Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday with Monk

In the last week, I commented on the politics of student debt, discussed Cornel West discussing Obama and discovered, without feeling much surprise, that Chomsky's books won't be read inside Guantanamo Bay any time soon. Now it's time for the Sunday review:
  • Superfreakonomics will misinform readers on climate change, according to Melanie Fitzpatrick. I read most of Freakonomics a few years ago, and back then I noticed that they have a thing for being contrarian, but this attitude has its consequences. And this time it apparently includes misinterpreting one of their primary sources on climate change.
  • For anybody who remembers having to reference The Elements of Style, Mark Garvey has written a book on Strunk and White, although this review was enough for me.
  • A new biography of Thelonious Monk. Biographies of musicians, even in jazz, can be a mixed bag (the NYT pubilshed an excerpt here). Reviewing for the New York Times, August Kleinzahler writes that Robin D.G. Kelley,
the author of “Race Rebels” and other books, makes use of the “carpet bombing” method in this biography. It is not pretty, or terribly selective, but it is thorough and hugely effective. He knows music, especially Monk’s music, and his descriptions of assorted studio and live dates, along with what Monk is up to musically throughout, are handled expertly. The familiar episodes of Monk’s career are all well covered.
  • 365 books in 365 days? Not with my reading list, which will be up next week, along with a review of Roberto Bolano's The Skating Rink.

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