Thursday, May 09, 2019

THEATER: 'BLKS' IS SERIOUSLY FUNNY

BLKS ** 1/2 out of ****
THE ROBERT W. WILSON MCC THEATER SPACE

To the growing list of playwrights of color pushing the boundaries of contemporary theater, you can happily add the name of Aziza Barnes. Is it any wonder they attracted the attention of director Robert O'Hara? No, it is not. He's given BLKS a solid showcase that also shows off the versatility of the mainstage at the relatively new Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space. This was my first visit to the latest addition in NYC's collection of artistic spaces but it won't be my last. And this was my first chance to see a work by Barnes but it surely won't be my last for that either.

In this broad but pointed comedy, Octavia is having a bad day. She (Paige Gilbert) freaks out over a mole on her clitoris; it wasn't there yesterday. When her lover/friend with benefits/whatever Ry (Coral Peña) demurs when asked to play amateur gynecologist and see what's what, Octavia has had enough. She ends their brief fling/burgeoning romance (I don't know what to call it because neither does Octavia). When her roommate June Antoinette Crowe-Legacy) barges in and reveals her boyfriend has cheated on her (again) and a relative of Octavia says the potentially cancerous mole needs to be dealt with right away, they and fellow roomie Imani (Alfie Fuller) agree there's only one solution. Day drinking, rolling a blunt and generally partying up.

What follows is almost a roundelay of sexual entanglements, hilarious banter and the unwelcome but inevitable downer of reality intruding in on the fun via a violent confrontation on the streets and social media updates on the latest killing of a young black man.

Unlike other recent plays, BLKS doesn't become extravagantly out there or form-breaking. It's not a series of sketches but a well-constructed play with characters bouncing off one another in unexpected, revealing ways and a joyous sense of sisterhood. Even when they are practically swapping potential partners, you never doubt Octavia, June and Imani have each others backs. And while the humor is broad and turned up, unlike Barnes we never doubt its essential seriousness either.



O'Hara oversees the show with affection but several elements hold it back. This is probably a three star play hemmed in by certain choices. The scenic design by Clint Ramos is a trickster in its own right. The stage is wide and deep but the central space of the shared living room in their apartment is presented at a cramped, odd angle. It's puzzling until it rotates again and again, almost going widescreen as Ramos reveals a bathroom, bedrooms, a club and even a city street with subway entrances. And yet it both felt over-elaborate and attention-grabbing to me. You shouldn't be thinking about the sets as much as you do here.

Worse, two roles are poorly cast. Marié Botha as That Bitch On The Couch is merely ok as a clueless white woman bedeviled by what's appropriate for her to say. She's not bad and her interaction with Imani turns that character from a seemingly dippy sort into someone much more interesting. And yet, I couldn't help feeling the part deserved someone stronger. And Octavia's love interest Ry was mishandled entirely by Peña, who is making her Off Broadway debut and proved very uncomfortable onstage. Her body movement, her line deliveries, literally everything about her proved awkward, never more so than a key monologue at the climax she barely delivered much less brought to life.

The three leads were much better, with Fuller revealing depths to Imani, Crowe-Legacy full-on Amazonian as she straddled the stage with her personality and take-command voice and Gilbert anchored it all with ease as the conflicted but decent Octavia. Playing a string of male characters but mostly the nerdy, off-beat Justin (a guy who befriends June in a club), Chris Myers is scene-stealing good from start to finish. For a play centered on women, Barnes gifts him with a terrific showcase and Myers (and his abs, a key visual punchline in one scene) makes the most of it.

I wish Barnes had trusted their own talents as much. News alerts about the gunning down of young black men by the police both early on and at the end felt like an unnecessary attempt to prove the play had serious intent. I never doubted it, thanks to that more organic inclusion of a burst of violence on the street and the wickedly funny taunting Imani gives to the white woman she flirts with. Yet even at the end, Barnes insists on a string of monologues that come from a different world than the colorful comedy they created and made us care about.

Indeed, Barnes has a gift for character and dialogue -- when the the man Justin interacts with June but then feels even more complex after following her home and then interacts hilariously with Octavia in yet another unexpected but believable way, it's a sign of great potential. Barnes is a promising playwright but after delivering three women in a setting I'd be glad to return to, TV might just be in their future too.

NOTE: It's not every day NYC gets a new theater space. Check out this quick peek of The Robert W Wilson MCC Theater Space.



THEATER OF 2019

Frankenstein: Under The Radar Fest at the Public ** 1/2
Minor Character: Under The Radar Festival at the Public ***
Ink: Under The Radar  Festival at the Public  ** 1/2
Choir Boy ** 1/2
White Noise ** 1/2
Kiss Me, Kate ***
Ain't No Mo' *** 1/2
Ain't Too Proud **
The Cradle Will Rock * 1/2
Mrs. Murray's Menagerie *** 1/2
Oklahoma! (on Broadway) ** 1/2
Socrates **
The Pain Of My Belligerence *
Burn This **
Hadestown *** 1/2
All My Sons * 1/2
Tootsie ** 1/2
Ink ***
Beetlejuice **
Estado Vegetal ***
Hans Christian Andersen * 1/2
Cirque du Soleil: Luzia ***
BLKS ** 1/2

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the creator of BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day with top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

MUSIC: CHRIS THILE CAPS CARNEGIE HALL RESIDENCY WITH OLD FRIENDS

NICKEL CREEK/PUNCH BROTHERS *** 1/2 out of ****
CARNEGIE HALL 

Did musician Chris Thile just conquer New York? I think he did! The multi-talented, mandolin-brandishing entertainer capped off a residency at Carnegie Hall with a delightful concert celebrating his two key bands: Nickel Creek, the bluegrass rabble rousers (but with respect!) that started it all for him and Punch Brothers, the ongoing group helping Thile to push boundaries of that genre ever further. (Thile won Grammys with both of them, including just this February.) The sold-out crowd was both enthusiastic and attentive, a rare and welcome attribute. The music was accomplished, lovely, lively and naturally climaxed with both groups merging on stage for a raucous hoedown and a final bow.

As if all this weren't enough, Thile just announced that in the future his radio show will record all its episodes in New York City. Yes, Live From Here -- the Show Formerly Known As A Prairie Home Companion -- that mainstay of public radio and a bastion of heartland humor, will be broadcast from the Big Apple. And with Live From Here already test-driven live from Town Hall featuring guests like jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant and Jeff Daniels doing a monologue from the Broadway show To Kill A Mockingbird, Thile makes this transition seem natural and unforced. Longtime fans can rest assured the show is still sponsored by Powdermilk Biscuits while newcomers will discover a sharper, more encompassing mix of humor and music.

If you don't know Thile, you've got a lot of catching up to do. He began performing as a pre-teen (and even guested on A Prairie Home Companion at just 15 years old). Nickel Creek has six studio album and Punch Brothers have five. But wait! Thile also has seven solo albums AND seven collaborative albums, including two especially good ones with respectively Edgar Meyer and Brad Mehldau.  (You can start right now with this 20m set by Nickel Creek for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series.)



The audience at Carnegie Hall clearly had no catching up to do. They began applauding songs the moment a particular beat or familiar melody was introduced. They shouted "Ahoy!" and "Oh boy!" at the right times. And generally they held off on applause until the sound of a song faded mostly away, though one man up front couldn't quite help himself and offered up a quiet but fervent "Yes!" just as one gorgeous tune ended in otherwise perfect silence.  The night began with the slightly more intellectual endeavor Punch Brothers, with songs that often contained distinct movements along with dynamics more often found in rock. After about 80m and a break, the somewhat more traditional Nickel Creek delivered fan favorites audiences have been cherishing for the past 20 years. The concert could happily have run twice as long.

The Punch Brothers set showed off their versatility, from "Julep" to the marvelous and haunting "Another World" from the EP Ahoy. The Nickel Creek set was even better, especially since fans haven't seen them in concert as much in recent years. Sara Watkins delivered especially piercing versions of "Anthony" and Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time." Sean Watkins (her brother) offered an amusing intro to his own "21st of May." And Thile was sometimes a showman (making like Joe Cocker on one especially rocking mandolin solo),  sometimes immersed in the group of musicians at hand and sometimes sitting back and taking it all in with delight. His voice weaved in and out of the evening with its high lonesome sound, from Nickel Creek's 2001 debut album heartbreaker "The Lighthouse's Tale" right up to his most recent work with PB.

