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William Todd Schultz, Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith

In search of the man behind the misery.


Books
In the 10 years since Elliott Smith died of a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest, the one thing we’ve collectively come to understand about the singer-songwriter is that he may never be    More
 
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 PETE COTTELL

Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped

A rotten story, told brilliantly.


Books
From the beginning of Men We Reaped (Bloomsbury, 272 pages, $26), Jesmyn Ward makes clear her memoir isn’t going to be an easy ride. By telling her story, she hopes, “I’ll understand why my    More
 
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

A. Scott Berg, Wilson

Wilson: the last openly racist U.S. president.


Books
Woodrow Wilson’s rise to president of the U.S. was as meteoric and improbable as Barack Obama’s a century later. Within a decade of becoming president of Princeton University, Wilson “left   More
 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Clownlike Girl

Monica Drake and the humor of the tragic.


Books
Monica Drake’s sense of humor might really bum you out. The Portland-based author of the acclaimed novel Clown Girl—and, most recently, The Stud Book—finds comedy in life’s farcicality and rel   More
 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 PENELOPE BASS

Leave the Fork, Take the Pen


Books
Nobody goes to a food festival to eat. Anyone who can afford a $465 ticket to Feast, which will occupy visiting food nerds and local Twitterazzi for the next four days, knows this. In the best m   More
 
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 MARTIN CIZMAR, MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Robert Boswell, Tumbledown

Robert Boswell: 103.


Books
Tumbledown (Graywolf, 429 pages, $26) is a book about shallow love, lust and sex in a mental institution. The plot is a complicated web of love triangles, and by the end you’ll know exactly—   More
 
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 RICHARD GRUNERT

Danny Bland, In Case We Die

Chokin’ on the ashes of her enemy…


Books
If you were to ask Danny Bland what being a junkie musician in early ’90s Seattle was all about, you’d probably get an earful. Having logged time as the bassist of Cat Butt and the Dwarves,    More
 
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 PETE COTTELL

The Story About the Story II

A book criticizing critics of books.


Books
No offense, high-school English teachers, but you’re ruining books for everybody. Or, more to the point, the people who designed the curriculum are making you do so. That five-paragraph essay    More
 
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Rob Sheffield, Turn Around Bright Eyes

Sing us a song/You’re the writer man!


Books
Karaoke ruined Rob Sheffield’s life, and it’s the best thing that could’ve happened to him.  In 2000, the lanky Rolling Stone writer was a 33-year-old widower living, ominously enough,    More
 
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 MATTHEW SINGER

Curtis White, The Science Delusion

Keep away from Curtis White’s brain!


Books
If his new book, The Science Delusion: Asking the Big Questions in a Culture of Easy Answers (Melville House, 224 pages, $24), is any guide, Curtis White has the same nightmare every night: Richar   More
 
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 RICHARD GRUNERT
 

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