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Paul Collins Murder of the Century

Dying to be famous.

It is a common thing, beneath the deafening noise of America’s Lohans and Kardashians, to hear tell that our culture—as a result of reality television, willful illiteracy, celebrity worship, the   More
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Thor Hanson Feathers

A Washington naturalist pens a book as light as his subject.

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson has crafted an ambitious work of natural history in Feathers (Basic Books, 336 pages, $25.99). “Ambitious” is often book reviewer shorthand for “an overly lo   More
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Larry Flynt and David Eisenbach One Nation Under Sex

The political history of presidents’ pants.

“How the private lives of presidents, first ladies and their lovers changed the course of American history,” promises the cover of One Nation Under Sex (Palgrave Macmillan, 304 pages, $25), whic   More
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 RUTH BROWN

David Goldfield America Aflame

Counting the costs of America’s “new birth of freedom.”

As new books commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War assail readers like a latter-day Pickett’s Charge, at least one volume deserves to break Union lines as the rebels at Gettysburg    More
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 MATT BUCKINGHAM

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

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