Books

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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
The cover features the side profile illustration of a Black youth wearing a purple headband, and colorful background

The Weekly Roundup, February 23-March 2

The Fleecing and This Bitter Earth return, Farah Jasmine Griffin visits Philly, and more

A week with healing comedy, streaming theater performances you may have missed, Afro-Cuban jazz, and a visit from author Farah Jasmine Griffin. Kyle V. Hiller rounds up.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Previews 3 minute read
Book cover. Title appears to the left of an illustration: two women’s faces, as if staring through shard-shaped rips in paper

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You by Ariel Delgado Dixon

Such devoted sisters

Trauma and abandonment reverberate throughout the lives of two sisters in Ariel Delgado Dixon’s debut novel, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You. Kirsten Bowen reviews.
Kirsten Bowen

Kirsten Bowen

Reviews 3 minute read
Book cover. The title appears over a spooky illustrated collage including dark trees, human bones, crypt, hourglass & crown

Dark History of Penn’s Woods by Jennifer L. Green

The folklore and the facts

In Dark History of Penn’s Woods, Jennifer L. Green shines a light on the little-known, real-life historical terrors of Chester and Delaware Counties, and how they inform our present. Josh Hitchens reviews.
Josh Hitchens

Josh Hitchens

Reviews 3 minute read