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Paul Allen Idea Man

You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.

Though the title of Paul Allen’s memoir is patently an attempt to define himself as a big-picture guy against Bill Gates’ myopic wonk, it is also a misnomer: Allen is not a man of ideas, but a    More
Wednesday, May 4, 2011 AARON MESH

David Foster Wallace The Pale King

Boredom ain’t boring.

Perhaps no American writer of the past 25 years has inspired more devotion, hope and resentment than David Foster Wallace. When his dense-prosed, block-paragraphed doorstopper, Infinite Jest, dropp   More
Wednesday, April 27, 2011 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Donovan Hohn Moby-Duck

The case of the shipwrecked rubber duckies.

Donovan Hohn was correcting high-school English papers one night, when one of his students brought to his attention the existence of thousands of plastic bath toys—ducks, beavers, frogs and turtl   More
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 RACHAEL DEWITT

Portland's Goose Hollow Tracy J. Prince with Bud Clark

It is natural to assume that the topography of a city is fundamentally constant—that some half-distant ancestors found a promising patch of earth and proceeded to sow the seeds for what would ripen, as if inevitably, into the place we know well. But cities are things of tumult   More
Wednesday, April 13, 2011 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Justin Taylor The Gospel Of Anarchy Blake Butler There Is No Year

“They lived as if the fate of the very universe were perpetually at stake and in their hands,” muses an erstwhile member of the “Anarchristian” punk collective brought to begrimed life by Justin Taylor in his ambitious and flawed first novel, The Gospel of Anarchy. The same might be said about    More
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 CHRIS STAMM

Nancy Rommelmann The Bad Mother

A gritty story with a murky narrative.

Before she moved up to Portland, author and journalist Nancy Romelmann (who has written for WW) lived in Los Angeles and gathered stories from cops, immigrants and youth. She has retold the tales in a   More
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 RACHAEL DEWITT

Oceana Ted Danson

Ted Danson defends the high seas.

A book outlining the harsh reality of our polluted and overfished seas isn’t the first thing one thinks of when imagining a decorative coffee-table book, but Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What   More
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 RACHAEL DEWITT

Taylor Clark Nerve

Everything you wanted to know about fear but were afraid to ask.

In 1962, 500 feet below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, the free world was almost destroyed. When Russian submarines bearing a nuclear warhead were bullied to surface by American ships unaware of   More
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 RACHAEL DEWITT

Sara Wheeler The Magnetic North

Northern soul.

Sara Wheeler’s The Magnetic North: Notes From the Arctic Circle (FSG, 315 pages, $26) quite literally describes a circle: Wheeler—a London-based journalist—travels counterclockwise, in pie-sha   More
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Jonathan Bloom American Wasteland

Fine foodstuff is a terrible thing to waste.

Until relatively recently—within the past 50 years, say—no one had to be told not to waste their food, and certainly not as an ecological or even public issue. It was simple common sense: Who th   More
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

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