Author Archives: holdenm

The Name of the World by Denis Johnson

A few years after losing his wife and daughter in an automobile accident, Michael Reed finds himself working at a university for a nameless humanities department with a specialty so vague it’s impossible to imagine what he does for income, … Continue reading

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My Age of Anxiety: Fear, hope, dread and the search for peace of mind by Scott Stossel

In his new book, Scott Stossel describes his harrowing experience with clinical anxiety as well as its origins as a psychiatric disease. He looks at the philosophical and biological underpinnings of anxiety and the amazing response from pharmacology, both as a benefit for … Continue reading

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What Should We Be Worried About? Real Scenarious That Keep Scientists Up at Night by John Brockman

Through his organization Edge Foundation, John Brockman asks academics and artists to respond to a provocative question about science that will bring something new to a discussion. This year he asks: What should we be worried about? One hundred and … Continue reading

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An Imaginary Life by David Malouf

If ever there were an author who could squeeze the most meaning out of the least amount of writing, it is Australian author David Malouf. In a spare 150 pages, Malouf tells the story of an exiled Roman poet living … Continue reading

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Rise Up, O Young Men of the New Age! by Oe Kenzaburo

A man decides to craft a book of definitions for his disabled son and struggles to find the right words. For his inspiration, he reads the poems of William Blake – an unlikely choice for the down-to-earth job of defining … Continue reading

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Great House by Nicole Krauss

A Chilean poet gives a young woman a writing desk full of drawers and cabinets and secret compartments and then disappears under Pinochet’s dictatorship. Later, another woman requests that the desk be returned, and so begins a grand and sorrowful … Continue reading

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Going Clear, Scientology: Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright’s journalistic writing is the perfect voice for the subject of Scientology. In the hands of most other writers, Scientology would float into the ether, a dark and unfathomable history left unread by sensible readers.  That said, though Wright … Continue reading

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Bullhead (DVD)

Belgium filmmaker Michael Roskam’s first feature-length film, Bullhead, was nominated last year for best foreign language film, which is perhaps a surprise considering its subject – the Flemish underground hormone mafia.   The film’s title, Bullhead, refers both to where cattle gather … Continue reading

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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Just out of college, Clay Jannon becomes a Web designer for a small business, then quickly loses his job to the sands of economic collapse. Unemployed and without much experience, he accepts a job as the night clerk for a … Continue reading

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Train Dreams by Denis Johnson

Train Dreams is a weird little book. Only 116 pages but sweeping in scope, it tells the story of Robert Grainer, born in the late 1800s, orphaned and sent to live in the Pacific Northwest where he becomes an itinerant … Continue reading

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