Book Review: Tree of Codes

Tree of Codes by Jonathan Safran Foer (London: Visual Editions, 2010. 285 pp) Born in Washington, D.C., Jonathan Safran Foer attended Princeton University earning a degree in philosophy. While at Princeton, Foer developed a senior thesis around the life of his Holocaust surviving grandfather. Eventually, this thesis became Foer’s first published book titled, Everything Is Illuminated. The book received critical acclaim winning the National Jewish Book Award and a Guardian First Book Award. Eventually, the novel was adapted into a film starring Elijah Wood. Foer’s second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: A Novel garnered both praise and derision for its use of 9/11 as a narrative tool and its use of visual writing. Foer currently teaches in the Graduate… Read More →

Musical Review: How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying

 How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser (Playing at AlHirschfeld Theatre, 2 hours and 45 minutes) Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rose Hemingway, John Larroquette, Tammy Blanchard, and Christopher J. Hanke. On Broadway For those unaware, my wife and I recently returned from a trip to New York. I had the opportunity to present a paper at an international business ethics conference and we spent some time afterward “vacationing.” If I had to pick one unanimous piece of advice given by those who have traveled to New York before us, it would be “see a Broadway show.” Since tickets cost an arm and a leg, Tara and I waited… Read More →

Television Show Review: The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Season Two created by Frank Darabont; produced by Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Robert Kirkman, and Charles H. Eglee (Circle of Confusion and Valhalla Motion Pictures) Starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Steven Yeun, and Chandler Riggs. A Premature Review Partly because I’m currently engaged in some lengthy books and need to post some content, I am reviewing the current season of The Walking Dead despite the fact that it is early in its second season. As I mentioned in my review of the show last year, I am not a fan of the zombie genre. Yet, the more I consider the subtext beneath these post-apocalyptic narratives, the more the genre… Read More →

Album Review: The Rip Tide

The Rip Tide by Beirut (Pompeii Records, 2011. 33 minutes) Originally the music project of New-Mexico-native Zach Condon, Beirut is an indie rock band which combines Eastern European music, Balkan folk, and Western pop music. While traveling through Europe in his youth, Condon fell in love with world music. This love prompted musical experimentation that resulted in the band. While attending the University of New Mexico, Condon recorded his first record, GulagOrkestar, in his bedroom. He shopped the record to labels and ultimately signed with Ba Da Bing! Records. Before releasing The Rip Tide, Condon founded Pompeii Records giving him full control over his music. Evaluative Difficulty I find it difficult to review music. Of all art forms, it is… Read More →

Television Show Review: Doctor Who

Doctor Who created by Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, and Donald Wilson (British Broadcasting Corporation) Currently starring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and Alex Kingston. His Name Is the Doctor Currently listed as the longest-running science fiction television show by the Guinness World Records, Doctor Who follows the adventures of a time-traveling alien named The Doctor. Traversing the universe with a time machine called the TARDIS which possesses an outward appearance of a blue police box, the Doctor typically travels with a female human companion and, together, they encounter numerous villains and work toward saving people groups, worlds, and righting injustices in the universe. Although the series began in 1963, the current version of Doctor Who premiered in 2005. With… Read More →

Film Review: Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds directed by Quentin Tarantino (Universal Pictures, Weinstein Company, A Band Apart, R, 153 minutes) Starring Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent, and Christoph Waltz. Dual Duels Set in France during World War II, Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds tells the story of two separately planned attempts to assassinate the leaders of the Nazi party. In one storyline, Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) – nicknamed “The Jew Hunter” for his ability to locate Jews in hiding – interrogates a dairy farmer learning that he is harboring a Jewish family under the floorboards. While Landa’s men shoot through the floor, teenage daughter Shosanna Dreyfus escapes the carnage. Three years later, Shosanna hides in plain sight as a cinema owner… Read More →

Book Review: Moneyball

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. 320 pp) Michael Lewis is the author of Panic!, Liar’s Poker, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and Home Game, among other works. He lives in Berkley, California with his wife, Tabitha Soren, and their three children. Baseball Cards: Collectible and Informative As an avid baseball fan, statistics have augmented my appreciation of the sport since my youth. My favorite part of collecting baseball cards surrounded studying the statistics on the back of the trading card; my enjoyment of baseball video games was partly due to accumulating statistics myself. With the rise of the internet, the way I consumed baseball… Read More →

Book Review: The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011. 528 pp) Chad Harbach grew up in Wisconsin and was educated at Harvard and the University of Virginia. He is a cofounder and coeditor ofn+1. The Art of Fielding is Harbach’s first book. Failure: The Sad Story of Rick Ankiel As the playoffs dawned in 2000, I was at the height of my baseball fandom. The Seattle Mariners – my hometown team – were in a period of sustained success, my joy for playing the game had yet to dwindle, and I held an acute awareness of Major League players. During this time, I vividly remember game one of the NLDS featuring the St. Louis Cardinals… Read More →

Book Review: The Wordy Shipmates

The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (New York: Riverhead Books, 2008. 272 pp)                                                                                                                        Born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Sarah Vowell is an author, journalist, and social commentator. She earned her B.A. from Montana State University and an M.A. in Art History from the School of Art Institute Chicago. Having written six nonfiction books, Vowell brings a witty voice to her historical topics. She… Read More →

Album Review: If Not Now, When?

If Not Now, When?  by Incubus (Epic Records, 2011. 50 minutes) From California, Incubus is a rock band comprised of Brandon Boyd, Mike Einziger, Jose Pasillas, Ben Kenney, and DJ Kilmore. With seven full-length albums, Incubus has reached multi-platinum sales and is arguably considered the most successful rock band of the early 2000s. Gaining prominence during the nu-metal trend of the late nineties, Incubus is often classified with Limp Bizkit, Korn, and P.O.D. Yet, the band’s style contains alternative rock, hip hop, jazz, funk, and metal influences. Post-Hiatus After years of constant touring, Incubus faced a dilemma: either they continued prolific songwriting with diminishing returns or they take a break, fall in and out of love, experience life in all… Read More →