Yearly Archives: 2010

BOOK REVIEW | JULIET, NAKED – NICK HORNBY

  At some point in our lives most of us (if not all of us) have become infatuated with someone famous. We have collected all their albums or every movie they’ve ever been in – even the ones that weren’t very good. We’ve spent hours daydreaming about what it would be like to meet them and imagining what their life… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | MARSHALL MCLUHAN – DOUGLAS COUPLAND

  I’m a huge fan of Douglas Coupland’s writing, and as a communications student, I’ve heard the name “Marshall McLuhan” more times in the past few years that I can count. So this book was doubly appealing. Despite my passing familiarity with Marshall McLuhan, as I sat down to read this book, I realized that I didn’t actually know very… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | THE MAN WHO LOVED BOOKS TOO MUCH: THE TRUE STORY OF A THIEF, A DETECTIVE, AND A WORLD OF LITERARY OBSESSION – ALLISON HOOVER BARTLETT

Anyone who is a bibliophile (and let’s face it, most of us who review books are) will be able to relate to the subject matter of Allison Hoover Bartlett’s book, The Man Who Loved Books Too Much. As someone who collects books as much for their aesthetic appeal as for their content, I can understand the desire to own leather-bound… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | FALL – COLIN MCADAM

“We were boys who wore suits, monkeys with manners. We didn’t have parents but were treated like babies. We were left on our own but had hundreds of rules to abide.” Fall is one of this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists. It is the coming of age story of two young men in their last year of high school and… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | SUBWAY ART – MARTHA COOPER & HENRY CHALFANT

Subway Art is to graffiti books what Wild Style is to graffiti movies. It documents not only the genesis of a new art form, but also a period of urban history and the birth of hip hop culture. Originally published in 1984, it was the first book to take graffiti seriously as an art form and activity with cultural significance,… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | OUTLAW JOURNALIST: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON – WILLIAM MCKEEN

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Hunter S. Thompson is best known for his public image as a drug-crazed madman who flouted authority, despised monotony and had pretty much every adventure you could imagine – and some you couldn’t. Thompson lived his life at full throttle, a mile a minute thrill ride that others were lucky to… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT – GRAHAM GREENE

My parents, thus proving how cool they are, read this book to me when I was a child. I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but since I was still young enough to be read to, I’m guessing I was barely into double digits. So reading this book always makes me feel as if I am back in my… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | WHAT IS AMERICA?: A SHORT HISTORY OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER – RONALD WRIGHT

  What is America: A Short History of the New World Order is Ronald Wright’s third historical text, following in the footsteps of Stolen Continents, a historical account of the conquest of the Americas and A Short History of Progress, the book based on Wright’s 2005 Massey Lectures series. Both of these texts have been not only widely acclaimed, but… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY: MURDER, MAGIC, AND MADNESS AT THE FAIR THAT CHANGED AMERICA – ERIK LARSON

  I was on my way home from Chicago a few years ago and had a stop over in Sea-Tac. With time to kill, I wandered into one of the only open stores and started browsing through the books and magazines on display. For some reason I picked up this book and impulsively bought it. It was after dark and… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | NERVE: THE FIRST TEN YEARS – EDITORS OF NERVE.COM

It has been said that you should never judge a book by its cover, but as soon as I saw this book I fell in love with it. On the cover lounges a mesmerizing woman whose eyes beckon to you through a transparent hot pink vinyl cover with the word “NERVE” etched across it. Then I opened up the book,… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | I CAPTURE THE CASTLE – DODIE SMITH

Dodie Smith is best known for her children’s book, 101 Dalmations, but I Capture the Castle is by far my favourite of the two. I first read this book when I was about 14 years old. I remember abandoning reality and diving into it every afternoon after school for as long as I could make it last. I have since… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | THE SEVENTH OCTAVE – SAUL WILLIAMS

I’m going to let this one speak for itself: Excerpt from “Amethyst Rocks” i be one with rain and stars and things with dancing feet and watermelon wings i bring the sunshine and the moon and the wind blows my tune …meanwhile i spoon powdered drum beats into plastic bags sellin’ kilos of kente scag takin’ drags off of collards… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE: A YEAR OF FOOD LIFE – BARBARA KINGSOLVER (WITH STEVEN L. HOPP AND CAMILLE KINGSOLVER)

  In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the amazingly talented author Barbara Kingsolver takes on a new realm: the economy of food life. The idea for the book was born in her family’s move from the arid climate of Arizona to the temperate climate of southern Appalachia. Part of the motivation for this move was a desire to live in a way… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | STUPID AND CONTAGIOUS – CAPRICE CRANE

This book surprised me. I picked it up at my favourite local used book store one afternoon, and thought it would be one of those chicklit books I guiltily read and then dispose of in the hopes that I’ll never have to admit to having read them, nevermind having bought them. Instead it turned out to be more like a… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | ALL FAMILIES ARE PSYCHOTIC – DOUGLAS COUPLAND

  I have often wondered what would happen if you took every sort of mishap and cliche you could dream up, created a cast of characters and threw the mishaps at them like rotten tomatoes at a stage show. This book is the answer to that query. It features a thalidomide baby, AIDS, a kidnapping, divorce, an astronaut, a trophy… Read more »

BOOK REVIEW | FIERCE INVALIDS HOME FROM HOT CLIMATES – TOM ROBBINS

If I had to pick one book to take to a desert island with me, this would be it. I don’t know how many times I have passed a rainy weekend lost in the rich scenery and amusing characters of this book. Normally the term “magical realism” applies to the works of Latin American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez,… Read more »

TRANSMETROPOLITAN – WARREN ELLIS AND DARICK ROBERTSON

Transmetropolitan is a comic book series written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Darick Robertson. It is the story of a renegade journalist called Spider Jerusalem. Jerusalem is heavily tattooed, foul-mouthed and irreverent. He takes the city by storm, popping a pharmacy’s worth of drugs, drinking enough to fell a bar full of lifetime alcoholics, tearing down preconceived notions and… Read more »