Weekly Wire

Volume I, Issue 33
January 20 - January 26, 1998

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Dusting off the Bookshelf
Short reviews of the novel "Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden, and various other 1997 releases. [2]

Soul Search
"All Saints," Karen Palmer's emotionally haunting debut novel, traces the paths of three lost souls in New Orleans in the 1950s. [3]
Merrik Bush

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Crumb on Your Table
Underground artist R. Crumb goes legit with a big fat coffee table tome. [4]
Ernie Longmire

Other Voices
A review of George Plimpton's latest book, with the self-explanatory title: "Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintainces and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career." [5]
Ray Pride

Bravo for Brahms
Author Jan Swafford turns out a sympathetic but restrained, very readable biography of the celebrated composer. [6]
Christine Wald-Hopkins

Desert Buzz
Author John Alcock, a professor of zoology at Arizona State University and prolific writer about Sonoran Desert ecology, must be a suburban neighbor's worst nightmare. [7]
Gregory McNamee

Now What?
Love to read? Need some clever ideas? Our library of resources and staff picks are guaranteed to turn on plenty of mental light bulbs via your electrified eye sockets. [9]

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kay, I'm sold. Arthur Golden's "Memoirs of a Geisha" is 1997's must-read book. In this article covering many of the year's releases, the reviewer gives "Memoirs" something akin to a 10, an A-plus, four stars, two thumbs up and a gold star all at once. And here I thought I'd never be interested in the life of a geisha.

I'm not quite as sold on Karen Palmer's "All Saints," though the review makes it sound like pretty good reading, what with its 1950s New Orleans setting and all. The story just sounds a little too melodramatic. I'm much more intrigued by the psychosexual obsessions filling up Robert Crumb's new coffee table book. Seems the once-obscure comic book artist is riding a big, fat wave of relevance thanks to the success of the recent documentary about him. Way to go, you crusty old geek!

Speaking of crusty old geeks, George Plimpton's new book about Truman Capote (properly pronounced "Kah-poe-TAY" among those of us in the know) has raised quite a ruckus of late. Plimpton's been accused of gossip-mongering and insubstantiality, but his defenders have called the approach an appropriate one for the subject. Either way, you gotta love Capote.

Our reviews also cover non-fiction books about Brahms and bugs, bugs and Brahms. Whether you prefer reading about funeral-march music or the (non) mating patterns of aphids is entirely up to you. Me, I think I'll be going for the "Geisha."

Mini Reviews
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Speed Reader

  • "Dirty Laundry: 100 Days in a Zen Monastery" by Robert Winson and Miriam Sagan
  • "Family: American Writers Remember Their Own" edited by Sharon Sloan Fiffer and Steve Fiffer
  • "Aerobleu" by Leslie Ann Nash
  • "Virtual Spaces: Sex and the Cyber Citizen" by Cleo Odzer

Book Festival

Northern Arizona Book Festival
Feeling multicultural? Then be sure to check in with the phenomenal and varied group of authors meeting at this free conference February 6 through 8. Presented by Weekly Wire, the festival includes dozens of the most respected names in literature. Don't miss it!

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