New Books Network

Matt Rahaim, “Musicking Bodies: Gesture and Voice in Hindustani Music” (Wesleyan UP, 2012)
Have you seen North Indian vocalists improvise? Their hands and voices move together to trace intricate melodic patterns. If we think that music is just made of sequences of notes, then this motion may seem quite puzzling at first. But the physical motion of singers reveal that there is much... Read More
Matthew Pennock, “Sudden Dog” (Alice James Books, 2012)
In Sudden Dog, the voice we encounter is a moody one to say the least. We find a poet who at times seems to believe the entire human project is stupid – and I mean all of it. While at other times we meet a speaker so desperate for an... Read More
Nathan Hesselink, “SamulNori: Contemporary Korean Drumming and the Rebirth of Itinerant Performance Culture” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
The name of the group is deceptively simple: Samul (“four objects”) + Nori (“folk entertainment”) = SamulNori. Nathan Hesselink‘s new book traces the transformations of this complex contemporary Korean drumming ensemble from its first concert in a cramped Seoul basement in 1978 through the 1990s, by which time they had... Read More
Samuel Amadon, “The Hartford Book: Poems” (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012)
To read Samuel Amadon‘s latest book of poems, The Hartford Book (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2012), is to know for the rest of your life what it feels like to be punched in the nose. In these poems, we are introduced to a band of misfits who turn deviant... Read More
Catherine Tackley, “Benny Goodman’s Famous 1939 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert” (Oxford UP, 2011)
Feed: “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” Comic: “Practice!” When I first began to build a jazz record library back in the early 1960s, one particular album stood out. A rare “double-album,” Benny Goodman’s Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert was more akin in appearance to the records in... Read More
Douglas R. Skopp, “Shadows Walking” (CreateSpace, 2010)
“First do no harm.” Every doctor in the Western medical tradition swears to observe this basic principle of the Hippocratic oath before he or she receives a license to practice. Yet in Nazi Germany, doctors who had sworn to heal participated in grotesque medical experiments on concentration-camp prisoners, conducted sterilization... Read More
Peter Benjaminson, “Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown’s First Superstar” (Chicago Review Press, 2012)
Who is Motown’s first real star? The answer, of course, is Mary Wells, singer of such classics as “My Guy,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “The One Who Really Loves You,” “You Beat Me to the Punch,” and “Two Lovers,” among others. All of these hits were released in just four years... Read More