Time and again, the artists on stage crowded around one mike, shoulder to shoulder, making music. They did it just like the Weavers did at Carnegie Hall nearly 65 years ago...and just like Thile will surely be doing at Carnegie Hall for decades to come.



Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the creator of BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day with top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Monday, May 06, 2019

THEATER: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL GETS ITS MOJO BACK

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: LUZIA -- A WAKING DREAM OF MEXICO *** out of ****
NEXT TO CITI FIELD IN QUEENS, NYC 

I skipped the last few Cirque du Soleil shows that passed through New York City. After revolutionizing the circus, this Montreal-based company fell into a bit of a rut. Every show was an amorphous, New Age-y sort of experience. Worse, they kept trying to shoehorn a collection of fine circus acts (trapeze work, juggling and the like) into a narrative. This misguided idea about how to keep their shows fresh culminated in the godawful Broadway show Paramour. Perhaps that disaster sobered the company up. That show was followed immediately by this one, which comes to the city three years after its debut in Montreal. Luzia runs through June 9 before moving on to Connecticut, Canada and then London's Royal Albert Hall in January.

Here Cirque breaks its own "rules" but far more effectively. They take inspiration from a particular country, in this case Mexico. That gives the costumes and colors a focus their more outlandish  and conceptually vague shows lack. Many of the songs are sung in Spanish, rather than just the usual made-up Cirque nonsense language meant to be "exotic" and yet not alienate any of its worldwide audience. (Sure, a number of tunes are still vocalized with wordless ooh-oohing, but it's an improvement.) Plus the score is bursting with brass that -- again -- step away from New Age and create a friendlier, livelier more human vibe.

Indeed, the entire show has a warm, inviting feel that draws the audience in. It's human-scaled and all the better for it. This video gives highlights of the many acts on display.



I wasn't surprised for a second by anything in Luzia but I smiled with pleasure the entire time. A treadmill is used effectively early on. A woman/butterfly runs forward as her wings fill up the stage and a War Horse-like puppet of a stallion gallops behind her. It's not ground-breaking or unusual in any way -- just a lovely, simple effect. The same goes for the troupe (my favorite of the lot) dressed in bird-like costumes who tumble through hoops as those move forward and backward along the treadmill. One or two or three hoops are stacked up, while tumblers go alone or two or three at a time in both directions . Again, the routine is simplicity itself but done with elegance and charm. Of course, I say "simple" but of course it's only simple for folk who devote a lifetime to developing their skills and their bodies. (Many performers come from Eastern Europe, which boasts a deep circus tradition while others were competitive gymnasts, swimmers, wrestlers and the like in college.)

Start to finish, Luzia has an easy charm. True, it never wowed me with some outrageous never-seen-before feat of derring-do. But I don't relish truly death-defying acts for my afternoon's entertainment so that low-key vibe was a bonus. While the clown act usually had me cringing over his "antics" in Cirque shows from the past, Luzia's performer was top-notch, especially in an act-one bit where he engaged the audience in a beach ball competition. When a juggler had a disastrous outing (he lost his rhythm early on and dropped pins four or five times), it was a welcome reminder how difficult their skills are. And while the contortionist appearing towards the climax was unsettling rather than entertaining (he seemed more appropriate for Coney Island), his big routine was staged beautifully with a parade of performers placing candles all around the stage while the lights dimmed.

If an aerialist dipping into a pool of water proved kitschy (his Fabio-like hair was flipped so often and so dramatically it deserved its own trailer backstage), this was all part of the fun. A curtain of water also played a prominent role throughout the show and created some very cool cascading pictures indeed. At the end, the cast gathered around a table to celebrate and even this felt right, especially how they froze into place at various points to allow the clown a final bit of nonsense. If you've never been to Cirque du Soleil or, like me, you took a break when it became repetitive or just too omnipresent, Luzia is a good reminder of why they conquered the world in the first place.


THEATER OF 2019

Frankenstein: Under The Radar Fest at the Public ** 1/2
Minor Character: Under The Radar Festival at the Public ***
Ink: Under The Radar  Festival at the Public  ** 1/2
Choir Boy ** 1/2
White Noise ** 1/2
Kiss Me, Kate ***
Ain't No Mo' *** 1/2
Ain't Too Proud **
The Cradle Will Rock * 1/2
Mrs. Murray's Menagerie *** 1/2
Oklahoma! (on Broadway) ** 1/2
Socrates **
The Pain Of My Belligerence *
Burn This **
Hadestown *** 1/2
All My Sons * 1/2
Tootsie ** 1/2
Ink ***
Beetlejuice **
Estado Vegetal ***
Hans Christian Andersen * 1/2
Cirque du Soleil: Luzia ***

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the creator of BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day with top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

THEATER: HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN'S LIFE WAS NO FAIRY TALE

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN: TALES REAL AND IMAGINED * 1/2 out of ****
THE DUKE ON 42ND STREET 

Proving how rich and varied the theater world is in New York City, the Ensemble for the Romantic Century is celebrating its 18th season (still high off the critical acclaim for their show Van Gogh's Ear) and yet somehow I've never seen any of their 40 or so productions. The company is known for creating atypical bio-plays that combine live classical music with the story of historical figures such as Emily Dickinson, Arturo Toscanini and the painter Vincent Van Gogh. In the case of the Danish writer most famous for fairy tales like "The Emperor's New Clothes," "The Snow Queen" and "Thumbelina," they're even incorporating puppetry.

Owning an insane amount of folk and fairy tales (not to mention loving puppetry), I am perhaps the ideal adult audience member for this show. Sadly, it's a noble failure of the sort one would expect of a bio-play celebrating an historical figure. The odd twists and turns of Andersen's celibate life, the fine performances of pieces by Britten and Purcell among others and the sheer commitment of all involved make this a noble failure, but a failure nonetheless.

Written by Eve Wolf and directed by Donald T. Sanders, the show tells of Andersen's life from start to finish, making every dutiful stop along the way. Born into poor circumstances, Andersen hightailed it to Copenhagen at the age of 14 and lucked into a spot at the Royal Danish Theatre. That led to Hans impressing the head enough to land the lad a thorough education, funded by King Frederick VI no less. And up and up he went; rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty; writing pieces of theater, poetry, travelogues and yes fairy tales, the stories which slowly but surely made him world famous.

Andersen might share dinner with Charles Dickens but he never found similar success in his private life. He shunned his mother and sister as undesirably lower class, he yearned for acceptance from the aristocratic family that semi-adopted this stray of a child but never took him to their breast and he chastely yearned for men and women who clearly did not reciprocate his affections. Gay? Straight? Bisexual? The one thing most biographers agree on is that Hans died a virgin.




Frustrated sexual desire, social climbing, world fame eclipsed by private shame -- Hans Christian Andersen was a complicated man. While the details of his life are revealed, the play never turns them into dramatic fare. Most of his fairy tales are glancingly referenced, with only "The Ugly Duckling" (as autobiographical as it gets for him) and "The Little Match Girl" incorporated more fully into the show. Hans obviously identified with the maligned creature who blossomed into a swan. And the inexplicable climax of the play involves a silent reenactment of that heart-tugging fairy tale about a beggar girl freezing to death on New Year's Eve.

Bald statements about the life of Andersen are interrupted by so-so puppetry or fine performances of classical pieces arranged for two pianos and percussion along with a counter tenor. Arvo Pärt seems the odd duck here, alongside a program dominated by Purcell, Britten and one apiece by Igor Stravinsky and Samuel Barber. Still, that deeply religious Estonian composer is a personal favorite and a pleasure to hear. Nonetheless, I struggled to make any connection between the music and the story of Andersen's life, turning them into welcome but puzzling respites from the dramatics.

