Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Waging Heavy Peace      Neal Young        

"Neil Young wrote the line “It’s better to burn out than to fade away” in 1978, and he has lived a long time since then without doing either.
He’s 67now, and yes, he has slowed down. He spends a lot of time on his ranch tinkering with model trains and battery-powered cars. But Young can wield an electric guitar like few people alive, and he’s still cranking out records as often as someone a third his age.
That tension between aging and rocking is a constant presence in his new memoir, “Waging Heavy Peace.” Growing old is a challenge for anybody, but when you’re a rock star, the pressure seems especially cruel. Once you were a god of youth who embodied everybody’s tender glory, and now your wrinkles make all those worshippers kinda depressed. And if you still want to make art, you have to fight against the public’s wish for nostalgia" (Greg Schneider, Washington Post, 11.16.2012)

  Astray                     Emma Donoghue                                      Little Brown

   The fascinating characters who roam across the pages of Donoghue's new collection of short stories have all gone astray. They are emigrants, runaways, drifters, gold miners, and counterfeiters, attorneys and slaves. They cross countless borders of race, law, sex, and sanity. they travel for love or money, incognito or under duress.... Astray guides us through a past in scattered pieces, a moving history for restless times.

Flight Behavior          Barbara Kingsolver                           Harper Collins    

 Dellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she became pregnant at seventeen. now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media.... Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change.... Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.

The Road to Somewhere              James A. Reeves                 WW Norton

The Road to Somewhere is a bold visual testament to taking it all in: the heartbreaking grit of lonely motels, the inescapable allure of the Vegas neon blaze, and the tremendous power of storytelling. In a time when so many invest in virtual relationships, The Road to Somewhere is a celebration of personal interactions with strangers and a love song to the physical exhaustion that comes after hours of driving, when the road gets blurry and the voices on teh radio sound like raw static..... What results from his travels over 40,000 miles and almost five years is a photo-memoir that captures an American moment that is both unsettled and transcendent.

The Testament of Mary                          Colm Toibin                                     Scribner

In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the son of god; nor that his death was "worth it"... or the men who could not look a woman in the eye were holy disciples.... Mary judges herself ruthlessly (she did not stay at the foot of the cross until her son died.... she fled to save herself.  Colm Toibin novel is a tour de force of imagination, its language is vivid and offers a portrait of Mary that might well transform our ideas and conceptions of her.

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