Judging a Book by its (Back) Cover

I’ve been taught to trust blurbs about as far as I can throw them, which is roughly about as far as I can throw a book, which is not very far, because I am quite weak, my muscles haveing been described as sauce-like. In fact, the word blurb seems related, if only alliteratively, to the […]

Muja Messiah's Debut Album

"Don’t wait for the critics to jump on this dude before you start giving it up," says everybody’s favorite Albino rhymer, Brother Ali. He’s speaking about Muja Messiah, the latest local rapper to make a big splash in the national underground hip-hop scene. "Muja is the shit. The man is right with his." So this […]

All-Star Break Books Edition

Skol, baby. The Twins’ Justin Morneau fairly dominated all-star weekend, first winning the Home Run Derby (even if Josh Hamilton broke the record for most dingers in a single round), and then, in the bottom of the 15th inning of the All-Star Game, he tagged up on a sacrifice fly to right and hustled his […]

An Existential Miscommunication

I live over by Kenwood Elementary School…and steal their wireless Internet signal from time to time…somewhat by accident…Anyway, they’ve been doing a lot of construction on the school this summer. Right now they’re working on replacing the windows, I think, and there’s a big yellow cherry picker that goes up and down the side of […]

Lolita Barbies!

For all this talk about the decline of literary reading in America, there’s really been very little offered in the way of solution. As per usual, I’m probably unqualified to be writing this (caveats seem to have worked for Britt; maybe they will for me too), but I think I have an idea that might […]

The world is full of downers…which is maybe why Gonzo took so many uppers

This is one of those rare mornings where The New York Times‘ homepage isn’t dominated by a picture of Obama or McCain. So I figured I might as well bring the election back into forefront…of this blog about books…oy. The real reason I’m posting this can be found after the poem. The following is lifted […]

A Rakish Interview with Darin Strauss — Part II

Part II (To see the first part of this interview, click here) "If you don’t belong to a book club," Ron Charles wrote in The Washington Post last week, "Darin Strauss’s bitter and brilliant new novel is reason enough to start one." The novel – Strauss’s third – marks a departure from the author’s previous […]

An Insatiable Lover

We’ve been having some pretty ridiculously great weather lately. If I had a real job (sorry, Mom), I probably would have played hooky last week to go and hang out by one of the lakes. Instead I just read a bit by Calhoun, but without the sense of freedom (or guilt) of having emancipated myself […]

Sometimes All the Time

Jonah’s throat was sore, lately. It hadn’t bothered him in the last couple days, but Jonah still waited for the pain to resurface, so that whenever he swallowed it would feel like swallowing sand, like it had for the past month or so. This waiting made him impatient, but the painkillers he took somewhat tempered […]

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A New Lorax Is Needed

In the corner of St. Croix Antiquarian Booksellers, over by the color-coded antique maps, is a framed edict that’s actually more of a poem: "I, Richard BoothKing of HayLord of all booktowns& their protector in perpetuityhereby declare thatStillwater MinnesotaIs the first booktownIn the western hemisphere.Let no one gainsayOr dare to disputeThis is my official decree." […]