A better show would have the fairy tales revealing the soul of this sad writer more effectively with the music underscoring the action with purpose, rather than the randomness in selection I felt here. While the puppetry is by and large forgettable, the musical performances are solid. And the acting by leads Jimmy Ray Bennett and Randall Scotting (who also doubled as the singer at the performance I saw) were solid. Bennett showed Andersen's insecure name-dropping and craving for acceptance without making him too pathetic, no small task. Scotting (in multiple roles but especially the object of affection Edvard) was just as assured.

Yet even the ending is bungled, with a perfectly fine last image returning us to where the show began trampled on by an unnecessary coda declaring that the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen would live forever. Yes, we know. A better show would make that point without having to announce it so baldly.

THEATER OF 2019

Frankenstein: Under The Radar Fest at the Public ** 1/2
Minor Character: Under The Radar Festival at the Public ***
Ink: Under The Radar  Festival at the Public  ** 1/2
Choir Boy ** 1/2
White Noise ** 1/2
Kiss Me, Kate ***
Ain't No Mo' *** 1/2
Ain't Too Proud **
The Cradle Will Rock * 1/2
Mrs. Murray's Menagerie *** 1/2
Oklahoma! (on Broadway) ** 1/2
Socrates **
The Pain Of My Belligerence *
Burn This **
Hadestown *** 1/2
All My Sons * 1/2
Tootsie ** 1/2
Ink ***
Beetlejuice **
Estado Vegetal ***
Hans Christian Andersen * 1/2
Cirque du Soleil: Luzia ***

Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the creator of BookFilter, a book lover’s best friend. It’s a website that lets you browse for books online the way you do in a physical bookstore, provides comprehensive info on new releases every week in every category and offers passionate personal recommendations every step of the way. He’s also the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day with top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It’s available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available for free on iTunes.

Friday, May 03, 2019

The Movies, Books, Theater, Concerts, CDs I've Seen/Read/Heard So Far In 2019

Updated MAY 13, 2019

KEY: star rating is on the four star scale
          meaning of "/" or "\"
          *** is three stars out of four
          ***/ is three stars leaning towards  3 1/2
          ***\ is three stars leaning towards 2 1/2


BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS
(Increasingly, I am sampling books, reading 10%, 20% even 40 or 50% before deciding to move on. The books below are only the ones I've read completely. That also explains what looks like generous grading -- more and more, if I sense a book is not going to be among my favorites, I stop reading. Too many books; too little time!)


1. Love To Everyone by Hilary McKay (ya WW II) *** 1/2
2. The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (1926) *** 1/2
3. The Winter Of The Witch by Katherine Arden *** 1/2
4. The Music Of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg **
5. DogMan: Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey ** 1/2
6. Cane by Jean Toomer (1923) ** 1/2
7. Underground: A Human History Of The World Beneath Our Feet by Will Hunt *** /
8. Unknown Man #89 by Elmore Leonard (1977) *** 1/2
9. The Falconer by Dana Czapnik (NYC coming of age basketballer) *** 1/2
10. Midnight In Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham *** 1/2
11. The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard (2005) ****
12. Pogo: Bona Fide Balderdash -- The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol 2 1951-1952 by Walt Kelly ****
13. Pogo: Evidence To The Contrary -- The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol 3 1953-1954 by Walt Kelly ****
14. The Complete Terry and the Pirates (1937-1938) by Milt Caniff *** 1/2
15. The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown (1941) *** 1/2
16. The Last Samurai by  Helen De Witt (2000) ****
17. There Is No Planet B: A Handbook For The Make Or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee **
18. Cherokee America by Margaret Verble *** 1/2
19. A Taste For Honey by H.F. Heard (1941) ** 1/2
20. Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions And What They Tell Us About Ourselves by Frans De Waal ***
21. The New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan **
22. The Players Ball by David Kushner ***
23. What Blest Genius: The Jubilee That Made Shakespeare by Andrew McConnell Stott ***
24. The Binding By Bridget Collins ** 1/2
25. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (1865) *** 1/2
26. Falter by Bill McKibben ** 1/2
27. Our Castle by The Sea by Lucy Strange **
28. Endling #2: The First by Katherine Applegate ***
29. Charles Dickens -- A Tale Of Two Cities (1859) ***
30. Call Mr. Fortune by H.C. Bailey (1920) ***
31. Aloha Rodeo by David Wolman and Julian Smith ** 1/2
32. Ghosts Of Gold Mountain by Gordon H. Chang ***
33. Just Kids by Patti Smith (2010) ***
34.





CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS (A strong emphasis on the ones I like, so don't think I love everything I listen to -- I just don't bother really listening to the ones I don't )

1. The Beach Boys -- Smiley Smile (1967) *** (esp side two)
2. The Beach Boys -- Wild Honey (1967) **
3. The Beach Boys -- Friends (1968) ***/
4. The Band -- Stage Fright (1970) ** 1/2
5. The English Beat -- Public Confidential ***
6. The Band -- Cahoots (1971) *** 1/2
7. The Band -- Northern Lights Southern Cross (1975) ***
8. Van Morrison -- The Prophet Speaks *** \
9. Dee White -- Southern Gentleman **
10. Ken Nordine -- Speak With Your Ears (1979) *** 1/2
11. David Gray -- Gold In A Brass Age ** 1/2
12. Van Morrison -- The Healing Game (1997) ***/
13. Various Artists -- Joni 75: A Celebration ** 1/2 /
14. Maren Morris -- Girls ***
15. Elton John -- Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy (1975) **
16. Joe Jackson -- Fool *** /
17. Trevor Horn -- Reimagines The 80s **
18. India Arie -- Worthy ** 1/2
19. The Everly Brothers -- Roots (1968) ***
20. John Pizzarelli -- For Centennial Reasons: A Salute To Nat King Cole ** 1/2
21. Julio Gutierrez -- Cuban Jam Session Vol 1 (1956) *** 1/2
22. Lone Justice -- This Is Lone Justice: The Vaughn Tapes 1983 ***
23. Nancy Wilson -- Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley (1962) *** 1/2 /
24. Nancy Wilson -- Something Wonderful (1962) *** 1/2
25. Nancy Wilson -- Tender Loving Care (1966) ***\
26. Ella Fitzgerald -- The Complete Decca Singles Vol. 1 *** \
27. Nancy Wilson -- The Swingin's Mutual w George Shearing (1961) ***
28. Antonio Carlos and Jocafi -- 20 Super Succesos ** 1/2
29. Idles -- Joy As An Act Of Resistance (2018) **
30. Mercury Rev -- Bobbie Gentry's The Delta Sweete Revisited ** 1/2
31. Bobby Long -- Sultans **
32. Ramsey Lewis Trio -- Sound Of Christmas (side one solid, side two w strings awful) 1961 **
33. Hozier -- Wasteland, Baby! **
34. Better Oblivion Community Center -- Better Oblivion Community Center (Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers) ***\
35. Chet Baker and Art Pepper -- Playboys aka Pictures of Heath (1956) ***
36. Gilbert O'Sullivan -- Himself (1971) ** 1/2
37. Gilbert O'Sullivan -- Back To Front (1972) ** 1/2
38. Solange -- When I Get Home *** 1/2
39. Ben Platt -- Sing To Me Instead * 1/2
40. Bryan Adams -- Shine A Light **
41. BTS -- Map Of The Soul: Persona **
42. The Blue Nile -- A Walk Across The Rooftops (1984) ****
43. The Blue Nile -- Hats (1989) ****
44. Norah Jones -- Begin Again **
45. Johnny Cash -- The Christmas Spirit (1963) *
46. Les Paul and Mary Ford -- Bye Bye Blues (1952) ***
47. Melissa Etheridge -- The Medicine Show **
48. Ella Fitzgerald -- Ella and Basie! (1963) *** 1/2
49. Ella Fitzgerald -- Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! (1961) *** 1/2
50. Ella Fitzgerald -- Lullabies Of Birdland (1954) ** 1/2
51. Ella Fitzgerald -- Ella Swings Brightly With Nelson (1962) **
52. Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong -- The Decca Duets (playlist of eight songs) ****
53. Paul McCartney -- Wildlife (1971) *
54. Paul McCartney -- Red Rose Speedway (1973) **
55. Patty Griffin -- Patty Griffin **
56. The Tallest Man On Earth -- I Love You. It's A Fever Dream ***/
57. Alan Parsons -- The Secret **
58. Gary Clark Jr. -- This Land **
59. Grupo Fantasma -- American Music: Volume 7 ***
60. Billie Eilish -- When We All Fall Asleep ***/
61. Lee Fields -- It Rains Love **
62. Corey Hart -- Dreaming Time Again ep **
63. George Winston -- Restless Wind **
64. The Claypool Lennon Delirium -- South Of Reality **
65. Wynton Marsalis NYT jazz playlist *** 1/2
66. The Coral -- Move Through The Dawn **
67. 5 Minutes That Will Make You Love The Piano NYT playlist ***
68.



MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES 

(Not TV movies, of course, but movies and TV -- and TV movies if it comes to that. Mostly I only list TV shows when I've tackled an entire season at once or reappraising an entire series after it's over This doesn't really capture my ongoing watching of current TV.)

1. Sweepstakes Winner (1939) no stars
2. Captain Marvel **
3. Giant Little Ones *** (gay swimmers)
4. Leave No Trace (2018) *** 1/2
5. Minding The Gap (2018) *** 1/2
6. Wildlife (2018) *** 1/2
7. Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle (2018) **\
8. Us (w Luis) **\
9. Border (2018) ***/
10. Sweet Country (2018) *** 1/2
11. The Tale (HBO, 2018) * 1/2
12. Woman's World (at MOMA w Noam) **
13. Running On Empty (1988) ***
14. Shazam (2018) w Zoe * 1/2
15. The Good Fairy (1935 at MOMA w Noam) ***
16. Apollo 11 (doc) ***/
17. Avengers: Endgame **
18. El Rebozo De Soledad aka Soledad's Shawl (1952; dir Roberto Gavaldón) ** 1/2
19. La Noche Avanza aka Night Falls (1952; dir Roberto Gavaldón) **
20. Knock Down The House (Netflix doc OAC) ***
21. La Diosa Arrodillado aka The Kneeling Goddess (1947; dir Roberto Gavaldón) ** 1/2
22. Walking On Water (doc on Christo) ***
23. The Tin Drum (1979) (at Moma) **
24.



THEATER CONCERTS THEATER CONCERTS THEATER CONCERTS THEATER CONCERTS THEATER CONCERTS THEATER CONCERTS THEATER CONCERTS
(The names after the shows are the people who joined me at the performance.)

1. Frankenstein (at Public) ** 1/2 
2. Minor Character (at Public) ***/ 
3. Ink (at Met) w Noam ** 1/2 
4. Choir Boy (at MTC) ** 1/2 
5. Chambre Noire (at Public) (w Noam) ** 1/2 
6. Weightless (at BRIC) (w Diego) (left early feeling ill, but quite promising)
7. Be More Chill (on Broadway) (w Noam) * 
8. Grease (at UN International School)  w Noam
9. Das Rheingold (at the Met w Noam) ** 1/2 
10.  White Noise (at the Public) ** 1/2 
11. Kiss Me, Kate! (alone) ***
12. Ain't No Mo (at Public w Zoe) *** 1/2 
13. Ain't Too Proud (w Cohen) ** 
14. Die Walkyrie at the Met (w the Machine and Christine Goerke as Brünnhilde, Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde and Stuart Skelton as Siegmund) *** 1/2 
15. The Cradle Will Rock (at CSC w Noam) * 1/2 
16. Mrs. Murray's Menagerie (at Ars Nova w Noam) *** 1/2 
17. Socrates (at Public w Noam) ** 
18. Siegfried (Ring Cycle at Met w Noam) *** (thrilling final act) 
19. Oklahoma! (at Circle In The Square w Evans) ** 1/2 
20. The Pain Of My Belligerence (solo) * 
21. Burn This (w Zoe) ** 
22. Hadestown (w Noam) *** 1/2 
23. All My Sons * 1/2 
24. Tootsie (w Noam) ** 1/2 
25. Ink (w Noam) *** 
26. Beetlejuice (w TJ) ** 
27. Estado Vegetal (w Diego) *** 
28. Hans Christian Andersen * 1/2 
29. Götterdämmerung (at Met w Noam) *** 1/2 
30. Tolkien exhibit of drawings, maps, timeline (!) etc at Morgan Library *** 1/2 
31. The Vessel outdoor public art at Hudson Yards (w Noam) ** 
32. BLKS (w Zoe) ** 1/2 
33. The Tale Of Genji exhibit at Met NYC *** 1/2 
34. Cirque Du Soleil: Luzia (w Noam) *** 
35. Octet (at Signature, alone, in previews before locked) ***/ 
36. August Wilson Annual Monologue Competition (w Noam) *** 
37. Nickel Creek/Punch Brothers at Carnegie Hall *** 1/2 
38. 



KEY: star rating is on the four star scale
          meaning of "/" or "\"
          *** is three stars out of four
          ***/ is three stars leaning towards  3 1/2
          ***\ is three stars leaning towards 2 1/2

Updated May 13, 2019

BookFilter Reading List

BOOKFILTER 2018 TITLES TO READ

Gentleman Jack (HBO tie-in)
The Old Drift by Namwali Serpal

Benice ya pirates
Geography of Rebels Trilogy by Maria Gabriela Llansol

king of the khyber rifles
John Thorndyke's cases -- classic mys beloved by TS Eliot

PW Best of 2018:

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson
Melmoth by Sarah Perry



MAY 2019



5-1-2019

Spring by Ali Smith litfic third in quartet



5-7-2019

*********** YA  With The Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X)  5-7-2019

THEATER On Streisand by Ethan Mordden

The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin litfic

Aurora Rising ya sci-fi by Kaufman, Kristoff

China Dream by Ma Jian litfic endorsed Atwood banned China, sci-fi-ish

The Endling #2 -- 5-7-2019

Rough Magic memoir horse race 5-7-2019

Ghosts of Gold Mountain by Gordon H Chang HISTORY chinese building railroad US 5-7

Chumps to Champs NYYankees by Bill Pennigton 5-7-2019

AARP HISTORY PARADE War and Peace: FDR 1943-45 by NIgel Hamilton 5-7-2019

AARP Lake of the Ozarks by Bill Geist CBS Sunday morning fixture memoir 5-7-2019

Black Death at the Golden Gate history bubonic plague by David K Randall 5-7-2019

Our Man by george Packer bio of Richard Holbrooke politico 5-7-2019

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake litfic american saga GAN 5-7-2019

Ten Innings at Wrigley sports history by Kevin Cook 1979 slugfest 5-7-2019

On Democracy by EB White 5-7-2019 reissue

Furious Hour true crime Harper Lee nonfic by casey Cep 5-7-2019

The farmer's son by John Connell BIO Irish #1 bestseller 5-7-2019

The Missing Of Clairdelune by Christelle Dabos fantasy



5-14-2019

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay

We Hunt The Flame YA fantasy inspired by Arabia

Listen Up! Recording Music w Dylan Neil Young REM et al by Mark Howard

Spying on The South by Tony Horwitz (Confederates in the Attic) 5-14-2019

Out East by John Glynn queer memoir debut 5-14-2019

Freedom Fire Dactyl Hill Squad #2 5-14-2019

The Cult of the Constitution law book 5-14-2019

Maddy Alone by pamela Brown Blue Door #2 THEATER ya classic 5-14-2019


5-21-2019

Mistress of the Ritz pop fic by Melanie Benjamin(Aviators Wife)

The Impeachers history of Andrew Johnson impeachment by Brenda Wineapple

A Summer With Montaigne essays by Antoine Compagnon

Riots I Have Known by Ryan Chapman litfic

AARP Theadore Roosevelt for the Defense nonfic bio about big trial

Why Superman Doesnt Take Over The World -- using comics to explain economic ideas

Superior: The Return Of Race Science by Angela Saini science cur events 5-21-2019

