RaveThe Chicago Reader...one of the most realistic and believable autopsies of a marriage I've ever read ... His literary voice is nakedly emotional one minute and brutally funny the next, but it rarely produces a false note. McClanahan has earned many accolades in the indie-lit scene; The Sarah Book should introduce him to the wider audience his work richly deserves ... McClanahan shows how everyone we get involved with becomes a part of us forever. The Sarah Book is a testament to how the weight of one's failings can be borne with grace.
Trouble Boys: The True Story of the ReplacementsBob Mehr
RaveThe Chicago TribuneBob Mehr's thoroughly researched and eminently readable biography of The Replacements, is the type of book any band (or any artist of any kind, for that matter) would kill for.
The Spectacle of Skill: Selected Writings of Robert HughesRobert Hughes
MixedChicago TribuneThe blessing and the curse of an anthology is that it is both too much and not enough. There are no editorial notes in this volume, aside from an index of terms and an introduction — more accurately a tribute or appreciation — by the New Yorker's Adam Gopnik. It is a book to dip into and out of rather than to be enjoyed as a continuous narrative. In the best-case scenario it will inspire a few readers to track down the books Hughes published during his lifetime.
Don't Let My Baby Do RodeoBoris Fishman
PositiveThe Chicago TribuneFishman's book lays plain the contradictions and sacrifices inherent in the immigrant experience. Sometimes the symbols and metaphors are a bit too on the nose: the car the Rubins drive west is the Escape and the cowboy Maya meets is named Marion, like John Wayne. But more often than not, this book is an eloquent and uncynical tale of how far people must travel to find out what they truly want and who they truly are.
Joe Gould's TeethJill Lepore
RaveThe Chicago Tribune...engrossing...Lepore's book is as much about all the people, including herself, who project meaning and significance onto the work and personality of Joe Gould as it is about the man himself. Throughout history there have been peculiar characters who have captured the imagination of everyone they come into contact with, blinding them to obvious flaws and permitting all of us to imagine wonders just beyond what most of us can fathom. We owe Lepore a debt of gratitude for re-introducing us to one of the strangest strangers to have ever walked among us.