Mini Book Review: 'Autobiography of Red'

Yes, it's the tale of a little gay dragon-monster discovering his purpose in life, falling in and out of love, traveling to South America, growing as an artist (photographer), and . . . Well, it's hard to explain. And the fact that it's told in the form of an epic poem may make many readers worry that the book is going to be a homework-like chore to read. But, really, it's not homework at all -- after a few pages you'll get into the rhythm of the writing and discover a funny, fast, moving, disturbing, exciting, and totally unexpected story of the highest caliber.

So don't feel daunted when you hear that the "Autobiography of Red" is an experimental and intellectual book that is, as Wikipedia puts it, "a verse novel by Anne Carson, based loosely on the myth of Geryon and the Tenth Labor of Herakles, especially on surviving fragments of the lyric poet Stesichorus' poem Geryonis." True, it's that as well, but it's also a contemporary, genre-bending, fantasy-laced, oddly relatable, and very enjoyable weekend-read that you'll remember for a long time to come.

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Mini Book Review: 'Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991'

"Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991" is one of the top rock books I've read -- funny, inspiring, well researched, and insightful all at once. Since there are already tons of reviews out there on the Internetziz that go into plenty of critical and general detail, I figured I'd just give a quick summary of what's featured in the book:

The main bands profiled: Black Flag, The Minutemen, Mission of Burma, Minor Threat (Fugazi), Husker Du, The Replacements, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Dinosaur Jr.

Secondary subjects: Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Henry Rollins, Sebadoh, Steve Albini, SST Records, K Records, Sub Pop Records, the birth of punk and hardcore and straight-edge, various `zines, underground and indie scenes, and producers, musicians, influences, etc...

Quite humorous and harrowing, with awesome insider-interviews and wacky anecdotes, including a drunken cameo by Alex Chilton (of Chris Bell, Box Tops, and Big Star fame). Put this one on your bookshelf for some serious indie cred.

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