Review by Meg Duke
it's got everything: a millworker's strike in a small PNW town; a rebel family gang of loggers; a brotherly feud; a native's curse; brawls; affairs; plots... oh my! all amidst a totally fluid narrative style, from one character to another without cue or clue, as the grey presses in and rain falls and rivers rise...

Review by Meg Duke
Dope info dump on the worldwide pillaging of forests by unregulated corporations and economies. Definitely broad scope, wish there was an updated edition -- as if the 2003 facts weren't horrifying enough! The werkin' stiff on the cover is a choker setter, the hardest-worked, lowest-paid dog in the entire theft-sale-log-mill-process-product-waste rodeo. Weird hyper-close picture of a poor human for the big-picture book of industrial forest demolition.

Review by Meg Duke
Cool present-day "dystopia" (aka reality) about the tech-surveillance mind-control cabal, written like an amateur mystery. If you can get past the writing (and the weird focus on food -- every meal is detailed), the ideas are good.

Review by Matthew Gilmore
I've read this book through and through several times in the past 15 years and it remains in my opinion one of the best books available on the subject. While the specifics of the material focus on C as it stood in the late 80s, the programming paradigms and practice introduced within have influenced decades of computer scientists and have stood as points of reference in countless other educational works on the subject of programming. Concise, witty, and approachable, I would place The C Programming Language near the top of anyone's programming and computer science reading lists.

Review by Bill Svoboda
This book is about "an exhibition about Sun Ra" (rather than Sun Ra per se.) The exhibition was at Hyde Park Art Center-which is devoted strictly to the visual (rather than musical) arts- this, at least in part, accounts for the rather arcane focus of the exhibition . What might be interesting to view in person doesn't translate all that well to the printed page-especially since the print isn't all that easy to read. Including photos of the band and/or venues where they played (or displaying some of the outfits they wore) would have made this "strictly visual" exhibit much better-but it's still worth a look if you're into Sun Ra.

Review by Bill Svoboda
Another winning formula publication from PM Press. If you're a fan of John Crowley, this could be 5 stars.

Review by Bill Svoboda
Gets an A+ for (ferociously dark, obsessive) effort. "Remember dear, with Vladimir, things are not what they appear." The extensive "Annotations" just make it even weirder.

Review by Meg Duke
It's like a travel diary with no descriptions of place -- only people, and the rapid myriad of images, thoughts and anecdotes they bring with them. Something about anarchy, something about photography, something about mediums and communication with the beyond -- beyond society and its norms. Topics explored are awesome, but not explored in any depth or sense. It was written in a weekend and it shows.

Review by Meg Duke
This book blew my mind with each new essay! This compilation tells of uprisings, maroon communities, tribal alliances, multiracial and multiethnic slave, servant, and worker revolts, whiskey rebellions, and the anarcho-wild folk on the fringe of the frontier, fighting for freedom both before America's independence from Britain as well as after, under the new rule of its upper-class hegemonic government. The history no one has heard, for "to be outside of the law is to be outside of history, which connotes being outside of that most fundamental of laws: the law of time itself."

Review by Meg Duke
Can't decide if the 3-star review is for the book or the main character... but it's beautiful artwork, detailed cityscapes that capture the feel of a place

Review by Meg Duke
What a dream! Beautiful art featuring quirky weirdos and gorgeous landscapes, and a thoughtful exploration of the power and importance of dreams

Review by Matthew Gilmore
I feel like NLP is one of those concepts that we don't naturally give a name to, but something that we all understand in some sort of way. Whether consciously or not, as humans we all have a tendency towards falling into certain social patterns simply by nature of how we're wired. However, it is very centering to see these as patterns ingrained in particular cues and responses. It's too easy to fall into a cycle of only interpreting responses in the context of a singular moment, rather than getting in touch with the patterns inherent in our social design. I always worry that I'll find this sort of pattern-based approach to understanding our social workings disheartening, as it implies a certain lack of free will in our interactions, but the fact that we can also take more of a meta-cognitive approach and dissect our thoughts in the moment then implies a certain level of autonomy and liberation that is both daunting and comforting. One gripe I have here that I have with other similar works is it seems that there is a focus in writers on the mind in applying their writings and methods to others, rather than trying to develop a better sense of self. That being said, as the book says, we are all pursuing excellence, so it must be up to us whether that excellence requires intrinsic, extrinsic, or a combination of factors.

Review by Matthew Gilmore
I didn't know what to expect when I started reading Principia. I was aware of Eris and her discordant ways, but can't say I've ever thought on the concept of a Eris-centric religion. I do find chaos and entropy to be particularly interesting in their power to construct a more spontaneous and exciting world. As I read through the various incantations, by-laws, and statues of the religion of Eris, I began to get a sense of my own internal relationship with chaos and how much I enjoy being both an agent and recipient of entropy. I definitely intend to read through this book again with different eyes and new perspective some day, because I feel like there is always something new to be found in the comfort of chaos. If you need to get in touch with the entropy inside, give the Principia Discordia a read and then start cultivating that constructive discord!

