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Queen of America

A Mexican faith healer rules in the EE.UU.

Luis Alberto Urrea spent some 26 years on Queen of America (Little, Brown and Company, 496 pages, $25.99). The novel is understandably precious to the Mexican-American author as it borrows heavi   More
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 MICHAEL LOPEZ

I Am Better Than Your Kids

Funny, Maddox already graded his book for us.

Doting yuppie parents are annoying. Maddox, the one-name blogger and writer of the bestseller (!) The Alphabet of Manliness, has staged a bloodletting that’s worse than the migraine. In his nauseati   More
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 MAGGIE SUMMERS

Oil and Water

The Gulf Coast oil spill in graphic detail.

In August 2010, a project called PDX 2 Gulf Coast took a group of 22 Oregonians to the Gulf of Mexico to get a firsthand look at the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that had devastated the e   More
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 RUTH BROWN

Pulphead John Jeremiah Sullivan

American culture, with equal doses of insight and humor.

Writing compelling copy about the country’s largest Christian rock festival takes a rare breed of writer. Infusing the power of shared human experience and the complexity of multigenerational    More
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 EMILEE BOOHER

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide

Tips for trips from the hubby of Ken Kesey’s ex.

The most interesting gem unearthed in James Fadiman’s book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide? Francis Crick, discoverer of DNA, perceived the double-helix shape while tripping balls on acid. The    More
Wednesday, November 9, 2011 MAGGIE SUMMERS

Chuck Palahniuk Damned

Butter rum Life Savers, and other visions of hell.

As the setting for a Chuck Palahniuk novel, hell seems strangely overdue. The Portland-bred novelist specializes in damaged protagonists in vile scenarios—people well deserving of eternal damnati   More
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 MICHAEL LOPEZ

Susan Orlean Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend

Susan Orlean’s new shaggy dog story.

A more precise title for Susan Orlean’s new Rin Tin Tin book might have been The Lives and the Legend, seeing as the most cherished German shepherd in show business had at least 11 manifestations,   More
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 AARON MESH

Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature

Steven Pinker says humanity is improving.

One of the signal pleasures of a nostalgic soap opera like AMC’s Mad Men-—or, more recently, ABC’s Pan Am—is the consistent appeal of discovering that our predecessors’ morality is roundly   More
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Vernor Vinge The Children Of The Sky

A Hugo Award-winning novelist goes to the dogs.

Almost two decades have elapsed since Vernor Vinge won the Hugo Award for his epic 1992 space opera, A Fire Upon the Deep. Now he returns to Tines World with a sequel, The Children of the Sky (Tor, 4   More
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Q&A: Chuck Klosterman

Interviewing Chuck Klosterman is an intensely meta experience. For one thing, he’s an interviewer of some renown himself: His profiles on everyone from Britney Spears to Billy Joel to Steve Nash    More
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 MATTHEW SINGER

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