Vesco Arthur Herzog

Robert Vesco was no doubt the most spectacular figure to emerge from the conglomerate mania of the 1960s. His meteoric rise to wealth and fame was quickly followed in the early 1970s by a spectacular fall, then flight from the United States to avoid the possibility of serving time for securities fraud. In this biography Arthur Herzog, in the words of The New York Times, has "painstakingly followed Mr. Vesco's odyssey." VESCO untangles the web of myth and deceit woven around the canny financier, at the same time exposing the roles played by men of wealth and power in facilitating his rise from obscurity. It is a fascinating study of greed and self-delusion in the world of capitalist high finance.

Cocktails In Paris Michael Newman

Michael Newman's play Cocktails In Paris is a witty, engaging satire on the cafe life as lived by six twenty year old foreign students on Paris's left bank. The play takes place during a single afternoon at an outdoor cafe table. As the erudite but pompous, Oxford-educated Simon and the bright, earnest American David spend the afternoon drinking and engaging in a prolonged verbal joust, they are watched by the sweet German girl Katya, who barely says a word. After a while they are joined by the sophisticated Jewish-American Princess sisters Tricia and Julia, whose jaded, worldly comments provide a satiric counterpoint to the boys' semi-pointless argumentation. As the afternoon falls into evening Magnus, a Swedish friend, joins them for the drunken finale.

Park Bench Women Martha Moffett

Martha Moffett's PARK BENCH WOMEN found their lives entangled during the years their small children shared a playground and a co-op nursery school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In those years the women were primarily mothers, pushing strollers and wiping runny noses while their husbands enjoyed the excitement and glamour of careers in the big city. In particular this drama is the story of Liddy and Miranda, whose entanglements included Liddy's affair with Miranda's husband Sam. Twenty years later, divorced, re-married, with their children grown, the women are now the artists, photographers and writers they dreamed of becoming as they sat together on the playground benches twenty years before. Their lives have drifted apart, but on the occasion of Miranda's art show opening, they are re-united, and Liddy and Miranda confront their knowledge of what was really going on in those park bench years. Park Bench Women is a wryly humorous yet powerfully moving look at women's lives from the sixties to the nineties, as the women realize that their friendships have outlasted their marriages, and their own lives have come to overshadow the lives of their former husbands.

The Politics of Ecology James Ridgeway

THE POLITICS OF ECOLOGY exposes the attempts made by some of America's worst corporate polluters to wrap themselves in a mantle of environmental responsibility at the time of the first Earth Day, in 1970. While Richard Nixon publicly welcomed Earth Day, hoping it would serve to distract the public's attention from the Vietnam War, his administration and politicians of both parties worked behind the scenes to co-opt and gut an environmental movement that seemed poised to become a powerful force for change. This book provides an overview of both the technical and the political aspects of the struggle for a better environment, covering the time period from the late nineteenth century to 1970. The book concentrates on water and air pollution, and includes detailed discussions of the technology of sewage treatment, the major polluting activities of the big oil companies, and the ambiguous role played by the movement for population control.

A Hard Time To Come Nick Fuse

In A Hard Time To Come Nick Fuse has created a stylish and original black comedy in the guise of an action thriller. The ultimate victim of 20th century malaise, Robert Truilo, an aspiring novelist, inhabits a dreamlike universe where the ground constantly shifts and nothing is ever what it seems. Set in New York City in the 1980s, the story picks up Truilo’s trail a few weeks after his wife leaves him. Subject to alternating moods of confusion, depression, and puppy-like hope, Truilo becomes indirectly and unknowingly entangled in the affairs of the mad Dr. Brecker, who seeks a biochemical agent that can kill humans without affecting other species. Incorporating stylistic elements that range from Mickey Spillane to James Joyce, A Hard Time To Come is a rare find that spans the commercial and literary publishing worlds.

By Degrees Matt D'Agostino

In the tradition of the fast, free-wheeling caper novels of master crime novelists Donald E. Westlake and Richard Stark, Matt D'Agostino's By Degrees is also a sharp satire of television, politics and academe. The story begins as a motley group of brilliant yet underpaid Ivy League Ph.D. candidates join forces to pull off the most audacious kidnapping in history -- disguised as Afghan terrorists. Sparks fly as these underdog intellectuals pit their wits against political correctness, the wasteland of TV, and New York's Finest, leading to a stunning climax.

