Book Review: Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach: A Novel by Jennifer Egan (New York: Scribner, 2017. 448 pp) Jennifer Egan is the author of five previous books of fiction: A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Keep; the story collection Emerald City; Look at Me, a National Book Award finalist; and The Invisible Circus. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, McSweeney’s, and The New York Times Magazine. A Crisp Morning in the San Juans Life’s verification exists in the vignettes we embed in our unconsciousness. Our senses capture the material world and etch these memories into our brains like a Dürer woodcut. Of the many etchings catalogued in… Read More →

Book Review: Moonglow

Moonglow by Michael Chabon

Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon (New York: Harper, 2016. 448 pp) One of the most celebrated writers of his generation according to The Virginia Quarterly Review, Michael Chabon was born in Washington D.C. He earned his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.F.A from the University of California, Irvine. Chabon published his first novel, The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh, from his master’s thesis at the age of 25. His third novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union won Chabon the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. Hiking Mount Constitution A decade ago and an era far far away, I took my wife—then girlfriend—to the oasis known as the… Read More →

Book Review: The Report

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane

The Report: A Novel by Jessica Francis Kane (Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2010. 240 pp) Born in Berkeley, CA, Jessica Francis Kane graduate from Yale University. Her work has earned her the Lawrence Foundation Prize and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and special mention in the Puschart Prize Anthology. She lives in New York with her husband and their two children. Unite and Divide National tragedies have a tendency to unite and divide. It whittles down to use against them. On the one hand, the “us” becomes extremely pronounced. The importance of neighbor increases when shared experience pushes a community toward teamwork and generosity. On the other hand, “them” becomes a nebulous evil…. Read More →

Film Review: The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game written by Graham Moore and directed by Morten Tyldum (The Weinstein Company, Black Bear Pictures, Bristol Automotive, PG-13, 114 min) Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightley, Matthew Goode, and Charles Dance. The Weight of Story In my line of work, we like to remind clients that a logo cannot bear the full weight of a brand. If you try to inject every little part of the business into your visual expression, it will break under such immensity. The same principle applies to many forms of art. If you try and do too much, it’s going to be a mess. It doesn’t matter if it’s a song, a story, or a sculpture, throw too much into the mix and… Read More →

Book Review: Zoli

Zoli by Colum McCan

Zoli: A Novel by Colum McCann (New York: Random House, 2006. 368 pp) Colum McCann was born in Ireland in 1965. He is the author of six novels and two collections of stories. He has been the recipient of many international honors, including the National Book Award, the International Dublin Impac Prize, a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government, election to the Irish arts academy, several European awards, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, and an Oscar nomination. His work has been published in over 35 languages. He lives in New York with his wife, Allison, and their three children. He teaches at the MFA program in Hunter College. Exploring the Unknown One of the… Read More →

Book Review: Oh Pure and Radiant Heart

Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet

Oh Pure and Radiant Heart by Lydia Millet (Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press, 2005. 532 pp) Lydia Millet has a master’s in environmental policy from Duke University. Her 2002 novel, My Happy Life, won the PEN-USA Award. She lives in Tucson, Arizona. In Appreciation of Beauty Radiohead introduced the computer age with the masterpiece of a record, OK Computer. It balanced pop accessibility with complicated song structures and intricate production. The hit single, “Karma Police” defines everything about this record. It starts off as a beautiful, artistic piece of music; it strategically ends with the music falling apart. The point being, our identity becomes unhinged the more we let the computer run our lives. If we let, we might spiral out… Read More →

Book Review: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: A Novel by Michael Chabon (New York: Random House, 2000.  704 pp) One of the most celebrated writers of his generation according to The Virginia Quarterly Review, Michael Chabon was born in Washington D.C. He earned his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.F.A from the University of California, Irvine. Chabon published his first novel, The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh, from his master’s thesis at the age of 25. His third novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union won Chabon the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. He is married to poet Lollie Groth. It’s Magic Magic takes many forms. It’s sleight… Read More →

Book Review: Cat’s Cradle

Cat’s Cradle: A Novel by Kurt Vonnegut (New York: Dial Press, 1998; originally published in 1963. 304 pp) Kurt Vonnegut was a fourth-generation German-American who lived in easy circumstances on Cape Cod (while smoking too much), who, as an American infantry scout hors de combat, as a prisoner of war, witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany, “the Florence of the Elbe,” a long time ago, and survived to tell the tale. Vonnegut blended black humor, satire, and science fiction into a unique contribution to American letters. He died in 2007. Men and Women of a Certain Age For men and women of a certain age, mutual assured destruction is not an answer on a history quiz but a fearful reality…. Read More →