Startup: A Novel by Doree Shafrir

The tech industry is fertile ground for satire; just look at what Mike Judge has been able to do with his show Silicon Valley. But Doree Shafrir proves there are no geographical boundaries to the characters that are drawn to the bizarre world of tech startups. From tech bros to the journalists who follow their every move, Shafrir, in her debut novel, creates an addictively compelling world in a city that far too often serves as the backdrop to books about the worlds of finance and fashion. By choosing Manhattan, she already manages to skip most of the clichés of Silicon Valley players (if New Yorkers have every felt insecure about an industry, it’s technology where they are clearly considered also-rans). Continue reading “Startup: A Novel by Doree Shafrir”

Smoke Snort Swallow Shoot by Jacob Hoye

The idea behind this books seems a mix of cynicism and the morbid – running a series of excerpts from rock star bios focusing entirely on their drug stories. In realty, if we’re being honest, it actually makes for a wildly entertaining read. Continue reading “Smoke Snort Swallow Shoot by Jacob Hoye”

Haddon Hall – When David Invented Bowie by Nejib

In 1969, after his single “Space Oddity,” managed to garner a decent amount of attention, David Bowie with his wife Angie moved into a massive house in London along with a slew of other hippies, that went under the name Haddon Hall. The house is the setting for the quirky yet inventively creative book by graphic designer/comic artist Nejib. The hardcover comic tells the story of Bowie putting together his band and struggling for a creative identity and the inspiration to become a rock star. Continue reading “Haddon Hall – When David Invented Bowie by Nejib”


Almost as a rule, musician autobiographies are a chance to settle scores, name names, spew vitriol; essentially an exercise in one-sided venting. Obviously, someone forgot to mention that to Johnny Marr. And while this revelation may turn off some of the realty TV-warped Smith out there, for those looking to get an honest sense of who Marr is as a person, Set The Boy Free makes for a fascinating read. Continue reading “SET THE BOY FREE By Johnny Marr”

New Barbarians: Outlaws Gunslingers and Guitars by Rob Chapman

There have been a slew of great stories around the Rolling Stones for generations now, maybe more so than any band, so you’d be forgiven if you’re sporting a tattoo of the Tongue logo, but can’t exactly recall the short-lived band, The New Barbarians. Thankfully, rock journalist Rob Chapman’s got you covered. Continue reading “New Barbarians: Outlaws Gunslingers and Guitars by Rob Chapman”

Tolinski and Perna Play It Loud

If you can’t tell the difference between a Fender Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul, this is clearly not the book for you. However, if you know Hendrix was a Strat guy and underneath that black spray paint and all those stickers, Joe Strummer always rocked a Tele, then this is likely to be your new Bible. Continue reading “Tolinski and Perna Play It Loud”

The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology by Thomas Dolby

At this point there’s a pretty set template for writing rock memoirs (with a few exceptions, of course). Most roll out like a version of VH1’s Behind the Music: future rock star has dreams of making it big, so he practices all the time, stopping only for the occasion drug and drink binge; he/she hooks up with future band mates, they sign a really shitty record contract but end up touring the globe and spending big; the third act is realizing they are drinking/drugging too much and the fans start to move on; the closing chapters are all about starting over, settling into a normal life and writing the best music of his/her life. Thomas Dolby, thankfully manages to tear up the template for the most part in his memoir (he keeps the part about the shitty one-sided music contract, though). Continue reading “The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology by Thomas Dolby”

Pathfinder Pocket Editions

One of the problems that role-playing gamers typically run into when they have to move locations for their gaming sessions is the sheer weight of the books that they must lug around. One understands the logic for these companies creating luscious tomes that are typically hard cover and full of amazing illustrations and further clarifications about nuances to the game play. The simple fact though is that if you are a Gamemaster and have to carry a players handbook, game rule book, and a bestiary, your back is going to ache. Continue reading “Pathfinder Pocket Editions”

Boss: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – The Illustrated History

Yes, there are already a slew of books about Bruce Springsteen out there. Add to that, the fact that he’ll finally be putting out his autobiography this fall, but Boss proves there was room for one more book about one of the best rock starts to ever come out of the U.S. Continue reading “Boss: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – The Illustrated History”

Good Neighbors : The Democracy of Everyday Life

Rosenblum creates a compelling narrative during her latest title, Good Neighbors : The Democracy of Everyday Life.The importance of those individuals that live near us has been decreased in importance over the course of the last thirty years. There have been a number of titles that have dealt with the ramifications that this lack of community has had (most prominently, Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone), but this Rosenblum text showcases the importance of polarizing events like Hurricane Katrina. The specific actions that are taken by a neighborhood are likely to change depending on the stakeholders holding power in the area and the populations that are most impacted by these situations. This means that things can become very dire (as was the case in the days immediately following 9/11 or Pearl Harbor), or they could lead towards greater harmony among individuals (natural disasters including the Deepwater Oil Spill). Continue reading “Good Neighbors : The Democracy of Everyday Life”