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Jeff Arena rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Bark by Lorrie Moore
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Lorrie Moore's prior catalog of brilliant stories is more varied than first recall suggests, yet they share key qualities (a serrated narrative voice, a population of highly educated, keenly observant women) and emotions (anger pulled taut across sor

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Jeff Arena rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Congratulations, by the way by George Saunders
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This is the text of what must have been a lovely and successful commencement address. It is heartfelt, personal, and inspiring. As a stand-alone book, it is slight, and as a design artifact, it is entirely Hallmark (presumably the publisher's strateg ...more
Jeff Arena rated a book 2 of 5 stars
You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me by Nathan Rabin
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Now that I know him, I still don't like him.


The kernel of You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me could be a great book about music, outsiders, class, and more. As executed by Nathan Rabin, however, this is little more than a gloss on those possibili

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Jeff Arena rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Sing for Me by Karen Halvorsen Schreck
Sing for Me
by Karen Halvorsen Schreck (Goodreads Author)
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Sing for Me shouldn't work as well as it does. A historically research piece about race, art, religion, immigrant culture, labor and class relations, gender, family, disability, and (perhaps most of all) the mythic place known as Chicago, the novel w

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Sing for Me by Karen Halvorsen Schreck
Sing for Me
by Karen Halvorsen Schreck (Goodreads Author)
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Jeff Arena rated a book 4 of 5 stars
Flash Boys by Michael Lewis
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In Flash Boys Michael Lewis builds on the stories of The Big Short to reveal the hidden ways Wall Street leverages technology against investors by trading milliseconds before (and against) the average purchase (and by creating dark pools, essentially

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Jeff Arena rated a book 4 of 5 stars
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
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Michael Lewis is a compelling storyteller, and The Big Short succeeds by taking a nationally (or even globally) complex story and breaking it into the (mainly) sequential stories of smart, flawed, curious people--each of whom illuminates a small sect ...more
Jeff Arena rated a book 3 of 5 stars
Fashion Beast by Alan Moore
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Malcolm McLaren inspired this (a more accurate credit than calling him a collaborator) and the premise seems constructed to provide a setting for the lyrics to his single "Deep in Vogue" from 1988. Alan Moore has crafted a futuristic Beauty and the B ...more
Jeff Arena rated a book 2 of 5 stars
Lovely Head and Other Plays by Neil LaBute
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This collection of short works holds few if any pieces that push Neil LaBute in new, exciting directions. They isn't much experimentation in form or theme; they're simply shorter, or orphaned works that needed companions to be published. You'll find ...more
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