The Light From The Dark Side Of The Moon lit romance old man remembers WWII romance 5-21-2019

LAT The Dreamt Land -- history current events about California and water and soil by Mark Arax 5-21-2019 ROTTER ROTTER


5-28-2019

*********The Book Case  by Dave Shelton 5-28-2019

Aloha Rodeo by David Wolman nonfic about Hawaiian cowboys in 1908 who competed in the biggest rodeo in the world

The Helicopter Heist by Jonas Bonnier



JUNE 2019


6-4-2019

*******The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry

Fall or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson Sci-fi

HISTORY 1941: The Year Germany Lost The War by Andrew Nagorski

LA/PARADE  This Storm by James Ellroy LA in WW II ROTTER ROTTER

Indecent Advances by James Polchin history of queer sex crimes before Stonewall

The Crowded Hour by Clay Risen HISTORY rough riders etc

AARP The Plaza by Julie Satow

Like A Love Story queer YA

in West Mills by De-shawn Charles Winslow litfic black community 1940s-80s

PARADE My Life As A Rat by Joyce Carol Oates litfic

Stonewall by Martin Duberman history reissue




6-11-2019

Norco 80 -- true story of botched bank robbery in Cali in 70s that was most violent in history by Peter Houlahan

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera (TV writer Southern fiction)

Stalingrad by Vasily Grossman nonfic NYRB

NASA One Giant Leap by Charles Fishman Apollo 11
NASA American Moonshot b Douglas Brinkley history of space race 4-2-2019
NASA Shoot For The Moon by James Donovan nonfic space race Apollo 11 3-12-2019

Places and Names by Elliott Ackerman human cost of war from Veteran CURR EVENTS

Elderhood essays on aging  AARP

The Ice At The End Of The World -- science curr events melting ice by Jon Gertner

The Old Man in The Corner: The teahouse Detective vol 1 mys by baroness Orczy reissue


6-18-2019

********The Porpoise by Mark Haddon (Curious Incident...) litfic based on myth

Lifelines by Heidi Diehl litfic Brooklyn

FKA USA crazy talking goat sci-fi dystopian road novel by Reed King cult

The Body Lies by Jo Baker; litfic thriller author of Longbourne

LGBTQI Outrages by Naomi Wolff  -- social queer history of British law/ramifications


6-25-2019

**********You Can't Fall Off The Floor SHOWBIZ TV memoir of life in TV industry insider Harris Katleman

Big Sky thriller by Kate Atkinson

Golden Pavements by pamela Brown Blue Door #3 THEATER ya classic

Rilke in Paris trans in English


JULY 2019


7-2-2019

***********Last Witnesses kid oral history by Svetlana Alexievich

The Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 4 edited Neil Clarke

How to reform Capitalism series editor Alain de Botton current affairs

Buzz Sting Bite by Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson  popular science


7-9-2019

The Saturday Night Ghost Club -- by Craig davidson litfic acclaimed author coming of age set in Niagara Falls, ref Stand By Me, looks appealing queer author

The Vagabonds by Jeff Guinn nonfic Henry Ford and Thomas Edison road trips

The Substitution Order by martin Clark -- comic legal thriller about down on luck lawyer

THEATER Circus by Wayne Koestenbaum -- litfic about concert pianist planning comeback who insists circus performer must appear w him for recital polysexual



7-16-2019
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead GBN litfic

The Philosopher's War by Tom Miller fantasy/historical sequel


7-23-2019

Reasons To Be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe light fiction UK

The Liberation of Paris by Jean Edward Smith History WW II

Elvis in Vegas by Richard Zoglin nonfic pop culture

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J Ryan Stradal litfic

THEATER Professor Renoir's Collection of Oddities, Curiosities and Delights by Randall Platt


7-30-2019

********THEATER The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis 1950s NYC putting on Bway show amidst Red scare

The Churchgoer by Patrick Coleman Raymond Chandler-esque crime novel



AUGUST 2019


8-6-2019

Beaten Down Worked Up by Steven Greenhouse NYT writer on workers today

The Mosquito by Timothy Winegard popular science

******Prince Albert By AN Wilson HISTORY BIO author of Victoria

Mayflower Lives nonfiction by Martyn Whittock

The Borgias by Paul Strathern history

Summerlings by Lisa Howorth litfic Cold War coming of age

The Dragon Republic by RF Kuang sequel to fantasy The Poppy War

First Cosmic Velocity by Zach Powers LITFIC On Soviet space program

The catholic school by Eduardo Albinati nonfic memoir fic true crime 1200 pages+


8-13-2019

**********PARADE AARP A Keeper by Graham  Norton litfic

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

Everybodys Doin It: Rise of Popular Music NYC jazz and ragtime in dance halls and brothels by Dale Cockrell



8-20-2019

**********The Last Widow by karin Slaughter

Middle England by Jonathan Coe litfic

The World Doesn't Require You short stories by Rion Amilcar Scott



8-27-2019

The Ventriloquists by ER Ramzipoor WW II novel on true story

See Jane Win by Caitlin Moscatello nonfic on women running for office adult curr events

Shadow School #1 ya/middle grade


SEPTEMBER 2019


9-3-2019

*******THEATER BIO AARP Summertime: George Gershwin bio by Richard Crawford

*****The Long Call by Ann Cleeves new mys series by author of Vera series

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger litfic 1930s orphans on an odyssey in US

When Hell Struck Twelve by James R Benn Billy Boyle WWII mys

Three Flames by Alan Lightman litfic

CURR EVENTS The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

LGBTQI YA We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar



9-10-2019

The Long-Legged Fly by James Sallis mys classic reissue introing Lew Griffin

What It Means To be Moral by Phil Zuckerman philosophy

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrowe fantasy



9-17-2019

**********The Second Founding by Eric Foner on Reconstruction and Constitutional amendments HISTORY


********A Hero Born: Legend Of The Condor Heroes 1 by Jin Yong classic Chinese fantasy

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes goofy humorous sci-fi

POP CULTURE AARP For The Love Of Music by John Mauceri guide to classical music listening

A Simple Thread by Tracy Chevalier litfic

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill litfic family running haunted mansion attraction



9-24-2019

AARP The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman litfic WWII (golem)




OCTOBER 2019


10-1-2019



10-8-2019

The Boundless Sea A Human History of the ocean by David Abulafia


10-15-2019


10-22-2019


10-29-2019






NOVEMBER 2019


11-5-2019

Fifth Sun: A New History Of The Aztecs by Camilla Townsend



11-12-2019



11-19-2019

PARADE AARP THEATER The Contender by William J Mann bio of Marlon Brando 11-15



11-26-2019

Revolutionary Brothers by Tom Chaffin

AARP PARADE Janis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren






DECEMBER 2019


12-3-2019


12-10-2019

The Book of Science and Antiquities by Thomas Keneally litfic


12-17-2019

12-24-2019


12-31-2019


JANUARY 2020


FEBRUARY 2020


February 4, 2020

AARP PARADE Unconditional Love memoir by Jocelyn Moorhouse , directing, autistic child, return to directing



MARCH 2020


APRIL 2020


MAY 2020


JUNE 2020


JULY 2020


AUGUST 2020


SEPTEMBER 2020


OCTOBER 2020


NOVEMBER 2020


DECEMBER 2020





OCTOBER 2018



Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan (Henry) litfic, romance 10-2-2018

Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s edited by Leslie S Klinger 10-2-2018

My Father's Words by Patricia MacLachlan kids 10-2-2018

A History of America in Ten Strikes by Erik Loomis 10-2-2018

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung memoir 10-2-2018

Good and mad by Rebecca Traister current events history of women's anger NYC 10-2-2018

Skeptic's Guide To The Universe by Steven Novella critical thinking 10-2-2018

When The Men Were Gone by Marjorie Herrera Lewis -- novel based on true female football coach WWII litfic -- 10-2-2018

Under The Knife by Arnold van de Lar history of surgery in 28 operations 10-2-2018

