book review

American landscapes: a review of SF native Sean Wilsey's essay collection, 'More Curious'

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Midway through the introduction to More Curious (McSweeney's Books, 342 pp., $22), his recently-published collection of essays from the last 15 years, Sean Wilsey (who appears at the Booksmith Thu/21) reveals his quest to combine the styles of Thomas Pynchon and New Yorker legend Joseph Mitchell — paranoia and precision, respectively.

The introduction itself is a joyfully meta attempt at this very task. The 20-odd pages of often non-sequitorial rumination about the aforementioned authors, the triviality of the 1990s, and the first Obama election can be mistaken as “formless while still astonishingly informative” or “so intricately constructed and fact-filled that the form is too complex to be instantly identified.” The happy reality of all of Wilsey’s essays is somewhere between these two perceptions.

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'Medical miracle' Ozzy Osborne at Booksmith

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Trust the Prince of Darkness – when it comes to health-matters, Ozzy knows what he’s talking about, and I say that with only a slight hint of sarcasm. The man who once cleaned four bottles of cognac each day, dumped a library of pharmaceuticals into his system, and was banned for a decade from San Antonio, Texas, for drunkenly urinating on the Alamo, is today a vegetarian on a diet of rice and beans, a regular exerciser, and sober, sober, sober. For the last year roughly, Ozzy (with the help of Chris Ayres who co-authored his memoir, I Am Ozzy) has been writing a hit column for Rolling Stone and the Sunday Times, answering questions about everything from hangovers, bedbugs, bad breath, love, and parenting with ribald humor, frankness, and lots of personal experience to reference. Read more »

Date with Satan? "Mosh Potatoes" to the rescue!

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Sure, Julia Child was a badass in her own way — but do you think she ever blasted Seventh Son of a Seventh Son while cooking up beef bourguignon? (Gonna guess ... not. I saw the movie so I'm kind of an expert.) For all the would-be chefs who prefer their kitchen adventures with a side of Satan comes Steve "Buckshot" Seabury's Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes and Mayhem from the Heavyweights of Heavy Metal (Atria Books, $15).

Mosh Potatoes isn't the first-ever metal-themed cookbook (see also: Hellbent for Cooking: The Heavy Metal Cookbook by Annick Giroux, which similarly features recipe contributions from famous headbangers). But Mosh Potatoes has the better name. Also, download site Loudtrax.com is running a contest (it ends Monday, a.k.a. February 14, a.k.a. Valentine's Day) in conjunction with the book. For brave culinary warriors only, "We Dare You to Cook Up Lemmy!" offers Kilmister-approved prizes for folks willing to attempt the Motorhead legend's contribution to the book. (Details here; the recipe involves chocolate syrup, curry powder, brandy, and fire, among other things. It is called "Krakatoa Surprise," and I wouldn't get near it even if you offered me a suit made out of Ove Gloves.)

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