Tag Archives: Reviews

Culture: The New Review Magazine – Dec 4, 2022

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@ObsNewReview – December 4, 2022 issue:

American photographer Nan Goldin on conquering her opioid addiction and taking on the Sackler dynasty Interview by Sean O’Hagan.

On my radar: @davidshrigley

What broke Made.com? by @ameliargh

Does religious faith lead to a happier life? By @d_a_robson

Q&A with @aj_vasan by @AmmarKalia2

And our critics on the week’s arts highlights

Preview: New York Times Magazine – Dec 4, 2022

Photo illustration by Todd St. John.

@NYTMagDecember 4, 2022 issue:

Where Does All the Cardboard Come From? I Had to Know.

Entire forests and enormous factories running 24/7 can barely keep up with demand. This is how the cardboard economy works.

‘Avatar’ and the Mystery of the Vanishing Blockbuster

It was the highest-grossing film in history, but for years it was remembered mainly for having been forgotten. Why?

After Covid, Playing Trumpet Taught Me How to Breathe Again

The benefits of group (music) therapy.

Tom Stoppard Fears the Virus of Antisemitism Has Been Reactivated

Previews: The Progressive Magazine – December 2022

The Progressive Magazine - Reporting the truth since 1909. - Progressive.org

@theprogressive Magazine December 2022/January 2023:

Revitalizing America’s News Deserts

The devastating loss of local news outlets is a crisis for democracy. We can still fix it.

Edge of Sports: The World Cup of Shame

Qatar’s event is a human rights disaster—and a spectacle of sportswashing in an age of capitalist decay.

Big Brother at the Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is searching, downloading, and storing electronic data from thousands of travelers’ devices each year without a warrant.

Research Preview: Science Magazine – Dec 2, 2022

Current Issue Cover

@ScienceMagazine December 2, 2022:

Madagascar’s extraordinary biodiversity: Evolution, distribution, and use

Early snowmelt and polar jet dynamics co-influence recent extreme Siberian fire seasons

Monitoring of cell-cell communication and contact history in mammals

The human signal peptidase complex acts as a quality control enzyme for membrane proteins

Books: Literary Review UK Magazine – December 2022

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Literary Review – December 2022/January 2023:

DIARY

JOANNA KAVENNA  – Happiness is a Cold Fjord

ART

Prince of Caricatura – James Gillray: A Revolution in Satire By Tim Clayton

Artist Before a Mirror – Picasso: The Self-Portraits By Pascal Bonafoux

Oils and Water – Looking to Sea: Britain Through the Eyes of Its Artists By Lily Le Brun

Stairways to Heaven – Hilma af Klint: A Biography By Julia Voss (Translated from German by Anne Posten)

LITERARY LIVES

CAROLYNE LARRINGTON I Have Wedded Fyve!The Wife of Bath: A BiographyBy Marion TurnerNORMA CLARKE Sense & InsolvencySister Novelists: The Trailblazing Porter Sisters, Who Paved the Way for Austen and the BrontësBy Devoney LooserLRRICHARD DAVENPORT-HINES Yours Chastely, TomThe Hyacinth Girl: T S Eliot’s Hidden MuseBy Lyndall GordonMary & Mr Eliot: A Sort of Love StoryBy Mary Trevelyan & Erica Wagner

Research Preview: Nature Magazine – Dec 1, 2022

Volume 612 Issue 7938

Science Magazine – December 1, 2022 issue:

Research Highlights

Fast-evolving genome regions point to DNA that sets humans apart

The collection of 1,500 rapidly changing segments is rich in sequences associated with brain development and disease.

Prehistoric rubbish hints that early cooks cared about flavour

Ancient chefs made bitter plants taste better with techniques such as grinding and soaking.

Off the hook: electrical device keeps sharks away from fishing lines

Such interventions could greatly reduce accidental catches of threatened species.

