Book Reviews

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The Beatles
Hunter Davies
W.W. Norton & Company
Street: 09.13.10
When I was in college, I took “History of Rock and Roll,” and as a Beatles fan, I was eager to learn everything I could about the Fab Four. I wasn’t disappointed as I loaded up on more trivia than I could possibly retain. After reading Davies’ updated version of the 1968 biography of the Beatles, it became clear where my professor got his source material on the band. Through his relationships and candid conversations with the band members, their friends and family, Davies delivers a revealing look at the lives of one of the biggest bands ever. I was most surprised at how much I really didn’t know about the band as I read up on the personalities of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Some of the greatest moments of the book come from conversations with each member individually, in which they talk about each other. The personality conflicts that arose and the disagreements that perplexed the band seem to have been well hidden—at least to myself, born a decade or two after the original publishing. This should be on the reading list of any aspiring Beatlemaniac. –Ben Trentelman

Meat Is For Pussies
John Joseph
Crush Books
Street: 04.15.10
Front man of the legendary hardcore punk band Cro-Mags, John Joseph wants you to stop being such a pussy. This read is loud and raucous, not unlike Joseph himself, and clearly geared towards a target audience of dudes with the same characteristics. I’m a chick who, he suggests, might instead enjoy The Skinny Bitch, a book in the same vein geared towards—you guessed it—chicks. In any case, I’m sure many a dude could get some very significant health benefits from following some of the advice Joseph doles out in his aggressive manifesto. Some of the advice is fucked, like eating Boca Burgers as a part of a healthy, minimally processed diet—Boca Burgers and the rest of the texturized vegetable protein family are nothing if not highly processed non-food shit. And you boys should all stay away from estrogen mimicking soy—especially the highly processed version you’ll find in most vegetarian meat substitutes. Those little issues aside, I don’t doubt for a minute that Joseph feels way better now than he did back when he ate all the other processed shit too, including the majority of cancer-causing, nitrate and hormone filled processed meat products typically consumed by ‘meat-eaters.’ Joseph now advocates the power of including more REAL food, such as whole fruits, veggies and other single-ingredient natural foods. So, considering that as a main aspect of the diet plan, I suppose the Meat is for Pussies diet should work for you as long as you don’t get caught in the same old trap of consuming all the over-processed vegetarian non-foods that are the staples of so many vegetarians. –P. Buchanan

White Planet: A Mad Dash Through Modern Global Ski Culture
Leslie Anthony
GreyStone Publishing
Street: 03.01
When skiers write about their past, their books typically tend to be filled with arrogant and self-centered stories that focus on their coolness factor, near-death experiences on the slopes or nostalgia about how much better things were “back in the day.” Leslie Anthony’s White Planet: A Mad Dash Through Modern Global Ski Culture fits the stereotypes to a tee. Although I enjoyed the numerous stories of Anthony being on the verge of losing his life just for a few turns, and hearing about the places that he has been because of skiing, the read was difficult. Leslie Anthony jumps from place to place, which made the book feel like I was reading a blog. If you’re a skier, it is a decent read, perfect for waiting for the road to open or just killing time. However, if you don’t have a passion for traveling or skiing, I would recommend passing on this for something a little meatier. –Dex Mills

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