Vegas Seven

Book Review

  • Book Review

    Kliph Nesteroff Walks Into a Bookstore …

    By M. Scott Krause

    "The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy" is a terrific book, but don’t let that grand subtitle fool you. Rather than attempt an all-encompassing history of American comedy, Nesteroff wisely focuses his gaze on the evolution of stand-up

  • Reading

    His Life as a Ramone Is Worth Reading About

    By Lissa Townsend Rodgers

    You know a book is rock ’n’ roll when not one but two cars catch fire in the course of the narrative.

  • Bookini

    A Literary Author Gets Criminal in The Secret History of Las Vegas

    By M. Scott Krause

    There’s a pile of dead bodies at the center of Chris Abani’s latest novel, but don’t go betting on a run-of-the-mill mystery. "The Secret History of Las Vegas" is literary fiction from a celebrated practitioner, so dismiss any ideas of a by-the-numbers procedural.

  • Book Jacket

    Just like jet lag, it takes time to acclimatize to this travelogue

    By M. Scott Krause

    I’ve spent the better part of the past two weeks mostly avoiding Pam Houston’s new novel, Contents May Have Shifted. I’d open it up, read 10 pages, start drifting and immediately look for something else to occupy my time. I dismissed it as too girly, too disjointed, too hippie-dippy, too damn flighty. Fifty pages in, I told several friends the book was boring. “Well written, but about as appealing as a Lifetime Movie of the Week.” Definitely not for me.

  • Librarian Loves

    Take the Stairs

    In his new book, Take the Stairs, Seven Steps to Achieving True Success (Perigee Trade, $23), author and motivational speaker Rory Vaden reminds us that self-discipline is the key to achieving success in all aspects of our lives. Procrastination, lack of focus, acceptance of the “average” and incomplete commitment are all enemies of self-discipline that get in the way of our creating our best selves. This book is a quick read and an inspiring reminder that what seems to be the easy way in the short term can end up being harder in the long term. 

  • Reading

    The Shadow of a Hitman

    By Akilah Jordan

    People have encouraged Wendy Mazaros to tell her story for years. And for good reason. There’s something about the runaway-turned-mob wife that captures the imagination. She’s been the subject of media attention for decades—from ’70s-era newspaper articles to an upcoming spot on the Discovery Channel’s I Married a Mobster to an appearance in a video installation in the new Mob Museum. But there’s a big difference between telling your story and having it told.

  • Librarian Loves

    The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

    A brilliant writer, surgeon and MacArthur Fellow, Atul Gawande has written, in The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (Metropolitan Books, 2009), about how we can significantly reduce errors by using humble, well-designed checklists. As a surgeon, he was motivated to find ways to assist doctors in making split-second decisions in pressure-filled, complicated environments. His provocative thinking and findings are readily applicable to any daily or work-life situation.

  • Book Jacket

    Lethem’s book doesn’t induce ‘ecstasy,’ but it comes close

    By M. Scott Krause

    At what point did I fall out of love with Jonathan Lethem’s writing? I was an early, enthusiastic supporter of his debut novel, Gun, With Occasional Music (1994) and his follow-up, Amnesia Moon (1995). By the time Motherless Brooklyn (1999) appeared, to great acclaim, I couldn’t have been happier. Here was a former bookseller who’d made good, a writer who’d outgrown his science-fiction roots and matured into a serious novelist. Bully for Lethem.

  • He Gets Paid for This

    First he wrote a memoir about deferring dreams of magic for law school (Lawyer Boy: A Case Study on Growing Up, St. Martin’s Press, 2008). Then he wrote a second memoir about deferring lawyering to study magic and deception in Las Vegas (Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners and How Not to Get Screwed in Vegas, St. Martin’s Griffin, 2011).

  • Book Review

    Vegas native turns his rock critic past into debut novel

    By M. Scott Krause

    As a critic, it’s not hard to develop some level of contempt for the material you review. Books, movies, music—for every buried gem, there’s a mountain of garbage demanding your time but completely unworthy of your attention. Vegas native Andrew Kiraly knows the feeling. As former editor at both Las Vegas CityLife and the late Las Vegas Mercury, he’s written more than his share of music columns, features and profiles. Cut Kiraly, and he bleeds alt-weekly ink.

  • Book Review

    The Man Who Stares at Himself

    By Maureen Tkacik, The New York Observer

    The amygdala is a region of most vertebrate brains that acts as a gatekeeper to memory, assigning priority to memories on the basis of emotional intensity, and in the process molding our emotional reflexes. Anyone who has been in combat or a car accident should get the idea. But psychopaths, who suffer from a total deficit of amygdalal activity and its attendant empathy, never acquire such searing long-term memories.

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