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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers

I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »


Customer Comments

h has commented on (41) products.

The Chronology of Water: A Memoir by Lidia Yuknavitch
The Chronology of Water: A Memoir

h, March 24, 2014

This memoir could easily fit under the rubric of "misery lit" or "misery memoir." What saves it from this label is the writing on sex and art as modes of survival, self-understanding, and connecting with others. The voice is unique and honest in these moments, showing the hesitations and passions that come out when exploring the body and voice.
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Kraken by China Mieville

h, February 28, 2014

What is squiddity? The essence of the squid. In Miéville's smart, thrilling novel, it's godhood. This is a whodunnit, but with a missing giant squid at the center and several underground religious cults and nefarious organizations swirling around it. The language here is as wonderful as it always is: lines with a poetic cadence, neologisms like "endsick" (a disease that afflicts those feeling the end times). The story doesn't begin in the author's usual territory of fantasy but smoothly and delightfully moves in that direction, and then you're drawn in.
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The Bone People by Keri Hulme
The Bone People

h, January 28, 2014

I fell right into this intricate novel. It resonates with classics like Robinson Crusoe and Tin Drum, is dense with Maori language and culture, and introduces challenging characters. A woman hermit meets a mute boy with an unavailable history and his tender and violent caretaker. Truly stunning.
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The Best American Infographics 2013 (Best American) by Gareth Cook
The Best American Infographics 2013 (Best American)

h, December 3, 2013

Infographics are the darlings of the media, designers, activist organizations, and homespun programmers. This book pulls together the "best", but really the best from large media organizations. There are some exceptions to that sourcing, but most come from the likes of National Geographic and New York Times. If you're new to this media, you'll be captivated. There's almost no commentary on each image; it's all up to you. If you follow visualizations, you won't find much surprising here, but the quality of the book production is good.. In the future, Cook should consider offering more background. Given that infographics are new (sort of. New in that we didn't study them in school as we did poetry, short stories, essays, etc.) and now everywhere, the editor should give readers a sense of the history to which they belong.
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Illuminations by Walter Benjamin

h, October 26, 2013

A classic collection of essays on modernizing culture--poetry, novels, film, newspapers, music, painting--and our place in history. Benjamin speaks from the position of historical materialism but with a lyricism we don't always associate with versions of Marxism. They were written in the 1930s during the rise of Nazism and try to find a place for art in a political situation when art's being put in the service of fascism. These essay's influence far exceeds their short length.
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