Divers A. R. Lamb

A philandering submariner is kidnapped by two radical lesbians who subject him to "Total Reform Hypnosis", installing a new past in his subconscious. A tenant, discovering a solid gold fish under his floorboards, installs the fish in the sea in the hope that it will act as a magnet for suspended gold particles. Another tenant, determined to be kind to the miserly Polish landlord who tries to claim the fish as his, takes him to body-drumming classes, where they both experience profound revelations. An auxiliary in a mental hospital voluntarily becomes blank, mute and incontinent to prove that the appearance of annihilation does not necessarily mirror the actuality. The members of the Aquarians, a tropical fish club, are capable of behaving like a shoal. These are a few of the aqueous plot elements, sometimes parallel, sometimes intertwined, of Divers, A. R. Lamb's first novel. Set in a world that is achingly real yet somehow just out of reach, this surreal tale is a tantalizing dream of the very near future or the immediate past. Written in a unique style that blends wit and longing, Divers is multi-layered, seductive, and enlightening.

Encountering C. Maxwell Montana Kane

ENCOUNTERING C. MAXWELL is an ode to adventure, to the thrill of the road, to the possibility of discovery, and to the ecstasies of creative expression. It is also a rarely sung ode to solitude in which Celia Maxwell, armed with a Nikon and a sense of humor, criss-crosses Latin America chasing another C. Maxwell, whom she believes to be her intellectual and spiritual doppelganger. The novel is written in a unique style that perfectly reflects Celia's complex inner life as an outsider, an artist and a high-functioning neurotic. As her journey ends, Celia is forced to confront the reality that the happy ending she imagined will not quite match the happy ending she can have.

Hawk Island Mark Kilburn

What happens when you believe that you are being watched, that others are monitoring your every move and controlling your destiny? And what if your paranoia is justified: not only are you an integral part of the plot, but one of the prime movers? In Mark Kilburn's HAWK ISLAND, a young drifter finds work at a bleak, glamourless casino, where he is drawn into an underworld of crime. After a botched robbery he finds himself exiled to a mysterious colony where days are filled with hard labor and cruel punishment. At times he catches sight of a fog-shrouded island in the distance: Hawk Island, with its stone tower. Soon he is made overseer on the island, in charge of the "stone people", a race of humans without language. Here he learns the truth about his role in the events that have been unfolding. Hawk Island is a haunting and darkly beautiful fugue on the the banality of evil.

Heat Arthur Herzog

HEAT is a fast-paced thriller based on the facts of global warming, a book with special relevance to the continuing failure of industrial society and its political leaders to mandate a substantial reduction in carbon emissions. The government's top environmental scientist receives new data showing that carbon dioxide stored in the ocean waters is suddenly being released, marking a key turning point on the road to an unstoppable climatic catastrophe. Knowing that the release of CO2 from the oceans will immediately exacerbate the greenhouse effect and speed up global warming, the scientist attempts to alert the president, so that a massive last ditch campaign to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from industrial and consumer sources can be started at once. He is thwarted in this effort by two high level administration appointees, who fear that forcing a major change in consumer habits in an election year will lead to defeat at the polls. The bureaucratic coverup and resulting delay in alerting the president threatens to close the small window of opportunity for human intervention to turn the situation around.

Highland Avenue Brian Michael Bradley

In the tradition of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski, Brian Bradley's Highland Avenue is a jolt of reality, a slap in the face, a fierce assault on middle class sensibilities. A blow-by-blow account of life in the drug-fueled nether world of lower class Los Angeles, it is the story of a man under the influence, addicted to a life of drugs and sex, falling out of control. Highland Avenue holds up a cracked mirror to glamorous Hollywood and reflects back the ugly realities that teem just under the glittering surface. Lee's style rocks with the lingo and rhythm of the street, and his wild characters and situations will make you laugh out loud. Highland Avenue is a riveting tale that cannot be put down.

IQ 83 Arthur Herzog

First published in 1978, Arthur Herzog's prophetic and nightmarish thriller IQ 83 raises the hard social, moral, and political questions that are only now coming to the forefront of society’s concern. While working on a cure for mental retardation a research team makes a mistake in gene splicing and unleashes an epidemic of "stupid sickness." The scientists and their families are affected first, but the virus soon spreads to the general population, causing a reduction in the national average IQ to 83. As his own IQ steadily drops, lead scientist Jim Healey races to find an antidote to the menace before his own mental deterioration is complete. The picture of a stratified society where IQ is the only important measure of a human's worth is unsettling, and the book's premise of a genetic experiment that runs amok is more relevant now than ever.

