books and zine reviews, articles, interviews

book & zine Reviews

Three on D&D

The popularity of Stranger Things has undoubtedly rekindled an interest in D&D, but the game has been around for over five decades now. If you are new to the game, have never played but are curious, or are a chaotic-evil dwarf cleric from back in the day, these two books and one graphic novel may be of interest to you.

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Lou Reed: A Life
by Anthony DeCurtis

Lou Reed: A Life by Anthony DeCurtis

Lou Reed was a musical pioneer and a brilliant, if inconsistent, songwriter. He continually pushed himself into new territory, rarely travelling trails already blazed. He left a lot of music and a good story behind, which is told in a new biography from author and music critic Anthony DeCurtis.

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Moving Target: The History and Evolution of Green Arrow
by Richard Gray

Moving Target:  The History and Evolution of Green Arrow

If you're a diehard comic book fan looking to dive deep into the history, thought-process and execution of a comic with a long and colorful history—and you're a fan of the Green Arrow in particular—notch this book in your desktop, mobile, device, or your lap and learn a thing or two about a dude who's been around awhile by a guy who knows a whole lot of about this stuff.

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more book & zine reviews

Out of the Basement
by David Ensminger

Every town and city has its own story about how punk rock came and conquered the hearts and minds of the idle youth who started bands, made zines, hosted radio shows, DJed and turned dives into venues where new bands could play. This is Rockford's story. [Read more]

Slip of the Tongue
by Katie Haegele

Katie reveals a lot about herself as she ponders language and the writing process. It's hard work turning thoughts into words and getting them down on paper. Somebody's got to do it and thankfully one of those somebodies is Katie Haegele. [Read more]

Read 'em all in the review archives.

Interviews & Articles

The Essential Zach Boddicker

Zach Boddicker's debut novel, The Essential Carl Mahogany, was published earlier this year by Last Chance Press. Full of great dialogue, humorous observations and dry wit, it's a strong debut. I recently asked Zach a few questions about the book and the process of completing it. 

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Quickies

Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It by David M. Ewalt [Simon & Schuster

A humorous and informative look at the D&D phenom written from a player's perspective, but written for non players. The books covers much of the same ground as Empire of the Imagination and the graphic novel, Rise of the Dungeon Master, but with a tongue in cheek and self-deprecating intent. There's also a little more focus on the cultural affects of the game including the Mazes and Monsters made-for-tv movie and the real life story behind it.  

Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff Ryan [Portfolio/Penguin]

Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff RyanIf you enjoy history and/or gaming, I highly recommend this book. Ryan tells the story of Nintendo's rise from a late 19th century playing card company to a dominating force in coin-op and then home console video and then portable handheld games. When the fledgling Nintendo of America subsidiary revamped its warehouse full of unsold shooter games and turned them into the revolutionary game Donkey Kong, the gaming world and pop culture would never be the same. 

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