Rebels with Applause – Scott Miller

When Scott Miller published From Assassins to West Side Story in 1996 it was aimed at directors, performers and students of musical theatre. Perhaps not surprisingly it was at least as popular with fans who lapped up Miller's authoritative  ...

Half a Life – V. S. Naipaul

The publication of V.S. Naipaul’s Half a Life coincides with the greatest literary honor of the author’s career. After successive disappointments, Naipaul was finally awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001. Coinciding with this major event as it  ...

Madonna: The Style Book – Debbi Voller

Stretch halter mini dress with open weave sides Madonna: The Style Book reads like one of those cheaply put together star memorabilia books written for young teenagers. In the 1980's, such books were published in the  ...

Dark Day/Live in Verona – Fred Anderson Quartet

Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson is one of the most surprising success stories of the 1990s. Originally emerging as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the mid-1960s, he played with members of the  ...

Our Band Could Be Your Life – Michael Azerrad

The punks won. Dismissed upon emergence as an aberration, a mindlessly destructive tantrum at the expense of legitimate rock music, the “punk aesthetic” has been assimilated into mainstream American culture to such an extent that it’s hard to imagine  ...

Dogs Dream of Running – John Lehman

Dogs Dream of Running collects forty-eight of John Lehman’s wry melancholic poems. Perhaps it’s bad form to recommend reading a book’s Epilogue before commencing with page one. However, Lehman’s end-of-the-book essay, “How I Started Writing Poetry,” is so revealing  ...

The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen’s strength as a fiction writer lies in his micromanagement of characterization. It’s no oxymoron to call The Corrections a large-scale intimate portrait of an American family. By burrowing deep inside the bruised middle-class psyches of Alfred and  ...