Tag: recommended

  • Review: Greenblatt’s Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

    The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve Steven Greenblatt A clever and engrossing account of the story of Adam and Eve from its origins in early Judaism (and perhaps other long gone near east traditions) through its codification in the Torah, to its centrality in the thinking of Augustine and John Milton through to […]

  • Some Quick Thoughts on the Rambam, Mishneh Torah, and Chavrusa Learning

    Mishneh Torah – Talmud Torah Maimonides In March, my friend Noah asked me if I’d like to learn some Torah with him. Of course I said yet. By Torah here Noah meant the expansive sense of the word, covering texts of religious importance to Jews. After some back and forth, we settled on learning Maimonides […]

  • Review: Manchette’s Fatale

    Fatale Jean-Patrick Manchette I think this is generally thought of as Manchette’s most fully realized work and the culmination of his deeply nihilistic noir novels. The Fatale is a young woman who, we soon discovers, kills lecherous men for revenge, and money. She is literally a serial killer, yet still we cheer for her, especially […]

  • Review: Manchette’s Three To Kill

    Three To Kill Jean-Patrick Manchette You’re coming home late at night, you try to do the right thing, but you end up getting caught up in something you don’t even understand and then people start trying to kill you. That’s the plot of 3 to Kill, and of many other crime novels and thrillers, but […]

  • Review: Higg’s The KLF

    The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band That Burned a Million Pounds John Higgs Man this is a weird one. Ostensibly this is a book about a dance band that was also a sort of chaos art project that involved outlandish stunt after outlandish stunt culminating the burning of a million British pounds on a […]

  • Review: Manchette’s The Prone Gunman

    The Prone Gunman Jean-Patrick Manchette Poor kid from the wrong side of town falls in the rich, gorgeous, popular girl. Embarrassed by his humble origins and desperate to make her happy, he tells her he is leaving town to make his fortune and will be back in ten years for her.  This being a novel […]

  • Review: Manchette’s Nada

    Nada Jean-Patrick Manchette God I loved this little book. In post 1968 Paris a bunch of anarchists of varying levels of commitment plot to take an American ambassador hostage. It doesn’t go well, for anyone. The violence is nearly nonstop and none of the characters is particularly likeable. Still I couldn’t put it down. This […]

  • Review: Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic

    Deaf Republic Ilya Kaminsky This little book of poems is stunning. In a straightforward voice it tells the story of a town that goes silent in the face of the atrocities of an occupying force. Illustrated with simple drawing of hand signals the towns people use to communicate, the book is both odd and deeply […]

  • Review: Bett’s Felon

    Felon: Poems Reginald Dwayne Butts I work at a criminal justice non profit and day in day out I try to make the criminal justice system in New York City a little smaller, a little fairer, a little more humane. That work can often be technical, and too often, we put distance between ourselves and […]

  • Review: Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn

    Motherless Brooklyn Jonathan Lethem I bought Motherless Brooklyn right when it came out and then immediately leant it to a friend who soon after became a hopeless junkie. I never saw the book again. But this year, without a book at the New Haven train station, I picked it up again, and blazed through it […]