Iron Peter Charles Ortleb

Charles Ortleb takes a comic look at the AIDS establishment and the effect of the HIV-AIDS theory on gay life in the nineties in IRON PETER, a satirical novel. Peter, a beautiful young man who arrives in New York City fresh out of college, is determined to "assassinate" the AIDS epidemic. In the course of his researches in the library and the bars, he realizes that the AIDS scientists, the AIDS activists, and the entire AIDS establishment are hooked on a false theory (HIV=AIDS) that is leading them nowhere. To make matters worse, the AIDS scientists, in league with the pharmaceutical companies, are prescribing highly toxic drugs (AZT, DDI, etc.) to AIDS patients, thus adding thousands of unnecessary deaths to the epidemic. When Peter meets a renegade heiress whose peak experiences were Woodstock and Watergate, the gay and the (sort of) straight world are united in a crusade to expose this AIDSgate scandal to the world.

Kora Anjali Venugopal

Kora is a multi-layered story that blends elements of mystery, spirituality, politics and romance to immerse the reader in middle class India from the 1950s through the 1990s. Anjali Venugopal’s richly detailed characters provide a unique look into life in a modernizing India, and her story has a tone and texture that inexorably sucks the reader into its time and place. The resulting novel is a thick and tasty slice-of-life whose protagonist is caught between the old and new worlds, between New York and India, and between guilt, hope, and despair.

North Eden Nick Fuse

Nick Fuse's third novel, North Eden, is the story of one man's escape from a regimented, high pressure life devoid of meaning into a realm of spiritual light. Sandy Tenney, an accountant at Biztek, trapped on the corporate treadmill, finds his only relief in the numbness of alcohol. When his wife suddenly dies he embarks on a binge that leaves him wandering in a snowy graveyard. Waking from his blackout he encounters two bearded brothers who take him from the graveyard to a strange Victorian house where he meets Percy, a dishevelled but apparently clairvoyant old man. As the story unfolds and Sandy's confusion grows, his daily tribulations in the Biztek bureaucracy are interwoven with nighttime visits to Percy and his friends. Finally Sandy is taken in hand by the lovely, otherworldy Holly, and gradually he begins to "see the light." As always with Nick Fuse's work, North Eden is both stylistically and thematically unique. But what makes this arguably his finest novel is that, beyond the melancholy wit and black humor, North Eden is infused with a surrealistic, poetic, dreamlike quality that jumps from the page to the reader with an irresistible and apparently effortless force.

Pelican Bay Daniel Hallford

On his release from California's maximum security prison at Pelican Bay, Jimmy Kendall is determined to re-unite with Rita, his old flame and, he thinks, true love. But Rita, now a call girl with a string of unsavory clients, is not so sure of her feelings. Kendall is also determined to leave behind his prison gang past, in which he served as a hit man for the Aryan Brotherhood in their wars with the Black Guerilla Family. He quickly discovers that the world into which the ex-con is thrust is no less confining than the walls of Pelican Bay, and that his past involvement with gangs and violence has set him on a road with no exits. Daniel Hallford's PELICAN BAY is a fast-paced and riveting look at the ugly underbelly of society where sleazy businessmen and corrupt politicians mingle easily with desperate call girls and ruthless killers.

Sinking Fund Jamila Jones

SINKING FUND, a collection of nine stories by Jamila Jones, opens the door into a world of self-aware souls who touch but for a moment before retracting into inevitable isolation.  Set in downtown New York in the decade of the nineties, Sinking Fund depicts a sophisticated demi-monde of casual love and casual vice, a world whose denizens could be called cynical if only they weren't so lost.  Yet the protagonist of these stories clings to the hope that her search, amid the despair, for some way, any way out of this cruel amber will in the end succeed.  And in the end it is her sheer persistence in the face of futility, like Sisyphus, that becomes the only true faith.

