New and Not(e)worthy – The Sherman Oaks Review of Books 2016 09 06
The Gluten-Free Anarchist Cookbook by Neal Enpray – Give this book a double helping of kudos for relevance, as it arrives just in time for both today’s healthy lifestyle trend and the various crises (income inequality, climate change, jihadist terrorism) of global capitalism. Assembling homemade weapons, electronics, drugs, and explosives to “fight the power” is dangerous enough without having to worry about celiac disease. What good is an anarchist if he—or she!—is sick all the time? Enhance the contradictions,¡sí! Having to worry about exposure to gluten,¡no!
The Care and Feeding of Ornamental Ducks by A. Personage – Unlike regular ducks, ornamental ducks are particularly fragile, immobile, and prone to breakage. This revised edition of the classic is therefore most welcome, both among the care and the feeding communities.
Civilization and its Discos by “K-Rud” – One could argue, as does this author, that the whole purpose of civilization is to “make accessible to several hundred exceptionally beautiful people a venue in which they can take illicit drugs and dance to deafening music until such time as someone o.d.’s in the Ladies Room, the authorities are summoned, and everyone flees in desperate haste.” That’s debatable, but why bother? Includes photographs of surly doormen.
Gallería! by Juanita Mendoza y Rosenbloom – What appears, from its image-free, one-word cover, to be a celebration of malls and other enclosed shopping facilities, from Naples, Italy to Sherman Oaks, California, is, in fact, a small, self-published tract on the importance of joy (“alegría”) in everyday life. The title on the cover is some kind of monstrous typo, apparently (and is reproduced on the title page). No photographs of welcoming facades, swarms of jubilant holiday shoppers, spectacularly-lit interiors, festive indoor fountains, attractive high-end display windows, cannily-sited kiddie rides, local indigenous kiosks, amusingly-varied food courts, or of anything else. Just this high school senior from Buenos Aires telling us how happy she is all the time. For collectors of South American juvenilia only.
The Girl Who Knew Other Girls by Algernon Bloom – A young woman married to a dyslexic serial killer in World War II France hires an Israeli art restorer to assassinate a hired killer who has joined forces with the F.B.I. to find a missing Michelangelo masterpiece stolen by Thomas Edison’s grandson from a backyard barbeque after a massive earthquake leaves two British newlyweds embittered quadriplegics subject to a media circus. The usual.
Hitlery Klintoon: Antichrist or She-Monster? by G’nash D’Cuspid – A balanced, even-handed examination of “pure evil” by a well-known pundit and maker of the documentaries Bill Clinton Killed My Mother and its follow-up, Somehow My Mother Recovered But Bill Clinton Killed Her Again. D’Cuspid ranges far and wide, comparing his subject to “rage-demons” from Babylonian mythology and calling on all Americans to “tear her limb from limb, if only metaphorically—or not! You tell me.” With photographs that the author admits are “completely Photoshopped but still quite striking and unspeakably horrible.”
When Nothing is Given There is No Need to Thank: A Tiger Mom Thanksgiving by Jin Anton-Nik – A mother of two, following strict Asian parenting techniques, presents tips and tricks for celebrating the season. With step-by-step instructions on not making dinner, harvesting pine cones and Indian corn and throwing them away, and helping children understand the true meaning of remorse for being bad. By the author of Silent Night, Wholly, Totally Ordinary Night: A Tiger Mom Christmas.