Thursday, 18 July 2013

Recent Book Reviews

I've written two book reviews for the Winnipeg Free Press recently, and as with my previous reviews, I've collected them into a single post for ease of access. I'm actually rather proud of these two pieces; of the five reviews I've written so far this year, these are among my favorites.

One is a review of Vancouver playwright Mark Leiren-Young's memoir Free Magic Secrets Revealed. It's the tale of Leiren-Young's teenaged self in 1980 trying to impress a girl he has a crush on by creating a magic show with his friends. It's witty, compelling, and an ideal summer read. You can read my review here.

The other review is of American writer Stephen P. Kiernan's debut novel The Curiosity, about a man born in 1868 and frozen inside a glacier in the Arctic Ocean for more than a century. It's not particularly well-written, but the issues it explores are interesting and important in themselves. I expect a movie will be made of it in the near future. You can read my review here.

Here now are two short concerts, by artists I love, that I've found while browsing YouTube lately.

The first is a brilliant and energetic concert for by David Byrne and Annie Clark of St. Vincent from a tour supporting Love This Giant, the collaborative record they released last year (an album that ended up #2 on my best-albums-of-2012 list).

The second is a short but wonderful set by Eleanor Friedberger, frontwoman of the indie band The Fiery Furnaces. Friedberger released a solo album called Personal Record a month or so ago. It's a record full of summery, gorgeous pop songs, and has quickly become one of my favorite albums this year.

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