Devastating drought in East Africa is traced to nearby seas

Understanding the weather pattern known as the Indian Ocean Dipole might help to predict lack of rainfall in countries such as Kenya.

Reports: Tufts Health & Nutrition – December 2022

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December 2022 Issue:

Beware of “Health-Washing”

Front-of-package health claims can be helpful—but they can also be misleading. Learn how to tell the difference.

Habitual Coffee Consumption Associated with Health Benefits

A study that followed nearly 400,000 middle-aged individuals in the U.K. for a median of over 10 years found that, compared to individuals who reported drinking less than one cup of coffee a day, drinking four or more eight-ounce cups a day was associated with lower risk of 30 medical conditions.

FDA Proposes New Definition of “Healthy” on Food Packages

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed new draft guidelines for food manufacturers who want to label their products as “healthy.” This term was last defined in the 1990s. According to the FDA, “our current definition permits manufacturers to use the claim ‘healthy’ on some foods that, based on the most up-to-date nutrition.

Preview: New Scientist Magazine – Dec 3, 2022

ISSUE 3415 | MAGAZINE COVER DATE: 3 December 2022 | New Scientist

New Scientist – December 3, 2022 issue:

  • FEATURES – The search for Britain’s lost rainforests and the battle to save them
  • FEATURES – How postbiotics could boost your health and even help reverse ageing
  • FEATURES – The strange quantum effects of twisted, graphene-like materials

Reviews: New York Times ’10 Best Books Of 2022′

NOVEMBER 29, 2022

The staff of The New York Times Book Review choose the year’s standout fiction and nonfiction.

You don’t need to have read Egan’s Pulitzer-winning “A Visit From the Goon Squad” to jump feet first into this much-anticipated sequel. But for lovers of the 2010 book’s prematurely nostalgic New Yorkers, cerebral beauty and laser-sharp take on modernity, “The Candy House” is like coming home — albeit to dystopia. This time around, Egan’s characters are variously the creators and prisoners of a universe in which, through the wonders of technology, people can access their entire memory banks and use the contents as social media currency. The result is a glorious, hideous fun house that feels more familiar than sci-fi, all rendered with Egan’s signature inventive confidence and — perhaps most impressive of all — heart. “The Candy House” is of its moment, with all that implies.

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Bennett, a British writer who makes her home in Ireland, first leaped onto the scene with her 2015 debut novel, “Pond.” Her second book contains all of the first’s linguistic artistry and dark wit, but it is even more exhilarating. “Checkout 19,” ostensibly the story of a young woman falling in love with language in a working-class town outside London, has an unusual setting: the human mind — a brilliant, surprising, weird and very funny one. All the words one might use to describe this book — experimental, autofictional, surrealist — fail to convey the sheer pleasure of “Checkout 19.” You’ll come away dazed, delighted, reminded of just how much fun reading can be, eager to share it with people in your lives. It’s a love letter to books, and an argument for them, too.

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Kingsolver’s powerful new novel, a close retelling of Charles Dickens’s “David Copperfield” set in contemporary Appalachia, gallops through issues including childhood poverty, opioid addiction and rural dispossession even as its larger focus remains squarely on the question of how an artist’s consciousness is formed. Like Dickens, Kingsolver is unblushingly political and works on a sprawling scale, animating her pages with an abundance of charm and the presence of seemingly every creeping thing that has ever crept upon the earth.

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After losing her brother when she was 12, one of the narrators of Serpell’s second novel keeps coming across men who resemble him as she works through her trauma long into adulthood. She enters an intimate relationship with one of them, who’s also haunted by his past. This richly layered book explores the nature of grief, how it can stretch or compress time, reshape memories and make us dream up alternate realities. “I don’t want to tell you what happened,” the narrator says. “I want to tell you how it felt.”

