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Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

After an uncharacteristic misstep in their discography, Radiohead return with an elegant vengeance: A Moon Shaped Pool. Their new album is dark, haunting rock mixed with electronic beats, in other words: classic Radiohead. It is nothing short of thrilling to see masters of their craft producing art. Thom Yorke remains one of Rock’s greatest enigmas. Here is another piece of the puzzle for lifelong fans.

Among Strange Victims

Among Strange Victims

Every now and then you come across a book that treats you different from the rest, and is that difference that drags you to that special (and familiar) area you enter when reading words that remind you how wonderful, enjoyable and enlightening Literature can be. Among Strange Victims is one of those rare and yet familiar books. Saldaña París delivers a sardonic and incredibly funny polyphonic story in which characters -captive in tedious and meaningless urban lives- start suddenly facing rather bizarre situations. Hypnosis sessions inducted with tequila mixed in mystical teen’s urine, unintentional marriages and virtuous chickens take the existentialism crisis into a whole new and hilarious level. Bolaño’s punchy prose and Houllebecq’s acid criticism turn out to be the ideal travel companions during this trip.

How My Students Taught Me to Love To Kill a Mockingbird (Again)

How My Students Taught Me to Love To Kill a Mockingbird (Again)

Is there an American novel that invites more haters than To Kill a Mockingbird? Admit it: you judge someone who names it as his or her favorite novel of all time. If something is wildly beloved by the masses, it must be middle-brow, sentimental crap at best, right? That was my official position on Harper Lee’s classic bestseller for many years—until recently, when a spunky group of students reminded me of its greatness.

Evicted

Evicted

Park trailer tenants blowing all their food stamp allowance in one lobster meal, urban guardians that preach the benefit of school to youngsters while rolling joints in their shared rooms, nurses addicted to painkillers with licenses revoked but still caring for others, and the people that make a nice living thanks to all that. These are the characters you’ll find in Evicted, a gruesome portrait of poverty in America which helps understand that homelessness, as most things related to our society, is more complex and related to us than we think. The poverty, the system that allows and perpetuates it and the market and opportunities around all this mess, is what Matthew Desmond masterfully depicts in one of the toughest and most pertinent journalism books I’ve read in years. Because more often than you think, there is only a back surgery procedure between you and that guy by the traffic light.

#howtowinanelection

#howtowinanelection

As a follow-up to my piece on an orange-zest-faced demagogue of our time, I share some timely examples from Robert Penn Warren’s 1947 political classic All the King’s Men. In light of this most recent election and its theatrics, it seems the old adage “The pen is mightier than the sword” can be amended to “The rabble-rouse is mightier than the reasoned.”

The Books We Don’t Read

The Books We Don’t Read

Many of us define ourselves by our jobs and interests, our friends and family, and our tastes in music, movies, or books. What we don’t think about is what lies just outside our own world, or perhaps just as importantly, what lies within our world that we haven’t noticed. Returning to old ideas, either through rereading or reading translated books, helps us define our past and present selves.

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