Short Rats Read 2009


“Nightmare Scenario” by Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker (NOV09)
•”Serious Problems, Serious Values: Are there Aesthetic Dilemmas?” by Marcia Muelder Eaton, Ethics and the Arts: An Anthology Ed. David E.W. Fenner (279-289)
“The Politics of Death” by Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 30NOV09
“Letter from Mogadishu: The Most Failed State” by Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 14DEC09
“Diary: The Cup Comes to Cape Town” by R.W. Johnson, London Review of Books 17DEC09
“Loggerheads” by David Sedaris, The New Yorker 07DEC09
“Either/Or: Sports, Sex and the Runner Caster Semenya” by Ariel Levy, The New Yorker 30NOV09
“An Old Fashioned Coup” by William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 30NOV09
“Defending the Arsenal” by Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker, 16NOV09
“Captive” by Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker 9NOV09
“The Undead Travel” by Avi Davis, The Believer OCT09
“The Predator War” by Jane Mayer, The New Yorker 26OCT09
“Gangland” by Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker 5OCT09
“Ray of the Star”:Ray of the Star by Laird Hunt reviewed by Matthew Tiffany (The National Book Critics Circle presents The Quartery Conversation)
“Motet for Seven Voices”: 7 Poets, 4 Days, 1 Book by Marvin Bell, et. al. reviewed by Kelly Lenox
“New Age in Ages Old”: Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay reviewed by Doug Brown
• “A New Page: Can the Kindle Really Improve on the Book?” by Nicholson Barker, The New Yorker 3AUG09
“Cluing in to the ‘Real’ Nancy Drew”: Confessions of a Teen Sleuth: A Parody by Chelsea Cain reviewed by Meg Daly (The Oregonian)
“Unhappy Together: The Wittgenstein Family Feud: The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War by Alexander Waugh reviewd by Evelyn Toynton (Harper’s)
• “Second Serving of a ‘Movable Feast’ Sparks Debate”: A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition by Ernest Hemingway reviewed by Steve Paul
• “The Lost Years”: Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change, 1934-1957 by Matthew J. Smith reviewed by Madison Smartt Bell (The Nation)
• “Same Sex, Different Continent”: When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage by M V Badget reviewed by Sal Renshaw (Ms. Magazine)
• “Eloquent Phantom: Tayeb Salih’s search for an elusive present”: Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih reviewed by Robyn Creswell (Harper’s Magazine)
• “(A) Head of His Time”: Nog by Rudolph Wurlitzer reviewed by Gerry Donaghy (
• “The Prison Dilemma: Getting Past the Punitive Turn”: Cruel and Unusual by Anne-Marie Cusac reviewed by Robert Perkinson (The Nation)
• “A CIA Thriller With a High Body Count “: Jericho’s Fall by Stephen L. Carter reviewed by Patrick Anderson (The Washington Post)
• “One impudent English girl; one unsolved murder”: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley reviewed by Peggy McMullen (The Oregonian)
• “Violence of Community”: Death in Spring by Merce Rodoreda reviewed by Ryan Michael Williams (Rain Taxi)
• “The Domestication of the Savage Mind”: What is Intelligence?: Beyond the Flynn Effect by James R. Flynn reviewed by Cosma Shalizi (American Scientist)
• Ugly Man and Other Stories by Dennis Cooper reviewed by S.P. MacIntyre, Monsters and Critics (7/17/09)
• “Get Smart” by Jamais Cascio, The Atlantic JUL/AUG09
• “Grimly Perfect”: Where Madness Reigns: The Art of Gris Grimly by Gris Grimly reviewed by Chrisl Bolton (
• “Troy Jollimore on God’s Evolution”: The Evolution of God by Robert Wright reviewed by Troy Jollimore (National Book Critics Circle presents Truthdig)
• “A Mad, Bad and Brutal Baron”: The Bloody White Baron: The Extraordinary Story of the Russian Nobleman Who Became the Last Khan of Mongolia by James Palmer reviewed by Anne Applebaum (The New York Review of Books)
• “Brain Gain” by Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker 27APR09
• “The Secret History” by Jane Mayer, The New Yorker 22JUN09
• “Don’t Shoot” by John Seabrook, The New Yorker 22JUN09
• “The Evolution of Amazon” by Adam L Penenberg, Fast Company JUL/AUG09
• “Flesh and Blood” by Pamela Colloff, Texas Monthly JUN09
• “Just Say Know”: This is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim reviewed by Gerry Donaghy (PowellsBooks.Blog)
• “White Nationalists Find Sundry Faults with the U.S. Government”: Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins of the Mainstream by Leonard Zeskind reviewed by Art Winslow (Los Angeles Times)
• “The Hero as Romantic Plant”: Saga of the Swamp Thing: Swamp Thing #01 by Alan Moore reviewed by John Pistelli (Rain Taxi)
• “Hello, Muddah… Hello, Fadduh…”:Camp Camp: Where Fantasy Island Meets Lord of the Flies by Roger Bennett (Ed.) reviewed by Sarah Miller (PowellsBooks.Blog)
• “Sex and the Single Wizard” by James Parker, The Atlantic JUL/AUG09
• “The Black Dahlia” by Jack Webb in True Crime (Library of America)
• “Remarkable Case of Arrest for Murder” by Abraham Lincoln in True Crime (Library of America)
• “The Case of the Scattered Dutchman” by A.J. Liebling in True Crime (Library of America)
• “A Scanner Darkly”: The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell reviewed by Paul La Farge, The Believer MAY09
• “Now We Know”: Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America by John Earl Haynes, Harvey Klehr, and Alexander Vassiliev reviewed by Anne Applebaum (The New Republic)
