April 2011

The Murder of Helen Jewett speaks about anonymity in 19th-century NYC

These days, most Americans live in cities, those humming beehives of culture and filth, where each person straddles a changing role between anonymity and responsibility as he goes about his day.  In the 19th century, however, cities were new in the United States and peoples’ place in them was in flux.  Anonymity was everything in these early cities—poor girls flocked to them to be sought-after courtesans, men cultivated fake names, people of modest means courted like they lived in a Bronte novel.

But sometimes all of the changing roles and huge amounts of freedom could turn more dangerous. The Murder of Helen Jewett by Patricia Cline Cohen tells the story of what happens when freedom and anonymity combine to more sinister ends.

Shadows of Obsession

Shadows of Obsession, An erotic novel that cautions us that sometimes one touch, one taste of undulated ecstasy, or one chance encounter, is all it takes to become the object of someone's affection, or the desire to become someone's obsessional affliction

  An erotic psychological thriller that sets the heart racing, and the pulse pounding

A Small Farm in Maine...

Maybe it’s in my head, but it seems that more and more people are looking to both live more cheaply and responsibly. In part, that stems from the fact that driving anywhere today costs five dollars – the bus is cheaper – but it also has to do with the advancement in technology and horticulture. Those two things seem at odds, but they’re not. And a few decades back Terry Silber, who was once a Boston-based magazine designer, wrote a book detailing her working a farm and the way she acquired knowledge to retreat from the city.

No Wave and Byron Coley

If you happened to have picked up No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980.- and you should – it should have been immediately apparent that Thurston Moore’s name appears before Byron Coley’s. Granted, having been witness to at least some of what the book details probably makes Moore a decent commentator. But the fact that a guy whose made his life’s work writing on music while hocking rare records shouldn’t get second billing. Marketing’s a mother, huh?