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Staff Pick: Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman

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Isn’t it odd how 80s movies have more to say about real life than anything made in the last 25 years? At least that’s Hadley Freeman’s contention, and she’s pretty convincing in arguing that the women and girls in such films as Dirty Dancing, Pretty in Pink, Steel Magnolias, and Baby Boom are, unlike today’s movie characters, fully realized human beings. Oh, did I mention that Freeman is a snappy, genuinely funny writer?

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: The 33 1/3 Series

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One album, one book-length essay: what’s between the covers, though, might be anything from a detailed musical analysis to a coming-of-age memoir; from a political history of the music scene to a work of fiction. (The sheer variety is what I love about this series.) Whether you’re into punk, funk, metal, hard rock, yacht rock, krautrock, alt-country, dance music, or jazz fusion, there’s something here for every type of music geek. Bloomsbury, $14.95

 

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Staff Pick: The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

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In the centuries-long human quest to brew or distill a stiff drink from whatever ingredients our ancestors could get their hands on, some fruits, grains, flowers, and trees have emerged as the superstars of flavor and inebriation.

This is their story – with cocktail recipes!

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: The Revolution Was Televised by Alan Sepinwall

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The best TV dramas of the last 15 years, from Buffy to Breaking Bad, didn’t just have great stories and strong creative personalities behind them; they had a financial and technological redefinition of what television is to help them succeed.

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From the publisher: 

A phenomenal account, newly updated, of how twelve innovative television dramas transformed the medium and the culture at large, featuring Sepinwall's take on the finales of Mad Men and Breaking Bad.

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Staff Pick: Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara

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John O’Hara’s first novel was the Prohibition-era story of an a-hole’s downward spiral to destruction. If The Great Gatsby had been written for a pulp magazine, it might’ve come out something like this….

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From the publisher: 

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Staff Pick: The Time Traveler's Almanac edited by Jeff Vandermeer

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960 pages of mostly unfamiliar time travel stories, chosen by the editors of The Weird. “Time keeps on slippin’…”

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Staff Pick: Chicks Dig Gaming by Jennifer Brozek

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The question isn’t “why don’t more women enjoy gaming?,” but “why aren’t more people aware that women enjoy gaming on their own terms?” This collection of entertaining, provocative, eye-opening essays offers some intriguing answers.

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