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The Powell's Playlist | June 18, 2014

Daniel H. Wilson: IMG The Powell’s Playlist: Daniel H. Wilson



Like many writers, I'm constantly haunting coffee shops with a laptop out and my headphones on. I listen to a lot of music while I write, and songs... Continue »
  1. $18.87 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Robogenesis

    Daniel H. Wilson 9780385537094

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Customer Comments

Glenda has commented on (12) products.

A Brief History of Nakedness by Phillip Carr Gomm
A Brief History of Nakedness

Glenda, September 22, 2011

While we have all seen streakers at sporting events, it is only thanks
to Philip Carr-Gomm that I now know about "reverse streaking". This
occurs at the annual nude rugby game at St. Kilda beach, New Zealand,
when a clothed spectator runs across the field among the naked
players.

A Brief History of Nakedness, is a combination of history, philosophy
and polemic. Carr-Gomm offers an overview of attitudes towards
nakedness throughout history before devoting most of the book to the
cultural, artistic, and political uses of nakedness. Our individual
and societal reactions to nakedness are challenged, and I must admit
that my own opinions on public nudity were affected thanks to the
book's discussion of nakedness throughout the world and through time.

I don't buy all of Carr-Gomm's philosophy, but this survey of an
underdiscussed concept is well worth the read. You might also enjoy
the photos. :-)
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Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip by Nevin Martell
Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip

Glenda, February 24, 2010

Calvin and Hobbes was, and is, one of the most-loved comic strips ever. But Bill Watterson, the strip's creator, guarded his privacy and since the strip ended in 1995, has been almost invisible, like the J.D. Salinger of the comics world.

Trying to make sense of this reclusive man, Nevin Martell has written Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip.

How can you tell the story of someone with utter disdain for publicity, who shied away from the limelight, and who is undoubtedly assisted by family, friends and neighbours who respect his right to privacy? Martell searches for any scrap he can. He interviewed what friends and family he could, he visited Watterson's old haunts, he examines the sources of Watterson's comic inspirations. The slogging and speculation is clearly a labour of love.

I'd like to rate this higher, but it suffers from some flaws. Watterson's desire for privacy limits Martell's material in a way that a more outgoing - or dead - subject would not. Martell also seems uncomfortable with writing a book, and the sections often seem like stitched together magazine articles.

Still, for fans of Calvin and Hobbes, there are many tidbits worth discovering, and it is always worth taking a trip into the life of a beloved author with someone like Martell who shares our affections.
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A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry by Nathan Hodge
A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry

Glenda, February 25, 2009

Bored of the beach vacation, the trip to Europe, the Mediterranean cruise? Why not try touring defunct, decommissioned, and still-active nuclear facilities this year?

That is the question asked, and answered, by writers (and spouses) Nathan Hodge and Sharon Weinberger. They chose to cross the globe, visiting Kazakhstan, Iran, the Marshall Islands and Wyoming in their search for the nuclear-tipped remnants of the Cold War, and the escalating nuclear programs of today.

Hodge and Weinberger are even-handed in their treatment of nuclear scientists trying to keep cash-strapped facilities alive, those in the military managing their deadly arsenals, and skeptics and citizens questioning the cost and purpose of such poisonous weaponry.

Why not try a vacation in West Virginia this year - at the hotel with a bomb shelter intended to save the entire U.S. Congress? Hodge and Weinberger will tell you how to get there.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)



Elwood's Blues: Interviews with the Blues Legends and Stars by Dan Aykroyd
Elwood's Blues: Interviews with the Blues Legends and Stars

Glenda, January 29, 2009

Although Dan Ackroyd may be only an enthusiastic amateur as a harmonica player, he is also a man deeply in love with the blues. In character as Elwood Blues, he hosts the House of Blues Radio Hour, and has interviewed dozens of blues, and blues-influenced musicians.

Stalwarts like Brownie McGhee and Buddy Guy talk about their upbringings, their blues education, and their struggles to survive as musicians. Rockers like Robert Plant and ZZ Top describe their respect for the music that has influenced them more than any other genre. And the new torch-bearers of the blues are represented by Marcia Ball, Shemekia Copeland and Keb' Mo'.

Thirty-nine interviews are included, along with comedy pieces performed by Ackroyd on his radio program, and a discography of recommended listening.

Ackroyd captures the breadth and personalities of the blues with love and respect. I enjoyed this much more than most blues books that I come across.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



Novels in Three Lines (New York Review Books Classics) by Felix Feneon
Novels in Three Lines (New York Review Books Classics)

Glenda, January 14, 2008

Although not quite "novels", the short three-line stories in Novels in Three Lines somehow tell more than one would expect from a mere handful of words.

Theft, illness, murder, suicide, accidents and children running away from home were the stuff of which Feneon made his stories. Even when simply laying out the facts, he succeeds in invoking a mood and feeling for the events.

Some examples:

"A dishwasher from Nancy, Vital Frerotte, who had just come back from Lourdes cured forever of tuberculosis, died Sunday by mistake."

"Just married, the Boulches of Lambezellec, Finistere, were already so drunk it was necessary to lock them up within the hour."

"Sailor Renaud carried out a suicide pact with this mistress, in Toulon. Their last request: a coffin for two, or at least a double grave."

With more than a thousand stories contained in this book, you can be sure of being rewarded by opening a page at random and dipping into the tales within.
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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



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