• “Of Potter and Proust” by Jesse Jarnow, Paste MAY09
• “Our Vanishing Night” by Verlyn Klinkenborg, National Geographic NOV08
• “The Puffington Host”: Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe (And What You Need To Know To End The Madness) by Arianna Huffington reviewed by Isaac Chotiner (The New Republic)
• “Roots into Entrails”: Landscape in Concrete by Jakov Lind reviewed by Karen Vanuska (Open Letters)
• “The Year of the Elephant: Our Cold War with Iran Unfolds in Lebanon” by David Samuels, The New Republic 20MAY09
• “Airplane! How a Fighter Jet Explains Why We’re Losing the War on Terror” by Michael Crowley, The New Republic 20MAY09
• “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” by Skip Hollandsworth, Texas Monthly MAR09
• “Like Boiling a Frog”: The Wikipedia Revolution by Andr
ew Lin reviewed by David Runciman, London Review of Books 29MAY09
• “Drink Up: The Rise of Really Cheap Wine” by Dana Goodyear, New Yorker 18MAY09
• “My Life with Playboy” from The Man in the Flying Lawn Chair by George Plimpton
• “The Fifth Blade” by Adam Gopnik, New Yorker 11MAY09
• Part of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
• “A Passsage to India: Rudresh Mahanthappa Chooses a Heritage” by Gary Giddins, New Yorker 02MAR09
• “Across the Universe” by Thomas Mallon, The Atlantic MAY09
• “Porn Panic” by C. Brian Smith, The Advocate MAY09
• “Hollywood’s Rogue Humanoid” by Mark Borden, Fast Company MAY09
• “The Unfinished” by D.T. Max, New Yorker 09MAR09
• “Can Iran Change?” by Jon Lee Anderson, New Yorker, 13APR09
• “A Nameless Vocation”: The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation by Fanny Howe reviewed by Ange Mlinko (The Nation)
• “Deep Doo-Doo”: The Culture of Flushing: A Social and Legal History of Sewage by Jamie Benidickson reviewed by Christopher Hamlin (American Scientist)
• “The Watcher” by Italo Calvino from The Watcher and Other Stories”
• “‘Moon’ with an Irresistable Pull”: The Shanghai Moon by S.J. Rozen reviewed by Maureen Corrigan (Washington Post Book World)
• “The Latest in Mental Health: Working Out at the ‘Brain Gym'” by Kelly Greene (Wall Street Journal)
• Bits and pieces of An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons and True Stories edited by Ivan Brunetti
• Bits and pieces of The Best American Comics 2007 edited by Chris Ware
• Bits and pieces of The Best American Comics 2008 edited by Lynda Barry
• “A Devil-Obsessed Conglomeration of Christian Misfits” by William Giraldi, The Believer, MAR/APR2009
• “Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?” by Benjamin Edelman, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Winter 2009
• “Contemplating the New Physicality of Cinema” by C.S. Leigh, The Believer, MAR/APR2009
• “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us” by Bill Joy, Wired
• “The Back Channel: India and Pakistan’s Secret Kashmir Talks” by Steve Coll, New Yorker, 02MAR09
• “The Structure of Everything”: Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio reviewed by Marc Kaufman (Washington Post Books)
• “Our Vanishing Night” by Verlyn Klinkenborg, National Geographic, NOV09
• “Southern Discomfort: The Origins of Flannery O’Connor’s Unsettling Fictional World” by Wendy Lesser, Bookforum, FEB/MAR09
• “Alien Nation” by Tom Vanderbilt, Bookforum, FEB/MAR09
• “Montreal in Play” by Adam Sachs, National Geographic Traveler, MAR09
• “Opening Night: The Scene from the Airport Slums” by Katherine Boo, New Yorker, 23FEB09
• “A Wine Tale” (poem) by August Kleinzahler, London Review of Books, 12FEB09
• “The Rule of the Road”: After Tamerlane by John Darwin reviewed by Sanjay Subrahmanyam, London Review of Books, 12FEB09
• “Where Is My Mind?”: Supersizing the Mind by Andy Clark reviewed by Jerry Fodor, London Review of Books, 12FEB09
• “Atomic Robo: The Will to Power” (1 of 6) by Brian Clevinger & Scott Wegener (iPhone)
• “Atomic John” by David Samuels, New Yorker, 15DEC08
• “A Paean to the Time when Everyone — Even Doctors — Knew How to Write Properly “: Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey reviewed by Michael Dirda (Washington Post)
• “Seeing Eye to Eye” William T. Vollmann on the Ethics of Photography, Bookforum, FEB/MAR09
• “Balanchine Said” by Arlene Croce, New Yorker, 26JAN09
• “The Dystopians” by Ben McGrath, New Yorker, 26JAN09
• “The Murder of Leo Tolstoy: A Forensic Investigation” by Elif Batuman, Harper’s, FEB09
• “Bogieman” by Carole Nelson Douglas in Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy
• “Lucky” by Charlaine Harris in Unusual Suspects: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy
• “Spreading the Word” by Judith Thurman, New Yorker, 19JAN09
• “The King of Sentences” by Jonathan Lethem from The New Yorker reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 2008
• “How Wood Works”: How Fiction Works by James Wood reviewd by William Deresiewicz (The Nation)
• “The New New Media”: The Future of the Internet (And How to Stop It) by Jonathan Zittrain reviewed by Tim Wu (The New Republic)
• “Post Hoax, Ergo Propter Hoax”: Beyond the Hoax by Alan Sokal reviewed by Michael Bérubé (American Scientist)
• “Less a Metaphor than a Reading of the Author’s Self-Perception”: Amerika: The Missing Person by Franz Kafka reviewed by David L. Ulin (Los Angeles Times)
• “Lives of the Saints” by Jonathan Harr, New Yorker, 05JAN09

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