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Short Stories

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Bang Crunch -  - Neil Smith Vintage, $13.95 / - paperback  -  - The collection of nine stories that - is Bang Crunch grabs you by the socks and flips - you upside down, giving you a view of the world that is - at the same time ordinary and not quite right. With this - debut, Canadian author Smith proves his storytelling - talent, making you laugh in one moment and pause to - ponder life and love in the very next. There's one piece - that may throw you for a loop  a back-and-forth tale - that begins from the point of view of a pair of calfskin - gloves  but don't let it stop you from experiencing all - that Smith brings to the table. In the end, fans of short - fiction will want more, and full-length novel fans will - crave the arrival of Smith's first novel. (According to his - press materials, it's "about heaven.")  Kirsten - Akens -
  • Bang Crunch

    Neil Smith
    Vintage, $13.95 / paperback

    The collection of nine stories that is Bang Crunch grabs you by the socks and flips you upside down, giving you a view of the world that is at the same time ordinary and not quite right. With this debut, Canadian author Smith proves his storytelling talent, making you laugh in one moment and pause to ponder life and love in the very next. There's one piece that may throw you for a loop a back-and-forth tale that begins from the point of view of a pair of calfskin gloves but don't let it stop you from experiencing all that Smith brings to the table. In the end, fans of short fiction will want more, and full-length novel fans will crave the arrival of Smith's first novel. (According to his press materials, it's "about heaven.") Kirsten Akens

-  -  A New Green History of the World -  - Clive Ponting Penguin, $16 / - paperback  -  - In this updated edition of the Brit - historian's 1991 release, Ponting makes seemingly - irrefutable arguments for why large groups of people - throughout history have imploded their societies in - relation to locale and resources. Beginning with an - account of how the Easter Islanders came to cut down - their last tree, then backtracking to civilization's greatest - leap (agricultural development), Ponting traces the rise - in ecological pressure and its effect on civilizations. His - work, though dense and requiring an affinity for - anthropological text, reveals some ugly truths while - standing as a prophetic encapsulation of problems still - worsening. Sadly, his tone points to the reality that it's - hard to remove doom and gloom from worldwide - forecasts.  Matthew Schniper
  • A New Green History of the World

    Clive Ponting
    Penguin, $16 / paperback

    In this updated edition of the Brit historian's 1991 release, Ponting makes seemingly irrefutable arguments for why large groups of people throughout history have imploded their societies in relation to locale and resources. Beginning with an account of how the Easter Islanders came to cut down their last tree, then backtracking to civilization's greatest leap (agricultural development), Ponting traces the rise in ecological pressure and its effect on civilizations. His work, though dense and requiring an affinity for anthropological text, reveals some ugly truths while standing as a prophetic encapsulation of problems still worsening. Sadly, his tone points to the reality that it's hard to remove doom and gloom from worldwide forecasts. Matthew Schniper

Monday Night Jihad -  - Jason Elam and Steve Yohn Tyndale - House, $19.99 / hardcover  -  - So, I only read the - first 50 pages or so of Elam and Yohn's debut novel - about America fighter/NFL star Riley Covington. To be - fair, it's not that bad of a read. It's fast-paced airport - fiction telling the story of a terrorist plot and, I assume, - its rebuttal. But I couldn't pull myself through it. The - references to God throughout, the holier-than-thou tone - in which it's written and the resounding FOX News - Channel endorsement were all a little much for me. It's - impressive, I guess, that Elam's got this talent, but don't - kid yourself; this is a book about faith. If that floats your - boat, Monday Night Jihad will score with you - as will its follow-ups, which Elam and Yohn must be - anticipating, considering they've christened this effort "a - Riley Covington thriller."  Pete - Freedman
  • Monday Night Jihad

    Jason Elam and Steve Yohn
    Tyndale House, $19.99 / hardcover

    So, I only read the first 50 pages or so of Elam and Yohn's debut novel about America fighter/NFL star Riley Covington. To be fair, it's not that bad of a read. It's fast-paced airport fiction telling the story of a terrorist plot and, I assume, its rebuttal. But I couldn't pull myself through it. The references to God throughout, the holier-than-thou tone in which it's written and the resounding FOX News Channel endorsement were all a little much for me. It's impressive, I guess, that Elam's got this talent, but don't kid yourself; this is a book about faith. If that floats your boat, Monday Night Jihad will score with you as will its follow-ups, which Elam and Yohn must be anticipating, considering they've christened this effort "a Riley Covington thriller." Pete Freedman

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