Steep Darby Roach

Darby Roach's STEEP belongs to a breed of humorous thrillers with antecedents in the work of Chester Himes, Elmore Leonard and Tom McGuane. Kline McGarr, an amateur climber, is a sixties radical on the run in the mountainous country on the east slope of the Cascades, haunted by his past, living by his wits, and trying to keep his head down. Ray Stone is an inept redneck who fancies himself an ace detective and all-around macho operative, a delusion fueled by the rantings of his favorite talk show host, Rush-clone Mac Garrity. When Ray and his sidekick Coyote Bob, a troubled Vietnam vet, try to rip off McGarr’s marijuana crop, their humiliation sets them on a quest for revenge that unwinds in a series of chases through the story. While eluding Ray and Bob, McGarr happens on beautiful young Jessie, who is inevitably drawn into the intrigue. All the threads of the story come together when Mac Garrity arrives in town to do an “undercover” story on the degenerate goings-on at AlphaStar, a thriving nineteen-sixties theme resort. The climactic chase sequence unfolds as McGarr and Jessie make a series of steeper and steeper ascents, trying to outrun a very determined Coyote Bob. STEEP is an hilarious send-up of redneck culture, right wing talk radio, and the know-nothing mentality that thrives on it, as well as a sober meditation on mortality and fate.

Stone Babies David Hellerstein

In David Hellerstein's Stone Babies Dr. Jay Sones is a young doctor struggling against the odds to begin a private obstetrical practice specializing in fertility problems, when he is hit with a triple whammy. Denied privileges at the upper east side hospital in whose prestigious infertility lab he was a star researcher, sued for malpractice, and demoralized by a near-fatal assault that leaves his partner brain-damaged, Sones struggles to make ends meet working in the dreaded outer boroughs of New York City. With one foot in the glamorous world of his wealthy girlfriend and the other firmly planted in the poverty and squalor of the slums where he practices medicine, his suspicions grow that the three disastrous events are related, and he finds himself obsessively pursuing the truth. Stone Babies combines edge-of-the seat suspense with immersion in the reality of "Labor and Delivery," and provides ironic takes on the contrasting life styles of Manhattan's Upper East Side and Brooklyn's slums. Stone Babies is a medical thriller, a stylish and satiric novel, and an eye-opening read that leaves the reader with a healthy skepticism of the goings-on at prestigious hospitals, and fully educated on the inequality of medical care in this country.

Strobe Life Thomas M. Atkinson

Women, booze, drugs, violence, reckless high-speed drives across Ohio -- Thomas M. Atkinson's Strobe Life has all this and rock and roll too. V2 is the lead singer in a band whose regular gig is at the Club H in a university town somewhere in Ohio. As he struggles to stay high at all times and maintain an impenetrable front of hopeless cynicism, V is one alpha male who's not a believer. He especially doesn't believe in love (the L word). Women are all over him, toys he uses, then throws away. Hanging with his strange crew of friends -- an ex-New Yorker, a Mexican Indian, a burned-out Vietnam vet, the clothes horse guitar player in the band, and P-Man, his white trash drug dealer -- V proceeds to dig himself deeper and deeper into his solitary hole, even as his friends slowly turn away from the wasted life. Against a rich and fulminating background of characters and incidents from the music-drugs-booze-biker underworld, Strobe Life probes the psyche of a born winner who is starting to realize he's pretty far down the road to becoming a loser after all.

Sweet Justice Herbert Caliste

Sweet Justice is Herbert Caliste's second Greg Darrell detective mystery. When his buddy's wife asks Darrell to check up on her wayward sister Diane, he decides to have a chat with Diane's probation officer, Lonny Mullsby. As they talk Darrell senses that all is not right with Mullsby, and quickly finds himself immersed in a strange universe of body builders, illegal steroids, and murder. As with his first novel, Biloxi P.I., the story is set in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the deeply authentic local color is as integral to the novel as the violent intrigue.

Tattooed Love Dogs Daniel Hallford

Beyond its humor, color and adventure, Daniel Hallford’s Tattooed Love Dogs is a powerful social document. The book is a collection of short stories about ex-cons and repeat cons, their values, their ways of talking, their entire world. These are slices of a life that goes on all around and within regular society, yet remains almost totally beyond society’s field of vision. The actions and thoughts of many of these characters seem unbelievable, and might actually be unbelievable, if it weren’t for the fact that all the stories are based on the author’s real life experiences as a teacher and parole officer for the California Department of Corrections.

