CCLaP Fridays: Anything That Moves, by Dana Goodyear

This week at CCLaP, I review Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture, by Dana Goodyear, that encompasses everything from anti-FDA crusaders to luxury chefs in Vegas to seekers of illegal whale meat. Continue reading CCLaP Fridays: Anything That Moves, by Dana Goodyear

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Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London, and the Birth of the Modern City, by Jonathan Conlin @ NYRB

This week at the New York Journal of Books, I review Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London, and the Birth of the Modern City, by Jonathan Conlin, which is “. . . an entertaining account that strings together fascinating factoids into a tapestry of urban history and cultural anthropology.” Continue reading Tales of Two Cities: Paris, London, and the Birth of the Modern City, by Jonathan Conlin @ NYRB

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What I Hate: from A to Z, by Roz Chast

The world is a scary place.  Roz Chast latest book, What I Hate: from A to Z, is her alphabetic exploration of her panaphobic panoply of paranoia-inducing pictures.  Her fears run the gamut of the familiar (heights, getting lost, and nightmares) to the unusual (spontaneous human combustion, balloons, and Jello 1-2-3).  Each entry has a short introduction opposite the illustrated page.  There are single panels and other pages cluttered with details.  In one introduction, she explains her fear of rabies originating in children’s literature.  She writes, “On an ideal planet, children’s books wouldn’t be censored for references to sex, but … Continue reading What I Hate: from A to Z, by Roz Chast

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Notes from Irrelevance, by Anselm Berrigan

  Genealogy Anselm Berrigan comes from an esteemed family.  The son of poet Ted Berrigan and poet Alice Notley, his brother is the poet and songwriter Edmund Berrigan.  Anselm’s wife Karen Weiser also works as a poet.  Notes from Irrelevance shows that Anselm didn’t get his book deal by trading on his father’s name.  (America, despite its populist and egalitarian posturing, has a yen for dynasties and nepotism.  See: the Presidency, Ford Motor Company, etc.) Content Notes from Irrelevance could easily bear the subtitle, “One man’s search for meaning in the second decade of the 21st century.”  Throughout the short … Continue reading Notes from Irrelevance, by Anselm Berrigan

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Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice, by Kazim Ali

Food is one of the essential requirements for existence.  One cannot go about one’s daily business without caloric intake.  However, beyond the needs food fulfils, one takes pleasure in eating.  That is why people read restaurant reviews or watch No Reservations.  Food also represents a mirror of a specific place, culture, and personality.  Why a book entitled Fasting for Ramadan has recipes in the back also requires explanation. Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice by Kazim Ali is a stunning literary jewel.  An extended meditation on the Muslim practice of fasting during the month of Ramadan has appeal … Continue reading Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice, by Kazim Ali

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The Double Life of Alfred Buber by David Schmahmann

KUMAR(to Goldstein)Well, if you have the yellow fever tonight, there’s a rocking Asian party over at Princeton tonight. GOLDSTEIN Man, I have the yellow plague. There’s nothing sexier than a hot Asian chick…or dude for that matter… Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (Danny Leiner, 2004), script by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg A commodity appears at first sight an extremely obvious, trivial thing.  But its analysis brings out that it is a very strange thing, abounding in metaphysical subtleties and theological niceties. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (1867) by Karl Marx A Woman of Property David Schmahmann … Continue reading The Double Life of Alfred Buber by David Schmahmann

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An Interview with Lisa Flowers, Founder of Vulgar Marsala Press

Can you explain why you named your press Vulgar Marsala? We’re named for an image in DH Lawrence’s “Medlars and Sorb Apples”, from his seminal/groundbreaking collection “Birds, Beasts, and Flowers”.  I toyed with an assortment of names that encompassed a lot of literary and mythological and film references, etc, but ultimately this one stuck…more intuitively/impulsively than intellectually.  It’s an eye-catching name…maybe an amusingly misleading one, until you know what its axe is (some have even assumed it’s some kind of sex publication /site, what with the word “vulgar”). What attracted you to the work of Chad Faries? I’ve described his … Continue reading An Interview with Lisa Flowers, Founder of Vulgar Marsala Press

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