Electric Review

Culture & Criticism Since 2003

The Electric Review’s 2018 Gift Basket Overflows in Sci-Fi, Rock & Roll, Dickens & Self-Help

The Electric Review recommends the following titles as potential stocking-stuffers for that book worm on your list.

BOB DYLAN: THE ESSENTIAL INTERVIEWS. Edited By Johnathan Cott. Simon and Schuster.

Cover courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Bob Dylan has always been wary of the media. And that’s just the reason the interviews he does grant garner such interest – when he actually speaks to a journalist, it’s after he’s considered every aspect of the request and weighed every statement. In sum, he gives interviews when he has something to say to the world that his songs haven’t already said. Here, Cott compiles the major interviews Dylan has done over the last 6 decades. Included are the Hentoff and Shelton pieces from 1966; the Studs Terkel radio interview from 1963 that put Dylan in his first national spotlight; the Hilburn pieces from the LA Times (1997 and 2004); and Cott’s own 1978 Rolling Stone piece that serves as a brilliant examination of the post-divorce pre-Gospel consciousness of this multi-dimensional artist. No fan’s collection of Dylan wax stands complete without The Essential Interviews, which fills in the empty spaces between the songs perfectly.

LEGION. Brandon Sanderson. TOR.

Sanderson builds a character who sports a multiplicity of personalities, making it impossible for the reader to detach themselves from the worlds he’s invented.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL AND OTHER STORIES. Charles Dickens. Edited by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. Oxford University Press.

Dickens’ Christmas Carol marks the ultimate Yuletide story (as well as this ultimate statement on human redemption). In turn, this handsome hardbound edition from Oxford offers a fresh generation the chance to reacquaint itself with the reason we celebrate the season. Pay close attention to this volume: Douglas-Fairhust has an innate understanding of Dickens’ work, and his editing actually increases the power of the pieces.

TRUST ME. Hank Phillippi Ryan. Forge.

This is a true crime ride that recalls the grit of Elmore Leonard. Fans of Law & Order and the old Fugitive series won’t want to miss the way Ryan commands the page.

THE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS. W. Bruce Cameron. Forge.

Cameron’s book brings the season to life in strange and memorable ways. Each of us has our own idea of Christmas born in childhood, and The Dogs Of Christmas brings you fleeing back to yours.

LOSE WELL. Chris Gethard. HarperOne.

Cover courtesy of HarperOne.

In this age of technology, people have become enamored with the idea of wealth and success, as social media stuffs everybody else’s great life down our throats. But comedian Chris Gethard doesn’t buy what he’s being told. Instead, Gethard believes that we only find ourselves in moments of failure. And Lose Well tells why. At his finest moments, Chris Gethard recalls the humor and insight of George Carlin. And that’s well worth your time.

by John Aiello


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This entry was posted on November 29, 2018 by in 2018, December 2018, In the Spotlight, Rat On Fiction & Nonfiction and tagged , , , , .
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