1. Some recent Library Journal reviews.

    From the May 1 issue:

    Gastman, Roger. Pump Me Up: DC Subculture of the 1980s. Ginko. Mar. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781584235132. $44.95. FINE ARTS

    Gastman (coauthor, The History of American Graffiti) has spent the past two decades compiling poster art, buttons, clothing, and ephemera from the go go and punk communities that animated DC music culture in the 1980s. Through interviews with civil rights luminary Walter Fauntroy and music icon Ian MacKaye as well as essays about poster companies, music venues, and graffiti, the book chronicles the visual culture of DC’s most distinctive musical genres. Henry Rollins, former Black Flag front man and native Washingtonian, introduces the book; Cool “Disco” Dan, the underground yet ubiquitous DC graffiti artist, is profiled prominently. Gastman also directed the recent documentary, The Legend of Cool “Disco” Dan, with Joseph Pattisall. VERDICT While DC has changed radically since the 1980s, an important piece of it survives here. This celebration of a bygone DC provides a refreshing alternative to the many books that trumpet New York’s gritty past—it’s interesting to see how other American cities did it. Recommended for readers interested in graphic design, 20th-century urban histories, the visual culture of music, and all things DC.—Molly McArdle, Library Journal

    From the June 15 issue:

    OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | June 15, 2013al-Shaykh, Hanan. One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling. Pantheon. Jun. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780307958860. $26. F

    Lebanese novelist al-Shaykh (Women of Sand and Myrrh) takes the hundreds of stories that make up the traditional One Thousand and One Nights and pares them down to a concise 19. Focusing on tales that expose misogyny—of men who kill their wives and lovers, who injure them, or who leave them for dead—al-Shaykh is interested in how women grapple with a society that is stacked against them. Gone are Aladdin, Ali Baba, and even much of Sinbad, but what remains is a haunting collection of stories about women who, if not always heroic, are resilient, funny, sexual, and, above all, smart. Anchored by two central framing narratives, the tales lead into one another like a set of matryoshka dolls. The beautiful language is deceptively simple: readers are in danger of being lulled into marathon reading sessions. VERDICT It’s no wonder al-Shaykh identifies with Shahrazad; they are very much the same. This retelling will find an eager audience in readers who love folktales, especially those with a feminist slant. Not for the faint of heart, these stories are gory, lusty, and very, very good. [See Author Q&A, LJ Reviews, ow.ly/kzWHL].—Molly McArdle, Library Journal

     
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