Summer Books 2004

Monday, June 07, 2004


Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story
August 26, 2004
In Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story, Anna Cypra Oliver tries to reconstruct the life of her troubled father, who killed himself in 1974 and left behind a confusing legacy. Her detective work spanned decades and took her from 1940s Jewish Queens, NY, to Taos, NM in the hippie days of the late 60s.
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» More on Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story

Blood and Soap: Stories Blood and Soap: Stories
July 28, 2004
Blood and Soap is Linh Dinh's new collection of beautiful and unusual short stories. He writes about a young Vietnamese man who invents his own version of the English language and teaches it for years before getting busted; a white Southerner in 19th-century America who swaps roles with his slave, and a New Yorker whose neighbor practices English by shouting headlines from tabloids. Linh Dinh was born in Saigon in 1963 and came to the U.S. in 1975. Previous books include Fake House: Stories and a book of poems called All Around What Empties Out.
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» More on Blood and Soap: Stories

Sex, Drugs and Cocoa PuffsSex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs
July 27, 2004
In Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klosterman shares his "low culture manifesto" and comments upon Pamela Anderson, hypothetical questions, internet porn, reality TV, cheesy shows like Saved By the Bell and The Real World, and breakfast cereal mascots. Klosterman says: "I'm a 'Gen Xer,' okay? And I buy shit marketed to 'Gen Xers.' "
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» Read an excerpt of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs

MongoCountry of Origin
July 22, 2004
Don Lee's first novel, Country of Origin, takes place in the racially homogenous setting of Tokyo, Japan in 1980. It's about the mysterious disappearance of Lisa Countryman, a half-Japanese and half-black Berkeley graduate student who came to Japan on an identity quest. Lee is editor of Ploughshares; he's also written a story collection called Yellow.
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» More on Country of Origin

MongoSleepaway School
July 21, 2004
In his second memoir, Sleepaway School, Lee Stringer recounts his years at Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, a school for at-risk kids. Stringer's mother surrendered him to foster care shortly after birth. She then reclaimed him six years later. Rather than leading to a happy ending, however, the difficulties of readjusting to a new family situation and of being poor and black in an affluent white suburb turned Stringer into a very angry kid with behavioral problems. Stringer's previous memoir is Grand Central Winter: Stories From the Street.
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» Read an excerpt of Sleepaway School

A Seahorse YearEmergency SexA Seahorse Year
July 7, 2004
Stacy D'Erasmo's new novel, A Seahorse Year, follows her highly acclaimed Tea. This latest is set in contemporary San Francisco and deals with the gradual breakdown of Christopher, a troubled adolescent boy, and its effect on his family.
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» Read an excerpt of A Seahorse Year

July 6, 2004
One man's trash is another man's treasure, and New York City is full of trash enthusiasts.  In Mongo, Ted Botha talks with housewives and homeless people to find out why they dig through the city's garbage.
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» More on Mongo

Emergency SexEmergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures
June 22, 2004
In Emergency Sex,  three former UN peacekeepers tell what it's like to live and work in war zones like Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda. (There are more sex and drugs than you might expect.) Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait, and Andrew Thomson met when they worked as peacekeepers in some of the most war-torn corners of the world in the 1990s , and now the UN is trying to block  their memoir because of some racy and revealing details.
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NatashaNatasha,and Other Stories
June 21, 2004
Natasha follows the experiences of  the Bermans - Marc, Roman, and Bella - a family of Latvian Jews as they acclimate to life in Toronto. David Bezmozgis's own family emigrated to Canada from Latvia in 1980, when he was 6.
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» Read an excerpt of Natasha

June 9, 2004
Hari Kunzru's second novel, Transmission, is about an Indian computer programmer, Arjun Mehta, whose pursuit of the American Dream ends (or changes) when he's laid off from his job in Silicon Valley. He tries to keep his job by unleashing a destructive computer virus that wreaks havoc all over the world. Transmission is Kunzru's follow-up to his bestselling debut, The Impressionists.
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» Read an excerpt of Transmission

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and DenimDress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
June 2, 2004
David Sedaris recounts strange and funny stories from his family history in his latest, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
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» Read an excerpt of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

A Million Little PiecesA Million Little Pieces
June 1, 2004
James Frey writes: "I am an Alcoholic and I am a drug Addict and I am a Criminal." His new memoir about addiction and recovery is A Million Little Pieces . By the time he entered a drug and alcohol treatment facility, Frey had taken his addictions to near-deadly extremes. He had so thoroughly ravaged his body that the facility's doctors were shocked he was still alive
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» Read an excerpt of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

» Summer Books 2004 on NPR
» Summer 2003 book picks by Leonard Lopate
» Summer 2002 book picks by Leonard Lopate

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