Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide by Kay Redfield Jamison
A professor of psychiatry who herself once attempted suicide offers a historical and scientific study of one of the most common killers of Americans between the ages of 15 and 45.
Reviewed by David Bowman (11/04/99)
Love in a Dead Language by Lee Siegel
"A satirical romp among the bloviated windbags of academia, a translation of the ancient sex manual the Kamasutra, a cross-cultural Lolita tale, a scholarly exegesis on love and a murder mystery."
Reviewed by Carol Lloyd (06/07/99)
Scar Vegas by Tom Paine
Ten stories that are part of the "important American tradition of throwing an individual consciousness out into the universe and shaking a fist at the indifference, the smallness of spirit, the institutionalized ugliness that's out there -- and scanning the horizon for beacons of light."
Reviewed by Maria Russo (02/23/00)
Walkin' the Dog by Walter Mosley
A collection of stories focusing on ex-con Socrates Fortlow as he grasps at a new life after 27 years in prison.
Reviewed by Jesse Berrett (10/07/99)
Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell
Set in the Ozarks, this book follows a young girl, her brother and their ticket out of their small town -- a wandering felon.
Reviewed by Jonathan Miles (08/07/99)
Mr. Wroe's Virgins by Jane Rogers
A novel based on the true story of the prophet John Wroe and the seven women who serve him until charges of indecency are brought against him by the church.
Plainsong by Kent Haruf
This novel, about a year in the life of a small Colorado town that experiences both small and extraordinary changes, was a 1999 Salon Book Award winner.
Reviewed by Maria Russo (10/18/99)
Shrub: The Short but Happy Political Life of George W. Bush by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose
The Texan columnist's book "aims itself mercilessly at Texas' political playing field, tracking the state's key policy disputes and W.'s distinctly uninspiring political record."
Reviewed by Chris Lehmann (03/01/00)
The Trust: The Private and Powerful Family Behind the New York Times by Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones
This biography details the five generations of the Sulzbergers, controllers of America's newspaper of record, and was a 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
Sleeping With Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and Perils of Piety by Wendy Kaminer
A scathing analysis of the 1990s revival of faith and New Age spirituality as threats to true religious freedom and rational judgment.
Reviewed by Andrew O'Hehir (11/17/99)
The Last Life by Claire Messud
A young French-American woman struggles to understand her family's haunted Algerian ancestry.
Reviewed by Maggie Jones (09/03/99)
My Father, Dancing by Bliss Broyard
A collection of short stories about the complex relationships between fathers and daughters.
Reviewed by Adam Kirsch (08/04/99)
The Industry of Souls by Martin Booth
Short-listed for the Booker Prize, this novel follows a British citizen who, after 25 years of labor in a Siberian work camp, decides to stay in Russia and become a schoolmaster.
Surreal Lives: The Surrealists 1917-1945 by Ruth Brandon
This history of surrealists from Breton to Dali "is deliciously gossipy, an informal encyclopedia of surrealism's endless personal intrigues and factional falling-outs."
Reviewed by Lawrence Osborne (10/28/99)
Mandela: The Authorized Biography by Anthony Sampson
The first authorized biography of the South African leader, written by a British journalist who has known his subject since 1951.
Blue at the Mizzen by Patrick O'Brian
The British Navy works to save Chile from the Spanish in this fictional portrayal of post-Napoleonic British politics.
Celebration, U.S.A.: Living in Disney's Brave New Town by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins and The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney's New Town by Andrew Ross
Both books take a skeptical look at the perfect town that Disney built in Florida.
Reviewed by Saul Anton (09/09/99)
Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick
The author of "Genius" and "Chaos" examines "every time-related dimension of life in what he calls this 'epoch of the nanosecond.'"
Reviewed by Edward Neuert (09/15/99)
Hitler's Niece by Ron Hansen
A fictional account of the young woman Hitler allegedly loved and who committed suicide at age 23 with his gun.
Reviewed by Nan Goldberg (08/25/99)