The Bar Jack Hendriksen

Jack Hendriksen's The Bar, set in the Midwest in the early nineteen seventies, traces one year in the life of 26 year old Gideon. Gideon, Joe and Charlie were best friends in college. As the novel opens Gideon and Joe have just bought a small blue collar tavern they name the "Handle Bar". Gideon lives in the tiny apartment behind the tavern and shares the bartending with Joe. He also paints, quotes great literature, plays chess, and drinks too much. Gideon, who hasn't had any lovers in almost three years, is envious of his married friends Joe and Charlie. Although as a bartender he meets a lot of women and has a couple of affairs, he feels himself falling in love with Charlie's beautiful wife Melody. As the story follows his growing obsession with Melody to its ultimate end, the low-key, unadorned narration inexorably builds, pulling the reader right inside the Handle Bar with its cast of hard-drinking, rough-talking characters, into their antics and banter, parties and spats. The Bar is a coming of age story, a love story, and a slice of life that grows by degrees towards its passion-filled climax.

The Jailing of Cecelia Capture Janet Campbell Hale

Janet Campbell Hale's novel The Jailing of Cecelia Capture recounts the life story of a thirty year old native American woman who has been arrested for drunk driving. Despite being a student at prestigious Boalt Hall, the law school of UC Berkeley, despite being married to a white man and mother to their two children, Cecelia is haunted by memories of her reservation childhood and her unresolved relationships with her father, her mother and her people. Kept in jail a few days on an old welfare fraud charge, Cecelia spends the entire time musing on her past. The story, deftly written in the third person, veers from poignancy to anger and back, and is one of the jewels of American fiction. Speaking of this novel, Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison said, "The Jailing of Cecelia Capture is a beautifully written book. Janet Campbell Hale's gifts are genuine and deeply felt."

The Seventh Son Douglas Brin

THE SEVENTH SON is Zach Twilley, who could be Holden Caulfield's evil twin — from the wrong side of the tracks. Not since Warren Miller's The Cool World have we heard from a character like this. When his mother's love life starts to give teen-aged Zach that three's-a-crowd feeling, he sets out on his own. As he stumbles through a series of unlikely but perfectly appropriate misadventures, Zach provides a running commentary on the strange world through which he's passing.

The Sting Rays Robert Dunn

Los Angeles, 1969. The Hollywood Hills shine dully through a drifting haze of smog and marijuana smoke, rock music echoes from the canyons, and the horror of a war seven thousand miles away is felt in the protests, be-ins and end-of-an era craziness that grips the younger generation. It's the sixties, peaking, and Robert Dunn's The Sting Rays captures the mood to a tee. When best friends Steve and Peter and a group of college buddies decide to start their own semi-hippie "gang" instead of just hanging out, the resulting movement is bigger than they ever imagined it could be. Their adolescent cravings -- for sex, drugs and rock n'roll, for love, for a reason to believe and to belong, are for a brief shining moment fulfilled. But just as the music had to die, their scene -- the long hair, the headbands, the hash and acid, and the sure belief that their generation would at last escape the eternal karmic circle, has to die too. Against a background of evil news from Altamont and evil vibes from the Manson gang, Steve and Peter come of age and confront an end to innocence. The Sting Rays is an ode to the late sixties, a literary epitaph to an era that no one who was there could ever forget.

Time Runs Dayla Hepting

A quick glance through her biographical data leads to the unavoidable conclusion that Dayla Hepting, the author of Time Runs, has led a life a little less ordinary than the rest of us. A reading of any one of the stories in this book quickly leads to another conclusion, that Dayla Hepting is that rarity of rarities, a natural born writer. Her stories give the impression that they were just jotted down off the top of her head, just happened to come out perfect. She writes here about the wild irradiated west of the 1950s, North Beach of the beat era, hookers, drug addicts, killers, Mormons and Christians, dogs and horses and pigs, and Ruth Bernard Grim, a woman she knew fairly well who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. Her stories pack a visceral, emotional punch that is about as far on the other side of the world from the mannered, neurotic emptiness of the Henry James school of writing as possible. These stories view the world from the bottom up, and are not for the faint of heart.

All of the stories in Time Runs originally appeared in the weekly Anderson Valley Advertiser of Boonville, California. The AVA is a newspaper that consistently publishes, in among the news of local fire district controversies and county supervisor meetings, some of the most imaginative and well-written articles and stories found in the American press today.

