Sunday, June 18, 2006

new book recommendations...summer reading...

*John A. Mangarella reviews Open Wide: How Hollywood Box Office Became A National Obsession by Dade Hayes and Jonathan Bing: Dade Hayes and Jonathan Bing chose the July 4, 2003 opening weekend for three studio blockbusters to illustrate the circuitous route of studio financing through advertiser to theater to ticket buyer and back again in their collaborative effort, Open Wide: How Hollywood Box Office Became A National Obsession. Haye and Bing show us how deeply, if subtly loud, the studios touch our lives. "Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines" "Legally Blond 2, Red, White and Blond" and "Sinbad, The Legend of the Seven Seas" collided on that long Fourth of July weekend, each hoping to gather more legs than the legendary summer movie, "Jaws."
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*Pedro Ponce reviews The Last Days of Dead Celebrities by Mitchell Fink: The Media is too often a convenient scapegoat. Whether you're a parent concerned about violence on TV, or a pundit protesting the negative coverage (or lack thereof) muddling a nation's foreign policies, the Media somehow manages to lurk behind it all. What is overlooked in such glib reasoning is the fact that such a monster would not exist without an audience to sustain it, an audience of readers and viewers figured all too simplistically as its passive victims.
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*Amy Havel reviews The Coast of Akron by Adrienne Miller: Former Esquire literary editor Adrienne Miller proves, through The Coast of Akron, that she's comfortable on either side of the editing desk; innovation, voice, and wit predominate in this work, and show that her mastery of these elements is solid. The novel is big and blustery and quite dense, with a major aspect of Miller's style being an adherence to exact details. Characters, places, objects: all are described with minute and creative specificity and help to create a certain point of view which seems almost as important to the story as the plot.
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