Death From A Top Hat by Clayton Rawson classic mys 10-2-2018

Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo middle grade 10-2-2018

On Desperate Ground by Hampton Sides -- Korean battle 10-2-2018

Valley Forge by bob Drury and Tom Clavin history 10-2-2018

Uncompromising Honor by David Weber latest Honor Harrington sci-fi 10-2-2018

Bjorn Borg and the Super Swedes by Mats Holm sports nonfiction 10-2-2018

Dragon's Code by Gigi McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern 10-2-2018

The Flame by Leonard Cohen poems etc 10-2-2018

The Lady's Guide To Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee fic, romance, gay? *** 10-2-2018

A Knife In The Fog by Bradley Harper mys w Conan Doyle, Jack the Ripper 10-2-2018

The Second Rider by Alex Beer Austrian mystery debut 10-2-2018

Fame by Justine Bateman -- memoir 10-2-2018

That Thin Wild Mercury Sound by Daryl Sanders making of Blonde on Blonde 10-2-2018

Polio: The Odyssey of Eradication science history by Thomas Abraham 10-1-2018

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger -- older man accident, movie house 10-2-2018

Blood Communion by Anne Rice (Lestat) 10-2-2018

The Red Lamp by mary Rinehart mys reissue 10-2-2018

The Puzzle of the Happy Hooligan by Stuart Palmer mys reissue 10-2-2018

The Chinese Orange Mystery by Ellery Queen mys reissue 10-2-2018

Home sweet Homicide by Craig Rice mys reissue 10-2-2018



Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel 10-9-2018 THEATER GILTZ

Behold America by Sarah Churchwell history of "America First" and "American Dream" 10-9-2018

The Dark Blue Winter Overcoat and Other Stories From The north anthology edit by Sjon litfic 10-9

Lulu the Broadway Mouse by jenna Gavigan 10-9-2019

The Corrosion of Conservatism by Max Boot politics 10-9-2018

Invisible by Stephen L Carter -- nonfic of female lawyer v Lucky Luciano 10-9-2018 ROTTER REVIEW

What If It's Us? by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera gay ya romance 10-9-2018

Grenade by Alan Gratz ya, follow up to Refugee 10-9-2018

The Clockmaker's Daughter by kate morton litfic 10-9-2018

The Soul Of Yellow Folk by Wesley Yang essays 10-9-2018

November Road bY Lou Berney crime novel 10-9-2018

A Treasury of African American Christmas Stories edited by bettye Collier-Thomas 10-9-2018

Muhammad bio by Juan Cole 10-9-2018

Einstein's Shadow -- by Seth Fletcher science, black holes, 10-9-2018

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young rom comedy 10-9-2018

Death of A Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein dust bowl era mystery 10-9-2018



Vietnam -- by Max Hastings one volume history 10-16-2018

A Well Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler litfic novel of Vanderbilts 10-16-2018

She Wants it b Jill Soloway Transparent 10-16-2018

The Season of Styx malone by Kekla magoon ya novel 10-16-2018

Trinity by Louisa Hall litfic Oppenheimer 10-16-2018

Melmoth by Sarah perry author of Essex Serpent gothic litfic 10-16-2018

We Can't Breathe essays current events by Jabari Asim 10-16-2018

Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson German fiction epic 1600+ pages 10-16-2018 NYRB

Frederick Douglass by David Blight bio 10-16-2018

TV Finales -- by Douglas L Howard and david Bianculli editors pop culture 10-16-2018

Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine fantasy ya 10-16-2018

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver litfic 10-16-2018

The Empty Throne by Ivo Daalder etc cur events US abdication of power 10-16-2018

Operation Columba WW II pigeons story by Gordon Corera history 10-16-2018 ROTTER REVIEW

The Library Book by Susan Orlean nonfic on library fire 10-16-2018

Young and In Love gay erotica 10-16-2018

In the Hurricane's Eye by Nathaniel Philbrick -- history of Washington and Yorktown 10-16-2018





*******Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson 10-23-2018

Astounding -- bio of John W Campbell and golden age of sci-fi 10-23-2018

Knights vs Dinosaurs middle grade 10-23-2018

The Reckoning by John Grisham mys 10-23-2018

The Long Path to Wisdom by Jan-Philipp Sendker folk tales 10-23-2018

Little by edward carey story of Madame Toussaud 10-23-2018

Marilla Of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy ya 10-23-2018 GILTZ

The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa Japanese LITFIC 10-23-2018

The Rain Watcher litfic by Tatiana de Rosnay 10-23-2018

Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah short stories 10-23-2018

Let It Bang by RJ Young memoir of black man learning to shoot a gun 10-23-2018

Enemies Within -- history Cambridge spies 10-23-2018

Downtown Pop Underground by Kembrew McLeod history of NYC downtown, music theater etc 10-23-2018



Jack Of Hearts -- gay ya 10-30-2018

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know -- bios of fathers of Joyce, Wilde etc by Colm Toibin 10-30-2018

on Haiku by Hiroaki Sato -- essay 10-30-2018


Family trust by Kathy Wang litfic 10-30-2018




NOVEMBER 2018


Wolves Of Eden by Kevin Mccarthy western, Irish writer 11-6-2018

Henry and Eva and the Castle on the Cliff by Andrea Portes middle grade 11-6-2018

Past Tense by lee Child mys Jack Reacher 11-6-2018 ROTTER

The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim litfic 11-6-2018 ROTTER

Gene Machine by Venki Ramakrishnan SCIENCE 11-6-2018

Bletchley Park Brain Teasers by Sinclair McKay PUZZLES UK 11-6-2018

Jeeves and the King of Clubs by Ben Schott humor lit 11-6-2018

The Grandmaster by Brin-Jonathan Butler 2016 chess match history etc 11-6-2018

Wild Justice by Loren D Estleman western 11-6-2018

The Lonesome Bodybuilder stories by Yukiko Motoya British translator 11-6-2018

paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks fic wwii resistance 11-6-2016

Why Religion? by Elaine Pagels faith philosophy 11-6-2018

The War Before The War history of fugitive enslaved people by Andrew Delbanco 11-6-2018

A Shot In The Dark: mys debut by Lynne Truss killing of theater critic 11-6-2018 THEATER

Big Week: The Biggest Air Battle Of WWII by james Holland history 11-6-2018

Lost Time by Jozef Czapski lectures on Proust in Soviet camp NYRB 152pages 11-6

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski WW II reporting Katyn massacre NYRB 11-6-2018

The William Gass Reader 11-6-2018

An Almost Perfect Christmas by Nina Stibbe memoir light, 11-6-2018

Grabbing Pussy by Karen Finley 11-6-2018

Those Who Knew by Idra Novey litfic Brooklyn author, sexual misconduct island nation 11-6-2018




The Indispensable Composers Nonfic Pop Culture on classical music canon by Anthony Tommasini 11-6-2018


We The People by Erwin Chemerinsky 11-13-2018

God in The Qur'an by jack Miles -- 11-13-2018

Winter War by Eric Rauchway HISTORY first fight over New deal 11-13-2018

Pulp by Robin Talley ya lesbian teens 11-13-2018

Vita Nostra Russian fantasy by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko 11-13-2018

Empire of Sand by tasha Suri fantasy debut London librarian, middle east setting 11-13-2018

A Ladder To The Sky by John Boyne litfic 11-13-2018

Dear Zealots by Amos Oz cur events 11-13-2018

Heirs Of The Founders -- history of 2nd gen of US leaders by HW Brand 11-13-2018



The Circuit -- tennis nonfiction 2017 season 11-20-2018 GILTZ

All The Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy litfic 11-20-2018

Holy Sexuality and the Bible by Christopher Yuan 11-20-2018

Your Place In The Universe by Paul Sutter 11-20-2018

 Nigerian thriller 11-20-2018 ROTTER REVIEW



Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates dystopian litfic 11-27-2018

The Houseguest by Amparo Davila short stories 144p 11-27-2018

Aladdin new trans by Paulo Lemos Horta 11-27-2018 GILTZ

Come With Me litfic/sci-fi by Helen Schulman 11-27-2018



DECEMBER 2018



For The Sake Of The Game Holmes mysteries stories edited Laurie R King 10-4-2018


The dakota Winters by Tom barbash litfic 12-4-2018

A gentleman's guide to vice and virtue 


Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield LITFIC debut was massive success UK out 12-4-2018 ROTTER