To Whom It May Concern Sal Gosse

Sal Gosse's short story collection To Whom It May Concern is a parachute jump into a wild country whose characters are locked in a hard-drinking, sex-bombed, post-adolescent groove that carries them from the heights of ecstasy to hellish despair and back in a few pages. Each of these stories, whether upbeat or downbeat, hard reality or straight-out fantasy, meditation or adventure, is the work of a man whose narrator simply says "Well, I do know I’m crazy but it’s a good thing. When I picture myself happy I’m sitting at the bar with a beer in hand talking shit with whoever will listen. And that’s what I call getting it on." To Whom It May Concern is a compelling page-turner that really does get it on.

Underlay Barry Malzberg

Barry Malzberg's UNDERLAY is an underground classic, a comic gem, and a philosopher's guide to the world of horse racing and wagering. The story is narrated by a degenerate horseplayer in hock to the mob to his eye teeth. This unlucky soul has been assigned to "disinter" the body of the "late but famous Harry the Flat" from his resting place under the backstretch at Aqueduct Racetrack, "in deepest Queens" New York. The story that unfolds as the long day proceeds weaves back and forth in time and reminiscence, tying together events and topics as disparate as the assassination of President Kennedy, the role of the racetrack tip sheet, and the sex life of gamblers. While it is tempting to tag Malzberg's masterpiece with stylistic debts to Runyon and Kafka, the fact is that this brilliant but neglected novel is entirely sui generis.

Biloxi P.I. Herbert Caliste

Gregory Darrell is the P.I. in Herbert Caliste's detective mystery, BILOXI P.I. A woman calling herself Glenda Turman tries to hire him, but refuses to tell him exactly what she's after. Darrell doesn't take the case, but Glenda (aka Joan Plumb) turns up murdered, and he finds himself caught in the intrigue, violence and politics emanating from a child sex porn ring in rural Harrison county. This fast-paced story is suffused with humor, and with the flavor of the area in and around Biloxi, Mississippi.

Cold As Ice Bill Armstrong

Sam MacLeish is the private eye in Bill Armstrong's COLD AS ICE. Obsessed with the vicious shooting murder of his friend Lynn Harding at her Vermont farm house, and the disappearance of her young daughter, Macleish is determined to solve the crime. Making his primitive vacation cabin high in the nearby hills his base, he tries to ferret information from an array of unsavory local characters. In the course of his investigation he manages to alienate the county sherriff and even his own friends. Making blunder after blunder, he finally zeroes in on the murderer, in the process setting himself up as the killer's next victim. The mysterious, awesome beauty of a cold and snowy Vermont winter forms a strangely lyrical backdrop for the mayhem that follows. COLD AS ICE provides a strong dose of nail-biting suspense wrapped in a lovely pastoral setting. Add to that a sharp-eyed look at the backwoods characters and chronic alcoholism of deepest Vermont, and the result is more than unusual, it is irresistible.

Cats Kill Nick Fuse

In his second novel, Cats Kill, Nick Fuse delivers a raucous, rollicking, ribald mystery, a comic tour de force in a lighter vein than A Hard Time to Come. While motoring up the New York Thruway en route to Montreal, detective Collin Collins, with his wife Colleen and their cat Fang, drive into a fog bank and end up stuck for the night in the small town of Hoosis Falls, where Collin is accused of murder. The story is loosely — very loosely — based on Dashiell Hammett’s Thin Man series, except Collin and Colleen (the Nick and Nora characters) seem to have been dropped, along with Fang, (remember Asta?) into an alternate universe. Wang’s Wayside Waterhole, the drinking joint through which the protagonists meander, is the hangout for a number of ancient and decrepit, but very vocal, male citizens of Hoosis Falls, who take a perverse interest in the fate of Collin and a prurient interest in his wife. Meanwhile, Collin and the faithful Fang embark on a night of sleuthing that takes them, by means of various tunnels, false fronts and trap doors, from one end of town to the other. After several hours of mayhem, the story ends, as it must, with all mysteries resolved, and Collin, Colleen and Fang back on the road to Montreal.

La Comida Jeff Westbrook

Unsatisfied with the material rewards and social status generated by his high-powered job as head of construction management at Beanie's, the country's second largest fast food chain, Greg Martin is on the verge of throwing it all over for the uncertain life of an artist.  As a joke he decides to pick up a day laborer and bring him to the office to serve as his butler.  But it turns out that the butler, Guillermo, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, carries with him two surprises: He possesses a recipe that can turn around Beanie's flagging fortunes, and he is peripherally involved in a political bombing directed at California's anti-immigrant Proposition 1.  Set against the backdrop of the growing anti-immigrant movement in California, LA COMIDA is a suspenseful rags-to-riches story imbued with the flavor of Southern California.

