Attempting Normal

Marc Maron

Spiegel and Grau

Street: 04.30

Although his 50th birthday is approaching soon, comedian Marc Maron is finally getting the rightful attention and recognition he’s been seeking for nearly two decades. Even though it took a lot longer to become well-known than Maron would have liked, all those years of struggling eventually generated incredible material, which this book captures perfectly. Maron is best known for his brilliant podcast, WTF, which he started back in 2009 as his career was in the ditch and doors were slamming all around him. This book consists of 25 chapters, which are made up of short essays from Maron’s fascinating and sad life as a comic. Never one to be modest or withholding, Maron tells incredible tales of everything from bad experiences with prostitutes and his two failed marriages, to an uncomfortable meeting with Lorne Michaels and stealing from Whole Foods. But after reading Attempting Normal, I almost wish that I had never listened to the podcast, or heard any of Maron’s standup, as some of the material is repeated in the book, which took a little bit of the edge off of the humor. Therefore, if Maron’s name is brand new to you, this book is a fucking goldmine. –Jory Carroll

Black Sabbath: Pioneers of Heavy Metal

Brian Aberback

Enslow Publishers

Street: 08.01.10

In 1968, a force emerged from Birmingham, England, scoffing at hippie ideals and sweeping murky tonality over the music scene. When Black Sabbath released their first LP of the same name, an inkling of what we know today as heavy metal emerged. Brian Aberback’s chronicle of the band, from their genesis to now, recounts details of their early career suitably. However, a great deal of the short account is focused too heavily on Ozzy Osbourne. The launching point for the non-fiction novella is a delineation of each member of the original lineup separately. I enjoyed information about Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi (most notably, convictions that a freak accident resulted in the common practice of down-tuning in modern metal). The remaining portion of the book—detailing the events that unfolded after Osbourne was fired from the ensemble—have a split focus between Osbourne and the remaining band. I would have much preferred to hear an even account of each integral member, including Ronnie James Dio (had they conducted interviews before his passing). Though I enjoyed a new take on a band so fundamental to my development, I simply can’t imagine myself reading another “unauthorized rockography” from Enslow. –LeAundra Jeffs

Sugar House Review
#7: Fall/Winter ‘12
Various Authors
Sugar House Review
Street: 10.01.12

For their seventh issue, I was stoked to read poems from a variety of authors with different outlooks toward poetry as a craft and the subjects they communicate. This collection covers multiple spectrums of meditations on life and language. While the staff of the Sugar House Review is based in Salt Lake, they accept pieces by authors from all over. Though this creates a diversity that pretty much guarantees you’ll find something that resonates with you, I was hoping to find more words from local authors, or poems based around local themes (of 42 authors, four live in Salt Lake). Local Matthew Ivan Bennet’s poems explored themes of the vision of utopia as taught by Latter-Day Saints. “I Descended from Utopians” is particularly local, as it muses on the utopia hoped for by Mormons, and how that vision became blocked by the “gentiles” that took over. “Humiliation” and “Adult Children,” by Kay Cosgrove, were short but stimulating poems that particularly inspired me. You can download a PDF online at for $2, or find this at local bookstores. With the variety of authors and the nature of poetry, I suggest busting out this book during your small downtime moments. –Brinley Froelich