Review by Riley Reasor
Baudrillard's concepts of Hyperreality, Sign Value and Simulation are excellent tools to analyze the cultural climate of contemporary America. His reckless spitballing and theorizing is what makes this text good and also why it suffers. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of Santa Barbara, LA area and California deserts where I spent much of my life. Baudrillard turned the lens from the Marxist fixation on production towards analyzing consumption... A few of his observations concerning race and gender in this novel are a bit unnuanced and offensive but occasionally insightful. I got more out of the first half of the book than the end "utopia realized". He examines America with the lens of the European anthropologist in a sci fi film but the postmodern sarcasm can also become exhausting. While this book has some flaws it might be an accessible window into concepts like Hyperreality, sign value, and Simulacra which offer insight into many current events. I found myself busting up laughing a good deal reading this as well as scratching my head at some of his conclusions... Overall a fun read. 3.5 stars.

Review by Riley Reasor
Lately I have been getting a lot out of reflecting on some of failed promises surrounding the technological innovations of the 90s. One of my first political memories is also the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Sadie Plant was part of a group of thinkers that coalesced under the moniker "Cultural Cybernetic Research Unit" at Warwick University in the late 90s and early 00s. Other thinkers that came out of this area of thought include Nick Land and Mark Fisher. Sadie connects cybernetics to questions of identity and gender, discusses Alan Turing, The Difference Engine and Ada Lovelace, the genetics of peacocks, evolution and xenoestrogens from plastic wreaking havoc on hormones and reproduction. While I'm not sure some of the optimism surrounding Deleuzian visions of rhizomatic organization, decentralized networks, and technological empowerment panned out quite the way Sadie envisioned it is refreshing to read a more optimistic vision for the potential of these things at a moment in time when we seem to be at somewhat of a cultural impasse and often forget how we got here. 3.5 stars Pairs well with Humdog's much more cynical essay on Community in Cyberspace.

Review by Riley Reasor
This is one of the denser more perspective altering books I read in 2020. Recommended to anyone interested in the media climate of the 21st century, the mechanics of capitalism, art, commodification and the failure to imagine a different future. Investigating the Situationists and understanding the successes and failures of what happened in France in 68 may also provide some clues to more effective strategies moving forward. An interesting idea I have encountered in further reading is that rather than subversion (detournement) and recuperation (reintigration by capital) maybe our desire is already formatted by Capitalism. Related Cinema : A Cat Without a Grin by Chris Marker

Review by Riley Reasor
A Power Stronger Than Itself chronicles Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Music and the relationship of a black cultural identity to experimental music through interviews and personal accounts with members such as Roscoe Mitchell, Leo Smith, Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Joseph Jarman, George Lewis, Don Moye and Fred Anderson. The book describes the members' political and economic backgrounds involving racism and poverty and the struggle of making a living as a jazz musician to outline the necessity of the collective. The AACM began in 1965 as a music school, system of dues, gigs and wages, and united these elements with a strong aesthetic vision under idioms such as “Great Black Music”, “Creative Music” or “Ancient to the Future”. Also chronicled are sometimes contentious relationships with what is viewed as Amiri Baraka’s more essentialist visions of a black cultural identity, a complex relationship to European Art Music as well as race and appropriation as well as the political background and possibly utopian elements of experimental and avant garde music as it relates to a black cultural identity. This book may be of interest to anyone interested in the history of jazz and experimental music or anyone who believes that radical political change also involves some element of departure from a paradoxical relationship between mass culture and individualism towards a collective model that creates its own community infrastructure to aid in the creation of different futures. Related Listening: Anthony Braxton - Creative Orchestra Music 1976 Muhal Abrams Orchestra - The Hearinga Suite Territory Band - Atlas 2 Roscoe Mitchell - Sound Leo Smith - Divine Love Art Ensemble of Chicago - Fanfare for the Warriors Fred Anderson Quintet - Another Place

Review by Chelsea Lohr
When someone asks me what comics/graphic novels I like, I inevitably mention Chester Brown's Paying For It. I don't even know if I like it exactly. But I haven't stopped thinking about it since I first read it, which I think is a recommendation in itself.

Review by Chelsea Lohr
Caitlin Doughty has been working publicly to spread death positivity for years via the Order of the Good Death and her Youtube channel Ask a Mortician. This is her first book about her first job in a Bay Area crematorium. She offers an unmatched take on death and the cremation process, rituals and cultural values, and the ways capitalism and fear interrupts them. She's also really funny!

Review by Chelsea Lohr
You don't need any background in Buddhism to grasp Pema Chodron's messages in this book. I picked this book up after suddenly losing my ability to walk and I still keep a copy by my bed to flip through whenever I need a reminder of how to be present with pain.

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