The Last Bus Clay Geerdes

The pieces in this collection open a window into a more innocent, pre-digital world whose traces are rapidly disappearing. The Last Bus, Clay Geerdes’s unique take on life and the world, is equal parts memoir, fiction, and social commentary. The early memoirs are based on the author’s experiences growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and as a sailor in the nineteen fifties. These stories immerse the reader in crucial detail, while exhibiting an unusual combination of narrative distance and dry-eyed wistfulness. The result is a well-defined and original Geerdes style with no obvious literary antecedents. The later stories, which are tougher and manifest a sharp-edged view towards the world, focus on the cultural and political scenes in the San Francisco area from the mid-sixties through the mid-nineties. From beginning to end, from the very moving title story through the touching essay "Miss Ganz", this is the story of a man who felt himself always alone, always apart, despite all the human connections in his life. From the evidence here, Clay Geerdes appears to have faced this ultimate aloneness, and indeed his own death, with the sang froid of a seasoned reporter in the battle zone.

The Last Bus was selected from a huge collection of documents the author left behind at his death. Many, but not all, of these stories originally appeared in the weekly Anderson Valley Advertiser of Boonville, California, a paper that has given many writers the space and creative scope that is so rarely available in today’s popular press.

The Reach Of Reflection:  Issues For Phenomenology's Second Century Edited by Steven Crowell, Lester Embree and Samuel J. Julian

This work was organized by the Center for Advanced Research in Phenomenology, Inc. (www.phenomenologycenter.org) to mark the transition from the second to the third millennium, which is also the transition from the first to the second century of the phenomenological tradition. About half the chapters take up more or less traditional philosophical themes or phenomenological problem-areas. These include aesthetics, embodiment, ethics, hermeneutics, history, intersubjectivity, logic and mathematics, ontology, politics, psychology, and religion, as well as "technoscience" and the "cultural disciplines," which extend the scopes of the traditional philosophies of the natural and the social or cultural sciences. An almost equal number of chapters are devoted to relatively new areas, including constructive phenomenology, cognitive science, ecology, ethnicity, gender, genetic phenomenology, horizonality, medicine, and nonhuman animal life. In addition, one chapter confronts an issue that could not have appeared at the beginning of phenomenology's first century, but will play an increasing role in its second: the relation of phenomenology to analytic philosophy.

Politics and Media
Mediaocracy 2000 -- Hail to the Thief Danny Schechter and Roland Schatz, editors

Danny Schechter is the author of News Dissector—Passions, Pieces & Polemics 1960-2000, and a long-time journalist, documentary producer, and media critic. Roland Schatz teaches Communication and Strategic Information Management at the Universities of Berlin, Leipzig, and Prague, and is the founder of Media Tenor, which researches and tracks emerging media trends. In Mediaocracy 2000 -- Hail to the Thief they have collected and put in context 24 articles on the role of the media in U.S. elections, specifically focusing on the 2000 presidential election. Mediaocracy 2000 -- Hail to the Thief (a joint project of MediaChannel.org, Media Tenor, and The World Paper) presents a bulging dossier of evidence that the corporate news media, especially the television networks, have largely abandoned efforts to present serious, diverse and in-depth coverage of election issues and controversies. In thus failing to fulfill their mandate to serve the public interest and foster the democratic process, the media pose an immediate and alarming threat to the bedrock principle—the consent of the governed—on which our form of government is based. In the words of Crocker Snow Jr., editor in chief of The World Paper, this book details "a litany of ineptitude by American news agencies, newspapers, broadcast outlets and Internet editors." Read it and weep.

News Dissector: Passions, Pieces and Polemics Danny Schechter

Danny Schechter has been known as the News Dissector since his days as news director at radio station WBCN-FM in Boston, where from 1970 to 1977 his award-winning daily news program always started with the words “this is Danny Schechter, your news dissector.” News Dissector—Passions, Pieces and Polemics 1960-2000 brings together his writings on politics, human rights and the media from a span of four decades of activism and reporting, including ten years in radio news reporting and twenty years creating television news and public affairs programs and independent documentaries.  Starting with the earliest days of the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements, these pieces provide a fascinating look at the trajectory of what was once simply called “The Movement.” Allen Ginsberg, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, Abbie Hoffman and other key figures from the counterculture and radical politics come alive in these pages, and Schechter’s run-ins with the FBI and the CIA provide scary if entertaining reading.  A large section covers Vietnam during and after the war.  Another section exposes the practices and prejudices of the news media and proposes detailed corrective action.  The collection also includes a number of pieces of a more personal and sometimes emotional nature, the observations, impressions and inspirations of a radical journalist.  News Dissector is an enlightening and important book by one of the few working journalists to emerge from the alternative media of the sixties and seventies with his politics and principals intact.

