressful employment and dating experiences. [...]

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Tags: autobiography · e-title · p-author

Piper Kerman: Orange is the New Black

07 Sep 2013 · No Comments

I’m usually a book-is-better kinda guy, but I found that reading the real Piper Kerman’s account of her incarceration while watching the fictional Piper Chapman’s experience in the Netflix show inspired by the book heightened my enjoyment of both. On the one hand, the book provides the “okay, how much of this really happened?” solidity [...]

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Tags: autobiography · k-author · o-title

Dave Simpson: The Fallen – Searching for the Missing Members of The Fall

19 Jun 2013 · No Comments

The Fallen has been on my to-read shelf for a while, but it was The Fall’s new release, Re-Mit that made me actually pick it up. Variously storming and shambling, Re-Mit forcibly recalls legendary BBC DJ John Peel’s oft-quoted praise of the band, “always different, always the same.” Lead single “Sir William Wray” sounds like [...]

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Tags: f-title · rock · s-author

Howie Abrams and Sacha Jenkins: The Merciless Book of Metal Lists

13 May 2013 · No Comments

The world of heavy metal music is broader than almost anyone who hasn’t spent time in it is likely to guess, so if you’re contemplating this book as a gift for a metalhead in your life and/or yourself it’s helpful to know the focus and bias. For Abrams and Jenkins the core of metal is [...]

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Tags: a-author · j-author · m-title · rock

Dirk Hayhurst: The Bullpen Gospels

23 Feb 2013 · No Comments

I had somewhat ambivalent reactions to The Bullpen Gospels, but on the whole I was entertained. Hayhurst looks at baseball from the unusual perspective of a perennial minor leaguer. He’s someone (this is my judgment, not his) without enough potential to get promoted rapidly to MLB status, but too potentially useful as a sort of [...]

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Tags: autobiography · b-title · baseball · h-author

Jo Stanley: Bold in Her Breeches: Women Pirates Across the Ages

07 Jan 2013 · No Comments

A history of female pirates faces formidable challenges: career criminals tends to be systematically sensationalized and mythologized, pirates were overwhelmingly from a socio-economic class virtually ignored by traditional historians, and the doings — or even presence — of women is likewise ignored by many historical sources. A handful of female pirates left a verifiable history [...]

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Tags: b-title · c-author · history · m-author · s-author · w-author

Caitlin R. Kiernan: Trilobite

09 Nov 2012 · No Comments

I loved Threshold and it scared the bejeezus outta me, but I’m not sure that I completely got it. It’s a bit of a puzzle box. It’s not the sort of book where one version of “objective reality” is an applicable concept, and it’s about the unknowable more than about the unknown. But throughout I [...]

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Tags: autobiography · fantasy · horror · k-author · t-title

Diablo Cody: Candy Girl

03 Nov 2012 · No Comments

Before Cody became the screenwriter of films like Juno, Young Adult, and the woefully under-appreciated Jennifer’s Body, she spent a year stripping (with a little side exploration into phonesex and some other non-hooker sexwork). Her unflinching memoir displays the same sort of acerbic wit her characters wield. She satisfies my long-standing morbid curiosity about the [...]

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Tags: autobiography · c-author

Rob Felder (ed.): Damn Yankees

06 Sep 2012 · No Comments

Let’s get this straight: the only reason I checked this book out of the library was because of the parenthetical phrase in the subtitle, “Twenty-four major league writers on the world’s most loved (and hated) team.” It promised a good dollop of hatin’ on the pinstripes, and that was reason enough for me to check [...]

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Tags: biography · d-title · f-author · history · sports