Sunday , May 26 2024
Early spring brings out the best in us. Step inside for a bouquet of reading delight.

Blogcritics Editors’ Picks: April 26 through May 2

More good stuff on tap. From an abundance of entertaining book reviews to the symbolism of the labyrinth, from the truthiness of Stephen Colbert to the basics of podcasting, and beyond. Get enlightened, get informed, and have a few chuckles on us this week.

Let me remind those of you who are chosen that you are invited to submit your own pick for next week (due to space considerations, please limit it to one). Please feel free to email me your picks (including the URL) by next Tuesday.


From Music Editor Connie Phillips:

DVD Review: The Black Crowes – Freak ‘N’ Roll Into The Fog by El Bicho
We get a detailed look at the concert that is immortalized on the DVD from Fantasma el Rey who also shares entertaining background information on a missed concert.

Stephen V Funk has his own unique way at looking at things and CD Review: Geoffrey Brady – Fob is no exception. Here we get an entertaining as well as educational look at Geoffrey Brady’s career and this CD in particular.


From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:

Steal This Book: When Best-Selling Authors Provoke Others to Write Their Own Books by Don Baiocchi
“How to write a best-seller” is an old line, but Don has come up with a new idea of how to piggy-back on an existing top-seller. He’s kindly shared it with Blogcritics’ readers before heading off to utilise it himself.

Book Review: Seventy-Two Virgins by Boris Johnson by Quo Vadis
Some might accuse me of UK bias in this choice, but I can assure you I’m no fan of “Bonkin’ Boris”. The “upper-class twit (or fake twit)” is a pose that I suspect you have to be born British, and into a certain class, to enjoy. But you don’t have to know Boris to enjoy this review, full of clever wordplay and painting a clear picture of the text.

From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:

Kaavya Viswanathan, the youngest writer that Little, Brown & Co has ever published, “unknowingly and unintentionally” plagiarized her debut novel. Twenty-nine times. Has she also smashed her credibility into a Million Little Pieces? Michael J. West, in Fictionalizing and Plagiarizing: Not the Same Thing, deftly and incisively tackles the issue of plagiarism, and triggers some varied and heated responses. We’re still waiting for Oprah to weigh in, however.


From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

Reviewer Chris Evans has written a divinely inspired review of the movie Akeelah and the Bee. Very few reviews leave me feeling like I can’t wait to see the movie, but this one certainly did. Chris effectively introduces the plot and the characters, giving up just enough background to leave a reader wanting more. By the end of the review, I couldn’t wait to get to my local theater listings to find out when it would be showing here.


From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:

Richard Marcus takes a most interesting and in-depth look at the role of symbols in our society, particularly the seemingly defunct but historically significant labryinth in Labyrinths: A Symbol To Share.


From Politics Editor Dave Nalle:

If It Is Broke, Fix It! by Paul Jordan, Sr.
A heartfelt cry for the same principles that make personal responsibility such a good idea to also apply in government, specifically in the management of FEMA.

Stephen Colbert: Buried by Truthiness by Amrita Rajan
A nice summary of Colbert’s appearance at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, with some good discussion ensuing.

From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:

If Aztlan had been real and had stretched from Cancun to Spokane, so what? In Reconquista: Taking Back The American Southwest, Greg Strange asks and articulately answers in a no-nonsense counter argument to what may be every-which-way-but-lucid reasoning behind a below-the-radar movement, a provocative development that, as Greg points out, has implications that stretch beyond some elusive shape-shifter borders.

From Asst. Sports Editor Sal Marinello:

Economic Growth So Strong It Can’t Be Ignored by Dave Nalle
I nominate Dave Nalle because he tackles serious and difficult subjects, writes clearly and concisely, and always provides plenty of supporting info. Also, his manner of responding to critics is something that all of us should pay attention to and emulate in our responses to critics and kooks alike.


From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:

The Death of Steve Howe by Eric Olsen
Well, it’s not much of a sports story, I mean he does mention the former Dodgers pitcher dying tragically and all, but it’s just a very sobering tale of what not to do, or least what you should learn if you perform said things and suffer a rude awakening. But it’s in my section, so I might as well up and honor it.

Tennis: The Equality Issue by Pratyush Khaitan
We had some good banter on this topic and Sal’s opposing viewpoint article was just as convincing. Pratyush blended a vast array of sources including incorporating a fellow Descritics blogger’s opinion on the issue. Plus the counterexample was addressed, and this is something I wish I saw more out of others’ writing — including my own.


From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:

Female Gamers Are Nothing New by Igniq
Women can’t possibly be “serious” about gaming? Don’t they have knitting or something else to do? I guess not.

Nintendo DS Review: Rainbow Islands Revolution (EU) by Andrew Ogier
Sometimes we review games because we really like them. This is not one of those times.

PSP Review: Mega Man Powered Up by Matt Paprocki
Mega Man remakes don’t usually get such high praise. This one, however, is very deserving of its five-star score.


From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:

In Podcasting: What’s On?, the ever-thorough Johniac not only defines podcasting for those of us not in the know, he then goes on to provide enough links to keep us listening (and learning) for hours.

The latest installment of The Healthy Skeptic finds Sal Marinello’s tongue planted firmly in his cheek as he discusses the inverse relationship between pesticide use and penis size. You might want to put that coffee down before you read this one.

Picked by last week’s chosen authors:

From Howard Dratch:

Although picking another piece by Richard Marcus makes it seem as if I don’t read other people, he writes a lot and he writes well. In this case, he again writes bravely. So I choose Richard’s article Chronic Pain: The Illness That Doesn’t Exist precisely for its honesty and courageousness. (I did sing along with Alice’s Restaurant and remember sweet, albeit mostly stuffy, Stockbridge where Alice put the restaurant.)

About Lisa McKay

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