Pop Culture -- Film
A Purposeful Grimace -- In Defense of Godzilla Jim Knipfel

In this brilliant look at the decades-long, loved and mocked Godzilla movie series, Jim Knipfel delves deep into one of his own obsessions to extract a wealth of cross-cultural insights. Among other things, the book covers the history of monster film special effects, explores the relationship between nuclear war and Godzilla, and analyzes how the evolving film series tracked changing social and political imperatives. A Purposeful Grimace -- In Defense of Godzilla is a fascinating and unique study of one of the Twentieth Century’s most-loved, most-dismissed and most-enduring pop phenomena.

Insignificant Day Debby Turner

With INSIGNIFICANT DAY Debby Turner has created a screenplay of chilling power, a story of the sudden intrusion of the supernatural into daily life.  Megan, young, attractive and sophisticated, is a successful gallery owner but a frustrated artist.  Engaged to wed Raoul but uncertain about her feelings, she tells no one of her plans to take off for a few days alone.  But on the morning of her scheduled departure, checking herself in the mirror, she realizes to her horror that she is not there.  This begins her journey through the Stages, a mysterious parallel world into which people suffering from identity confusion can fall, perhaps forever.  It is a hallmark of this script that it contains nothing at all visually out of the ordinary, no pyrotechnics or special effects, just a relentlessly believable trip through the shadowy places of the mind.  The mood is eerily reminiscent of the 1973 Nicolas Roeg film Don't Look Now with Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland.  Like that thriller, Insignificant Day evokes a relentlessly haunting tone yet always seems utterly real, holding the audience in complete suspense.

Sheba's Boy Frederick Johnson

Frederick Johnson's screenplay Sheba's Boy is the story of an interracial high school romance set in Queens, New York in the late 1950s. When white baseball star Pic' Bremen, from the wrong side of the tracks, transfers into racially mixed Idlewild High School, he quickly becomes involved with an African-American girl, Sheba Anderson. Although her family objects to the relationship, the two manage to continue to see each other through various adventures, until the night Sheba doesn't go home. Full of local color, and set against the stirrings of the Civil Rights Movement in the late 1950s, Sheba's Boy provides an enchanting look at that era seen through the eyes of a pair of adolescent rebels.

True Crime
17 Days: The Katie Beers Story Arthur Herzog

From December 28, 1992 to January 13, 1993, Katie Beers was held captive by John Esposito in a secret underground bunker in Bay Shore, Long Island. On the second day of her captivity Katie celebrated her tenth birthday. 17 DAYS: THE KATIE BEERS STORY is the true story of the kidnapping and eventual rescue of Katie Beers. Before the kidnapping Katie was already the subject of a bitter battle between her natural mother, Marilyn Beers, and family friend and surrogate mother Linda Inghilleri. Mr. Herzog takes the reader into the minds of these women, and provides a fascinating tour of the little-known underworld of poor white Long Island, the world in which Katie Beers lived.

Western Fiction
Bart's Revenge Dorman Chasteen

Set in the border state of Missouri in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, Bart’s Revenge is a true-to-life western whose background is the chaos and social disintegration that followed the Civil War in the South and some border states. No border state suffered more from the severely divided loyalties of its citizens than Missouri, and Dorman Chasteen’s riveting novel was inspired by family stories passed down through the generations concerning these conflicts. After Union soldiers and sympathizers lynch his older brother Clyde for his Confederate sympathies, nineteen year old Bart Helm plots revenge. His ten year old brother Aaron has witnessed the murder, and during a reconnaissance to town is able to point out a number of the perpetrators in a local tavern. Bart’s bloody revenge in the tavern, his flight across the state, and his ultimate arrival and further adventures in Indian Territory are suffused with a level of detail that make this story a gripping read. The author’s descriptions of the social conflicts and diverse motivations of the major characters imbue the novel with a deeper level of sociological and historical authenticity than one usually finds in the genre, making it more than just another western adventure story.