Books

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Page 1
The book cover, with the English title in white, superimposed over red Chinese characters, & a black-and-white historic photo

Beethoven in Beijing, by Jennifer Lin

The Philadelphians in China

Lavishly illustrated and full of anecdotes and surprising tidbits about people and places, Beethoven in Beijing deserves a place in the home of every music-lover and every student of the ever-changing tide of East-West relations. Linda Holt reviews.
Linda Holt

Linda Holt

Reviews 3 minute read
The book cover. The title on an orange background, with slender images of mosaic, grass, cement, and dirt winding beneath.

Ways of Walking, edited by Ann de Forest

Headed somewhere together

A new anthology by Philly writer Ann de Forest explores how we walk, and where, and
why that experience means such different things for different bodies. Anndee Hochman reviews.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Reviews 5 minute read
The book cover. The upper half shows the classical façade of the school; the lower a crowded city protest for school funding.

The Roots of Educational Inequality: Philadelphia’s Germantown High School, 1907-2014, by Erika M. Kitzmiller

A century in Germantown

We know how the story of Germantown High School ended, but how did it begin? A new book explains, and highlights the fault lines that remain in our schools today. Anndee Hochman reviews.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Reviews 5 minute read
Book cover. The title and author appear in white, over a black & white photo of a young Dan Rottenberg on a city street.

The Education of a Journalist, by Dan Rottenberg

The power of public discussion

As his readers already know, BSR founding editor Dan Rottenberg loves a good debate, a quest he affirms in his journalistic memoir. Longtime colleague Rob Laymon reviews.
Rob Laymon

Rob Laymon

Reviews 5 minute read
Monáe is dressed in white with black accents, singing into a mic, on stage, with lights and a banner behind her.

The Weekly Roundup, April 13-20

A contemporary speculative and sci-fi recommended reading list

Kyle V. Hiller rounds up sci-fi and speculative fiction novels for the sake of spring ahead of the release of Janelle Monáe's new book The Memory Librarian.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 4 minute read
The book cover. Each letter of the title appears in a different color, next to an illustration of a hand pointing 1 finger up

True Biz, by Sara Nović

Real talk from the Deaf community

Philadelphia writer Sara Nović’s new novel follows the students and teachers of a school for the deaf, making the case that we all need a shared language. Kirsten Bowen reviews.
Kirsten Bowen

Kirsten Bowen

Reviews 4 minute read
The book cover. The title and author text appears in white over a fractured-looking, abstract, photographic blue illustration

Below Torrential Hill, by Jonathan Koven

What the comet knew of Tristen

A 2021 novella from Philly author Jonathan Koven, published thanks to the Electric Eclectic Novella Prize, is a new entry in a hoary tradition, but not without poetic merits. Walter Bilderback reviews.
Walter Bilderback

Walter Bilderback

Reviews 3 minute read
B&w photo of Billie Holiday. On stage, she sings in front of a vintage microphone

The Weekly Roundup, March 23-30

Joy Harjo, Tools of the Trade, a night with Lady Day, and a very Gritty AWP

The week features a visit from the 23rd US poet laureate, a crafty conference, a show based on one of Billie Holiday’s final performances, and a Philly-centric event for AWP. Kyle V. Hiller rounds up.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 4 minute read
Two women sit next to each other. One has a dress w/ floral accents & a phone; the other is in casual clothes reading a book

The Weekly Roundup, March 2-9

Sisterhood Sit-in, Everyday Futures, and TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever

Theatre Horizon hosts James Ijames’s TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever, Harriett’s Bookshop trolleys to Black women-owned businesses, and the future of South Philly highlight the week. Kyle V. Hiller rounds up.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 4 minute read
The book cover. A brown-and-white illustration of a screened door and doormat, with the title written on the doormat.

Dreadful Sorry: Essays on an American Nostalgia by Jennifer Niesslein

Chasing completeness

In Pennsylvania native Jennifer Niesslein’s deeply personal new essay collection, she grapples with the personal, political, and cultural myths of America today. Grace Kennedy reviews.
Grace Kennedy

Grace Kennedy

Reviews 5 minute read