Book Reviews rss

South And West: From A Notebook (Knopf)

Writer Joan Didion’s latest work is a collection of notes from two unpublished essays from the 1970s, and contains an insightful, interesting, and compelling look at the South during a time of transition.

All The Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen To Be Famous Strangers

Essayist Alana Massey has taken on the task of comparing numerous aspects of women in pop culture, connecting them to the lives of young women and how the two intersect. All The Lives I Want is an excellent introduction to a wonderful new voice.

52 Books/52 Weeks: Chapter And Verse: New Order, Joy Division, And Me (Thomas Dunne Books)

Unlike former bandmate Peter Hook’s autobiographies, New Order frontman Bernard Sumner’s autobiography is terse, vague, and not particularly revelatory or insightful; it feels like a half-hearted retort to Hook’s book, a year before Substance appeared, creating for a dull read from someone capable of writing a much, much better book.

Substance: Inside New Order (Dey Street Books)

Peter Hook’s long-awaited final entry into his trilogy about his career is a hefty tome that is at times funny, angry, sad, and frustrating, but Substance is, ultimately, a love letter to the band that, for better or worse, made him the man he is.

Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol (Da Capo Press)

Lonely Boy is the gripping, harrowing, and at times utterly depressing story of the Sex Pistols’ hotshot guitarist, Steve Jones. It’s a tale of sex, drugs, and rock and roll–and not always in a good way.

52 Books/52 Weeks: Nico: In The Shadow Of The Moon Goddess

  Nico: In The Shadow Of The Moon Goddess Lutz Graf-Ulbrich Self-Released German singer Nico’s life story is one peppered with addiction, tragedy, darkness, and intensity. Her music is dark and beautiful; it is austere and immensely joyless. Keyboard player James Young, who performed with her in the final phases of her life, wasn’t a… Read More ›

52 Books/52 Weeks: Carly J. Hallman, A Farewell To Walmart

Millennial author reflects upon her life in “small town” Texas. Yet her work reveals more about her own prejudices and offers little insight into the culture she lambasts.

The Electrical Storm: Grunge, My Part In Its Downfall (Rejected Unknown)

Everett True sits down and tells some choice tales from his wild and adventure-filled life. Enjoy ’em now, because nobody’s making memorable life stories like this anymore.

52 Books/52 Weeks: Paul Stanley, Face The Music: A Life Exposed

This week’s reading assignment took us to an unexpected realm: the behind-the-scene life of the Starchild of KISS, Paul Stanley. Surprise: it’s an amazingly open, honest, and revelatory read.

52 Books/52 Weeks: William F. Buckley, A Torch Kept Lit

Conservative writer William F. Buckley, was a masterful writer, and this posthumous collection of obituaries and eulogies highlights the complex nature of saying farewell in public.