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Diaz uncovers the secrets of an American fortune in the early 20th century, detailing the dizzying rise of a New York financier and the enigmatic talents of his wife. Each of the novel’s four parts, which are told from different perspectives, redirects the narrative (and upends readers’ expectations) while paying tribute to literary titans from Henry James to Jorge Luis Borges. Whose version of events can we trust? Diaz’s spotlight on stories behind stories seeks out the dark workings behind capitalism, as well as the uncredited figures behind the so-called Great Men of history. It’s an exhilarating pursuit.

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Yong certainly gave himself a formidable task with this book — getting humans to step outside their “sensory bubble” and consider how nonhuman animals experience the world. But the enormous difficulty of making sense of senses we do not have is a reminder that each one of us has a purchase on only a sliver of reality. Yong is a terrific storyteller, and there are plenty of surprising animal facts to keep this book moving toward its profound conclusion: The breadth of this immense world should make us recognize how small we really are.

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In this quietly wrenching memoir, Hsu recalls starting out at Berkeley in the mid-1990s as a watchful music snob, fastidiously curating his tastes and mercilessly judging the tastes of others. Then he met Ken, a Japanese American frat boy. Their friendship was intense, but brief. Less than three years later, Ken would be killed in a carjacking. Hsu traces the course of their relationship — one that seemed improbable at first but eventually became a fixture in his life, a trellis along which both young men could stretch and grow.

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In this rich and nuanced book, Aviv writes about people in extreme mental distress, beginning with her own experience of being told she had anorexia when she was 6 years old. That personal history made her especially attuned to how stories can clarify as well as distort what a person is going through. This isn’t an anti-psychiatry book — Aviv is too aware of the specifics of any situation to succumb to anything so sweeping. What she does is hold space for empathy and uncertainty, exploring a multiplicity of stories instead of jumping at the impulse to explain them away.

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Through case histories as well as independent reporting, Villarosa’s remarkable third book elegantly traces the effects of the legacy of slavery — and the doctrine of anti-Blackness that sprang up to philosophically justify it — on Black health: reproductive, environmental, mental and more. Beginning with a long personal history of her awakening to these structural inequalities, the journalist repositions various narratives about race and medicine — the soaring Black maternal mortality rates; the rise of heart disease and hypertension; the oft-repeated dictum that Black people reject psychological therapy — as evidence not of Black inferiority, but of racism in the health care system.

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O’Toole, a prolific essayist and critic, calls this inventive narrative “a personal history of modern Ireland” — an ambitious project, but one he pulls off with élan. Charting six decades of Irish history against his own life, O’Toole manages to both deftly illustrate a country in drastic flux, and include a sly, self-deprecating biography that infuses his sociology with humor and pathos. You’ll be educated, yes — about increasing secularism, the Celtic tiger, human rights — but you’ll also be wildly, uproariously entertained by a gifted raconteur at the height of his powers.

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Previews: The Guardian Weekly – December 2, 2022

Warning signs: inside the 2 December Guardian Weekly | China | The Guardian

Warning signs: inside the 2 December Guardian Weekly | China | The Guardian

Discontent over China’s zero-Covid suppression policy came to a head last weekend in a series of unprecedented protests across the country. The civil disobedience – remarkable just for the fact it was happening at all in a state where such behaviour is rarely tolerated – seemed to have been smothered by police by the start of the week. Even so it revealed to the world signs of a hitherto unseen fracture in China’s totalitarian political system.

From one Cop to another: hot on the heels of the recent climate conference comes this month’s global summit on biodiversity, which is being held in Montreal. To set the scene, biodiversity reporter Phoebe Weston explains how the damage done to the natural world is a tale of decline spanning thousands of years. Can delegates at Cop15 seize their chance to change the narrative?

With five Grammy awards off the back of four albums spanning everything from folk to jazz and pop, the British multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier is a global phenomenon. But despite being feted by music royalty including Stormzy, Chris Martin and Herbie Hancock, the 28-year-old has kept a relatively low profile. Global music critic Ammar Kalia takes a trip into Collier’s colourful, polyharmonic world of quarter-tones and non-standardised pitch.