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Posts by Tyler F

Queen Bey plays muse

Cover of There Are More Beautiful T
A review of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker

Morgan Parker, poet author of the explosive collection There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, leaves the title open to interpretation, but with one exception: She isn’t suggesting that Beyoncé isn’t beautiful, because Beyoncé is beautiful. Like the rest of us, Parker is clearly a fan. She is however suggesting that her muse -- the “flawless” Queen Bey -- might not actually be the be-all, end-all for American popular culture or Black womanhood.  

Jul 16, 2018

How does your garden grow?

Cover of Grow What You Love: 12 Foo
A review of Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life by Emily Murphy

The library owns about two billion gardening books. I’m pretty sure that is hardly an exaggeration. It can be a bit overwhelming.  

So let me recommend one as a librarian and a gardener: Emily Murphy’s Grow What You Love: 12 Food Plant Families to Change Your Life. It isn’t the only gardening book you’ll ever need, but it’s a darn good start.

Jul 10, 2018

Buddha and bharal

Cover of The Snow Leopard
A review of The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen’s melancholic and metaphor-laden Himalayan travelogue, a true story, is an essential, definitional work of 1970s American literature. It is also one of my favorite books of all time.

Jul 2, 2018

Guwop grows up

Cover of The Autobiography of Gucci
A review of The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane and Neil Martinez-Belkin

Even if you haven’t heard of trap music, you’ve heard it. A hip hop subgenre born out of the American south, with fast and hard drums and lyrics about the drug underworld, trap music has taken the world by storm — dominating all of hip hop, America’s most consumed music, and infiltrating pop music in general.

Apr 24, 2018

Party girl, intellectual, recluse

Cover of Sex and Rage: Advice to Yo
A review of Sex and Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time by Eve Babitz

Eve Babitz is a woman who will not be pigeonholed. A fixture of the 1970s Los Angeles scene, she was an infamous party girl and muse. She was also an intellectual, artist, journalist, and novelist, whose talent was often overshadowed by her buxom stature and a hedonistic appetite for men, booze, and food. Now an elderly recluse, Babitz is receiving a righteous rediscovering, with a steady reissuing of her works over the last few years.

Mar 6, 2018

Hillbilly, French twist

Cover of The End of Eddy
A review of The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis

Édouard Louis’s The End of Eddy is a brisk and brutal roman à clef about a white gay teen growing up in rural 1990s France. Alcoholism, racism, violence, and impugnable choices abound. Gross and upsetting things happen in riveting ways. Yet its ending is oddly uplifting. A bestseller in France, its young author is now regularly called upon by popular media to explain the advent of French populism and the alleged moral stagnation of France’s white underclass.

Feb 26, 2018

Sympathy for the reluctant fundamentalist

Cover of A Good Country
A review of A Good Country by Laleh Khadivi

Written by Iranian-American author and filmmaker Laleh Khadivi, A Good Country is an unnerving, yet somehow beautiful, slow burn of a novel. Khadivi’s prose has a loose and languid long-windedness -- where description and dialog bleed together -- that mimics with stunning naturalism the druggy bleariness of its main character’s day-to-day existence.

Nov 7, 2017

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