Ike's Mystery Man by Peter Shinkle history queer 12-4-2018

Bryant and May Hall of Mirrors mys series by Christopher Fowler 12-4-2018

The Future Of Capitalism by Paul Collier economist current events 12-4-2018

Once A King by Erin Summerill ya fantasy 12-4-2018


The Division Bell Mystery classic reissue by Ellen Wilkinson 12-4-2018

Victory City by John Strausbaugh history of NYC during WW II 12-4-2018

 12-1-2018

The Great War in America by Garrett Peck history of WWI 12-4-2018 


 12-1-2018



Mysteries Of Winterthurn by Joyce Carol Oates 12-11-2018



Influenza  by Jeremy Brown science history on fighting this diseases 12-18-2018 ROTTER



The Ape That Understood The Universe science by Steve Stewart-Williams 12-30-2018

The Inflamed Mind a new approach to Depression by Edward Bullmore 12-31-2018

The Gown by Jennifer Robson (pop fic Royalty) 12-31-2018




JANUARY 2019


RONAN FARROW CATCH AND KILL? JAN 2019 LITTLE BROWN

Book Love by Debbie Tung COMICS UK set author out at 2-7-2019 in UK 1-1-2019



The Winter of the Witch fantasy trilogy 1-7-2019

55, Underemployed and Faking Normal by Elizabeth White 1-8-2019

Fault Lines -- Last 50 years of US history nonfic 1-8-2019

Henry VIII by Tracy Borman best-selling academic 1-8-2019 (out in UK in Nov)

The Second Kind Of Impossible by Paul Steinhardt (NJ) science on finding new matter 1-8-2019

An Indefinite Sentence by Siddharth Dube nonfic memoir, India gay (Out same day in Uk; author in NYC) 1-8-2019

The Belting Inheritance by Julian Symons classic mys reissue 1-8-2019

Hitler's Pawn by Stephen Koch history on teen Jew blamed for Kristilnacht NYC 1-8-2019

The Unteachables by Gordon Korman middle grade 1-8-2019

The Perilous Adventures Of The Cowboy King by Jerome Charyn -- fic/Teddy Roosevelt 1-8-2019

An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma litfic Nigerian 1-8-2019





Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator by nonfic memoir by Gregory B Jaczko 1-15-2019

Bluff City HISTORY bio of Ernest Withers civil rights photog and FBI informant by Preston Lauterbach 1-15-2019

A Risky Undertaking for Loretta Singletary by Terry Shames mys cozy senior citizen 1-15-2019

Late In The Day by Tessa Hadley LITFIC LONDON 1-15-2019 ROTTER REVIEW

Aristotle's Way by Edith Hall classicist UK, philosophy applied 1-15-2019

The Gilded Wolves by Rokshana Chokshi ya fantasy 1-15-2019 (out UK same date)


Maid nonfic by Stephanie Lande 1-22-2019

Camelot's End: Carter v kennedy at convention by Jon Ward 1-22-2019 GILTZ

The Field Guide To The North American Teenager by Ben Philippe 1-22-2019

The Weight Of A Piano by Chris Cander litfic two women united by piano/decades Houston author 1-22-2019

Restoration Heights by Wil Medearis NYC novel  litfic GBN 1-22-2019




The Falconer -- coming of age, female basketball player 1-29-2019

Underground: A Human History of the World beneath our feet by Will Hunt history tech 1-29-2019

The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells german best-seller 1-29-2019

The Wolf In The Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky litfic Inuit tale 1-29-2019

The Plotters by Un-su Kim thriller 1-29-2019


FEBRUARY 2019


The Age of light litfic by Whitney Scharer

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas ya about teen female rapper by author of The Hate U Give 2-5-2019

Merchants of Truth by Jill Abramson nonfic on journalism NYT WaPo Buzz Vice 2-5-2019

This Is Not A Love Song by Brendan Matthews stories litfic author of World of Tomorrow 2-5-2019

Where Reasons End by YiYun Li litfic mother son suicide 2-5-2019


The Hollywood Jim Crow SHOWBIZ GBN by Maryann Erigha 2-5-2019

Jimmy Neurosis by James Oseland memoir, gay,punk TV Top Chef judge 2-5-2019

Europe A Natural History by Tim Flannery science 2-5-2019

No Beast So Fierce by Dane Huckelbridge nonfic on dangerous tiger 2-5-2019

The Coronation by Boris Akunin mys historical 2-5-2019

American Pop by Snowden Wright litfic about soda pop/Coke 2-5-2019

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff comm fic followup to Orphan Train 2-5-2019

If We Can Keep It CURR EVENTS by Michael Tomasky fix-it Daily Beast 2-5-2019

Milk of Paradise history of opium by Lucy Inglis 2-5-2018

Lady First bio of First Lady Sarah Polk by Amy S Greenberg 2-5-2019


American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson liftic mys 2-12-2019

Leading men by Christopher Castellani THEATER fi on Tennessee Williams and lover 2-12-2019

Broadsword Calling Danny Boy watching "Where Eagles Dare" nonfic 2-12-2019

The City In The Middle Of The Night ya fantasy 2-12-2019

Sounds Like Titanic memoir by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman fake performances to soundtrack of movie THEATER 2-12-2019

Midnight in Chernobyl nonfic by Adam Higginbotham 2-12-2019

Northern Lights by Raymond Strom litfic queer protag, gender fluid debut NYC 2-12-2019

The Psychology of Time Travel  by Kate mascarenhas litfic fantasy fun 2-12-2019

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli litfic family road trip NYC 2-12-2019

Separate: Plessy v Ferguson by Steve Luxenberg WASHPO HISTORY  2-12-2019



ROTTER The Familiars by Stacey Halls witches period, author of Essex Serpent litfic 2-19-2019 ROTTER

The Next To Die by Sophie Hannah thriller 2-19-2019

Landfall by Thomas Mallon litfic Pres W Bush author DC 2-19-2019



How To Hide An Empire history of US possessions 2-19-2019

Cherokee America by Margaret Verble litfic 2-19-2019

Arturo's Island -- Italian classic new trans 2-19-2019

Earth-Shattering/Cataclysms: Science book on disasters by Bon Berman NPR etc 2-19-2019

Possible Minds edited by John Brockman essays on AI by scientists 2-19-2019

Sleeping With Strangers by David Thomson movie criticism 2-19-2019



The Light Jar by Lisa Thompson middle grade 2-26-2019

Magic is Dead by Ian Frisch 2-26-2019

Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw 2-26-2019

An Affair of Poisons ya 2-26-2019

Binstead's Safari by Rachel Ingalls author of Mrs. Caliban 2-26-2019

We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet WWII litfic orphan2-26-2019

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite Matinee ya 2-26-2019

There is No Planet B by Mike Berners-Lee ENVIRO 2-28-2019



MARCH 2019


The Wall by John Lanchester out of comfort zone sci-fi dystopia 3-5-2019

Real Queer America curr events travel 3-5-2019

Murder by Matchlight classic mys 3-5-2019

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag Swedish period mys 3-5-2019


THEATER A Puzzle For Fools by Patrick Quentin classic mys

THEATER The Unsuspected by Charlotte Armstrong classic mys

A Taste For Honey by HF Heard Sherlockian classic mys

The Unhappiness of Being A Single Man stories by Kafkia

The Women's war by Jenna Glass fantasy 3-5-2019

This Life by martin Hagglund philosophy prof at Yale 3-5-2019

The River by Peter Heller litfic college students wilderness survival 3-5-2019, Lives in Denver

Aunt Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano third in series MYS 3-5-2019

Mama's Hug by Frans de waal SCIENCE animals have emotions lives in ATL 3-5-2019

Famous Men Who Never Lived by K Chess sci-fi debut alternate NYC lesbian author 3-5-2019


3-12-2019

The Catalog of Shipwrecked Books popular history 3-12-2019

***Childhood two novellas by Gerard Reve

Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith fantasy debut buzz, auction 3-12-2019

