July 15, 2009 Critic Troy Patterson suggests three books that bring to life the immediacy and excitement of radio. Tune into any of them for keen commentary, muscular storytelling and the fine sound of a distinctive voice.
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June 24, 2009 P.J. O'Rourke — a son and grandson of Buick dealers — is a car nut. Whether he's racing in Baja, studying "Jeepology" in the Philippines or riding Harleys with mild-bunch suburbanites, his essays celebrate big cars, fast women and open roads.
April 20, 2009 With Don't Cry, Mary Gaitskill confirms her status as the sharpest portraitist of our darker nature. In her third story collection, the author again explores the pleasures of doomed romance, emotional degradation and other destructive impulses.
April 7, 2009 Gregoire Bouillier projects an offbeat charisma as he broods his way through the second of his eccentric memoirs. Report On Myself recounts anecdotes, revelations and oddities in a frank attempt to capture life's weirder truths.
January 22, 2009 Bright Young People tells the story of how the tabloid press in 1920s London conspired with a self-mythologizing circle of gilded partygoers to create the first set of celebrities famous, in our modern sense, for being famous.
December 15, 2008 Dear reader, sitting down with a collection of letters — or a vivid reflection on them — affords a singularly intimate encounter with a writer, so please give a look to these exercises in mail bonding.
October 28, 2008 Film critic David Thomson blends eccentricity and common-sensibility in "Have You Seen...?", his insightful (and sometimes scathing) assessment of 1,000 classic films.
October 2, 2008 Known as a cultural critic, Clive James is gaining deserved recognition as a poet. Lucid and fun, these poems touch on literary life, mortality, religion — and unrequited love for the stars of women's tennis.
September 10, 2008 A compendium of fun facts that reads like an epic prose poem, the 1944 Names on the Land has just been reissued. This absorbing work of scholarship earns its status as a classic.
August 28, 2008 A comic thriller composed with literary refinement and an ear for wordplay, Adam Davies' Mine All Mine bounces through a world of objets d'art and tranquilizer darts.
August 11, 2008 Equal parts thriller, travelogue and literary puzzle, Hotel Crystal is The Bourne Identity by way of Borges.
July 18, 2008 British restaurant critic Jay Rayner samples the sushi, the camel, and — to his mother's dismay — the blowfish on his trot around the globe. Critic Troy Patterson took big bites, too, and found Rayner's book flavorful.
June 23, 2008 There are very few novelists with Paul Beatty's swinging sense of play. His latest novel, Slumberland, is a sui generis piece of heartfelt absurdism. Troy Patterson recommends readers give it a spin.
November 27, 2006 Pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera launched its international service in English earlier this month. It hasn't found a home on U.S. television -- no U.S. cable company or major satellite provider carries it -- but you can watch it online.
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