What should I be doing instead of this?

Michael Pollan Makes Food Political

Learn to vote with your fork

2 Comments · Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Why are questions about where we get our food, how we eat it and the consequences for ourselves and our society so salient? For author Michael Pollan, it’s because we are recognizing new and old options for how we behave and the fact that our choices make a difference.  

Retooling the Machine

Posnanski's book recalls the Big Red Machine's larger-than-life personalities and the times

0 Comments · Tuesday, September 15, 2009
For many, Cincinnati remains best known as the city that spawned one of the greatest baseball teams the world has ever seen. And now, more than three decades after its heyday, Joe Posnanski's new book 'The Machine: A Hot Team, a Legendary Season and a Heart-Stopping World Series: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds' revisits just what made the Big Red Machine so unique. CityBeat recently spoke with Posnanski, who currently writes for 'Sports Illustrated,' to discuss his fascinating, often funny book.   

Death Penalty Isn't a Winner

Andrew Welsh-Huggins investigates why Ohio is one of the busiest death penalty states

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Offhand, what would you say Ohio has in common with the state of Texas? A propensity to execute its prisoners, that's what. In his recently released book 'No Winners Here Tonight,' Columbus-based Associated Press reporter Andrew Welsh-Huggins says that in 1958 four states accounted for half the 48 U.S. executions (Ohio, Texas, California, Georgia), and by 2000 Ohio was second only to Texas in the number of people put to death each year.   

Fall Arts Preview: Literary

Local lit scene stays lit up into the fall

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The state of Cincinnati's literary scene is as strong and diverse as ever. Things will only heat up as the weather turns chillier, with big-name authors at Joseph-Beth, the Mercantile Library's annual Neihoff Lecture and Books by the Banks.  

About a Boy

Cincinnati native Rakesh Satyal discusses his debut novel, 'Blue Boy'

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Rakesh Satyal's 'Blue Boy' tells the story of Kiran, a Indian-American boy who lives in a quaint Cincinnati suburb. The 12-year-old does everything he can to meet his parents' expectations. Yet Kiran isn't like other boys: He prefers ballet and his mother's Estée Lauder make-up, proclivities that alienate him from not only the other kids but also his fellow Indians at temple.   

Peter Seidel Forecasts the Future

Cincinnati author fast-forwards growth and global warming in 2045

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Cincinnati author and architect Peter Seidel places his first novel, '2045: A Story of Our Future,' clearly in the tradition of dystopian fiction classics '1984' and 'Brave New World' and James Kunstler's recent 'World Made by Hand.' Seidel talks with CityBeat about his new book.  

How Chuck Klosterman Became a Downtown Owl

The Quentin Tarantino of letters discusses his first novel

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The guy can talk. Words fly from his mouth at an anxious, wildly accelerated rate, which is ironic given that his writing is distinct for its clear, razor-sharp voice. Chuck Klosterman's hilarious and oddly touching Heavy Metal memoir 'Fargo Rock City' catapulted him from unknown newspaper journalist to Spin magazine staff writer seemingly overnight.  

Unpacking the Truth

Packer seeks to understand the world through his writing

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The subtitle of the Mercantile Library's lecture series is "Writing to Change the World." Few people embody that sentiment better than George Packer. Currently a staff writer for The New Yorker, he's been doing exactly that in various books, essays and articles over the last two decades.  

A Brief History of the Future (Review)

Jacques Attali - Arcade Publishing

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The good news about Jacques Attali’s latest literary work is that in painting a startling and timely picture of humanity’s downward spiral, the author does not mince words or cop to his own smarts — that’s no small feat for a world-renowned economist, one that is especially impressive considering his counterparts’ failure to deliver even the broadest short-term fiscal projections without confounding CNN viewers on a nightly basis.   

Ablutions: Notes For A Novel (Review)

Patrick Dewitt

1 Comment · Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The book jacket states Ablutions is Patrick deWitt’s first novel but it’s really, as the subtitle suggests, notes for a novel — notes made by a nameless fictional bartender working at a down-and-out Hollywood dive. Throughout, we’re introduced to a variety of characters who are patrons of the bar, such as Curtis — a disconsolate man with a law-enforcement fetish.  

Pictures at a Revolution (Review)

Mark Harris (Penguin)

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 1, 2009
The most historic Academy Awards ceremony might well be the one in 1968. The Oscars that year — for the best picture of 1967 — were, in their way, as revealing about the changes sweeping America as the Chicago Democratic Convention. The nominees were two radical takes on American culture, Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate, as well as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night and Doctor Dolittle.  

The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death (Review)

Charlie Huston (Ballantine Books)

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Charlie Huston’s latest work of fiction is sort of like Hardcore music and movies that feature martial artists: It reeks of “dude.” Like other would-be noir writers, Huston can’t negotiate the fine line between the genre’s trademark kitsch and overt, meathead drama. The book follows Web Goodhue — a snarky former schoolteacher haunted by a past that’s rendered him traumatized and unemployed.  

Food for Thought

David Kamp discusses his obsession with food culture

1 Comment · Wednesday, February 25, 2009
David Kamp is obsessed with food. His popular 2006 book, 'The United States of Arugula,' is the culmination of this obsession, investigating "how food in America got better and how it hopped the fence from the ghettos of home economics and snobby gourmandism to the expansive realm of popular culture."  

Coffee, Cokeheads and Demons

A look into the imaginative world of authorguy Christopher Moore

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 25, 2009
It's typically part of my evening routine to post up in my apartment and totally unplug from reality by delving into a world of drugs, sex, ninjas, vampires and man-eating demons. No, I'm not suggesting that eating psychedelic mushrooms is one of my nightly endeavors, but rather indulging in the imaginative world that authorguy Christopher Moore creates in his bizarre, hilarious and consistently original novels.   

Violin Man

Author Steve Lopez puts a human face on mental illness

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Steve Lopez, a busy human-interest columnist for The Los Angeles Times, was walking back to his downtown office some years ago when he spotted a homeless man on a street corner who was dressed in rags and playing Beethoven on a battered violin. Lopez slowly got to know him and wrote a series of popular columns that turned into a book last year, 'The Soloist,' as well as a movie starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx that will be released in April.