I read Chuck Klosterman’s Eating the Dinosaur a few years back and remember liking it, but also don’t remember much about it. So when I saw he had a new one out called But What If We’re Wrong?: Thinking about the Present As If It Were the Past, I jumped at the chance to read him… Read more But What If We’re Wrong?
Finished Lindy West’s Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman in a single evening, not just because it’s a short and fast read, but because I couldn’t stop reading. I heard Lindy for the first time on This American Life: first her story on confronting her troll and then about “coming out” as fat. As in those stories, in Shrill she’s hilarious,… Read more Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
With its likable cast, meandering dialogue, and lived-in plotless feel, Everybody Wants Some!! is more than just a “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused. It’s the middle sibling between that film and Linklater’s Before series, all of which seem to take place in the same film universe where everyone’s a peripatetic philosopher and life happens in the ordinary moments between the… Read more Everybody Wants Some!!
I have a new piece at ThinkChristian on how a book and an album were telling me the same thing at basically the same time: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” You’ve probably seen this quote, the final couplet in Mary Oliver’s poem The Summer Day,… Read more One Wild Life’s Too Short
A good argument could be made for several different technologies being the ideal tool for writers. Pen and paper have proved durable and flexible but aren’t easily manipulated. Typewriters provide an attractive single-purpose distraction-free environment but don’t allow for easy duplication. Modern computers are powerful and multi-purpose, but easily distract. We all are fortunate to… Read more Track Changes
Spoilers, natch. Finally, a Spider-Man who actually looks like he’s in high school! That, along with ever more compelling character studies of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, made this latest episode of The Marvel Cinematic Universe Show worth watching. Captain America and Iron Man are by far my favorite Marvel characters thus far, and the Avengers I find… Read more Captain America: Civil War
It’s really a shame Jeff Nichols got bounced in the second round of the Filmspotting Madness directors bracket. Unlike the NCAA tournament, where success is tangible and stats-driven, there is no one way to account for which director is better than the other. Everyone voter is left to his or her own interpretation and taste. The one I’ve… Read more Midnight Special
Not long after we subscribed to Amazon Prime did I check out the pilot of The Man in the High Castle. I’d heard some good regard for the show, but didn’t think to seek it out until it was suddenly available to me. Boy am I glad I did. Set in 1962, the show exists in a… Read more The Man In The High Castle
I’ve been a fan of A.O. Scott since his too-short time co-hosting At the Movies with Michael Phillips, which was my favorite post-Ebert iteration of the show. Their tenure was a salve after the brief and forgettable stint of Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz. Phillips and Scott brought a benevolent wonkiness to the show I greatly enjoyed and mourned when… Read more Better Living Through Criticism
Happy to report that two of my most recent reviews for Library Journal are now online. I wrote about Edward Lengel’s First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His—and the Nation’s—Prosperity and Charles Rappleye’s Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency. First Entrepreneur is already out, and the Herbert Hoover biography, which I gave a “starred” review, comes out… Read more Been Reviewing