Shoot For The Moon by James Donovan nonfic space race Apollo 11 3-12-2019

The Bird King by G Willow Wilson fantasy 3-12-2019

The Selected Works Of Abdullah the Cossack by HM Naqvi litfic 3-12-2019

The Dragonfly Sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor Nigerian litfic 3-12-2019

Sea People the Puzzle of Polynesia by Christina Thompson HISTORY 3-12-2019

The Swish of the Curtain by Pamela Brown classic kids book about theater, acting pub 1941 3-12-2019 THEATER

Tiny Americans litfic by Devin Murphy debut praised 3-12-2019


3-19-2019

Genesis By Edward O Wilson on Evolution

THEATER: Funny Man: Mel Brooks by Patrick McGilligan 3-19-2019 THEATER

After The Miracle Mets sports book 3-19-2019

Antiracism by Alex Zamalin

The Parade by Dave Eggers fic 3-19-2019

Horizon by Barry Lopez travel bio 3-19-2019

ROTTER Waiting for Bojangles by Olivier Bourdeaut litfic mental illness French hit 3-19-2019 ROTTER

The Boy by Marcus Malte litfic French novel feral lad decades spanning 3-19-2019


3-26-2019

The Size Of The truth by Andrew Smith author of Winger middle grade chef 3-26-2019

Who Killed My Father by Edouard Louis French curr events

The New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan cur events history 3-26-2019

The Forging Of a Rebel by Arturo Barea memoir history admired by marquez, George Orwell, charts 50 years of Spain in the 20th century 3-26-2019

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott in verse 3-26-2019


APRIL 2019


4-2-2019

Greystone Secrets #1 middle grade fantasy launch by Margaret Peterson haddix 4-2-2019

Around Harvard Square gay 4-2-2019

THEATER What Blest Genius Shakespeare Jubilee by Andrew McConnell Scogtt 4-2-2019

AARP Greek to me by Mary Norris Comma Queen 4-2-2019

THEATER Macbeth by Harold Bloom 4-2-2019

A Crisis Wasted by Reed Hundt Obama CURR EVENTS 4-2-2019

Ghost Stories anthology edited Leslie Klinger

NASA American Moonshot b Douglas Brinkley history of space race 4-2-2019

Save Me The Plums -- by Ruth Reichel -- FOOD memoir 4-2-2019

Boy Swallows Universe by Trent dalton Aussie hit litfic 4-2-2019

Shakespeare's Library THEATER history 4-2-2019

Crossing by Pajtim Statovci litfic Albanian queer 4-2-2019

K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner sports history 4-2-2019

The Damascus Road by Jay parini religious fic St Paul 4-2-2019

Fifty Things That Aren't My Fault by Cathy Guisewite cartoonist of Cathy 4-2-2019

The Editor by Steven Rowley litfic writer and editor 4-2--2019



THEATER Trust Exercise by Susan Choi kids in performing arts school 4-9-2019

The Casket of Time Icelandic fairy tale/enviro tale 4-9-2019

The Players Ball by David Kushner internet history match.com and sex.com battle 4-9-2019

PARADE Notes From A Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi GBN STAR 4-9-2019

My Coney Island Baby by Billy O'Callaghan LITFIC acclaim IRISH 4-9-2019

Working by Robert Caro notes on writing 4-9-2019



Falter by Bill McKibben -- curr events about danger to humanity

Normal People by Sally Rooney litfic great cover longlist Booker coming of age 4-16-2019

Tragedy, The Greeks and Us by Simon Critchley THEATER 4-16-2019

Revolutionaries by Joshua Furst litfic 60s radical son of.... 4-16-2019

The Binding by Bridget Collins -- period fantasy a la sarah Waters 4-16-2019

August Isle by Ali Standish YA big push 4-16-2019

Autumn Light by Pico Iyer nonfic on Japanese culture and grief 4-16-2019

The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown (two bird names) YA Queer acclaim for last book 4-16-2019



4-23-2019

Nanaville grandparenting by Anna Quindlen

Odd Partners -- mys anthology of orig short stories edited by Anne Perry

D-Day Girls history of WW II by Sarah Rose 4-23-2019

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World sci-fi 4-23-2019

Machines Like me by Ian McEwan sci-fi? 4-23-2019



**************Our Castle By The Sea by Lucy Strange middle grade author of Secret Of Nightingale Wood 4-30

Lie With Me gay french novel trans by Molly Ringwald 4-30-2019

Murder Knocks Twice by Susanna Calkins new mys series Chicago speakeasy 4-30-2019

ROTTER REVIEW Cape May litfic by Chip Cheek -- 4-30-2019 ROTTER REVIEW

Mama's Boy by Dustin Lance Black PARADE GAY 4-30-2019



NYT 2017:

Autumn
The Evolution Of Beauty
Exit West
Grant
Locking Up Our Own
The Power
Prairie Fires
Priestdaddy
Sing Unburied Sing


The Annotated Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Arthur Ashe bio by Raymond Arsenault Boom Town by Sam Anderson history of Oklahoma City
French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah new Poirot
brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak ya adi alsaid

Sand by Wolfgang Herrndorf NYRB
Tailspin by Steven Brill cur events
Where The Crawdads Sing litfic
Whiskey When We're Dry by John Larison


BACKLIST

The Age of Eisenhower bio 
And Then We Danced -- memoir history dance by New Yorker writer Henry Alford
Amatka sci-fi female
Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson German fiction epic 1600+ pages
Arrowood -- Holmes competitor
Augustown -- Jamaican novel 
Autumn Light by Pico Iyer nonfic on Japanese culture and grief 
The Battle For Beverly Hills -- history
Bearskin by James McLaughlin lit thriller
The Beauties Chekhov short stories new trans
Before The Fall -- thriller by creator of TV Fargo
Behemoth: A History of the Factory
Binstead's Safari by Rachel Ingalls author of Mrs. Caliban 2-26-2019
Black Edge -- business nonfic hedge fund shenanigans
Black Flags Blue Waters -- history pirates US
Blood Moon Cherokee nation history two rivals
The Book Of Disquiet new edition
Born A Crime Trevor Noah
Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken litfic 2-5-2019
Bryant and May Hall of Mirrors
Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber
The Butchering Art medicine history
Career of Evil (Robert Galbraith mys)
Central Station
Chicago by David Mamet
The Chilbury Ladies' Choir (book club fiction)
The Chinese Orange Mystery by Ellery Queen mys reissue
A Christmas Carol and other Christmas stories by Charles Dickens
City On Fire
Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s edited by Leslie S Klinger
Conclave by Robert Harris Vatican thriller
A Country Road, A Tree follow-up to Longbourne 
A Crisis Wasted by Reed Hundt Obama CURR EVENTS 4-2-2019 
Culdesac
Darwin's Backyard science history PW PICK 9-5
Daughter Of The Pirate King (ya fantasy)
Days Without End -- gay historical fic Sebastian Barry 
D-Day Girls history of WW II by Sarah Rose 
Death Going Down (mystery) 
Death on the Aisle a Mr and Mrs North mystery 3-5-2019 THEATER
Dodge City (popular history)

Drive -- nonfiction about early years of auto industry 
Elena Ferrante
Empire of Cotton
Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
Farthest Field
The Fine Art of Murder
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah short stories
Future Home of the Living God dystopia by Louise Erdrich
A Gentleman In Moscow -- lit fic
The Gilded Razor
The Girl at the Baggage Claim (social commentary East-West)
The Good Daughter Karin Slaughter 
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Green by Sam Graham-Felsen
Hallelujah Anyway Anne Lamott -- 4-4
The Heart Goes Last Margaret Atwood
Here Comes The Sun -- fic debut
Heroes Of The Frontier by Dave Eggers 
H is for Hawk
History Of Violence by Eduard louis
Holding by Graham Norton
Home By Nightfall Mys London period
Home sweet Homicide by Craig Rice mys reissue 
House Of Names by Colm Toibin
How To Survive A Plague 
How To Survive A Summer (gay conversion camp)
Huck out West -- by Robert Coover
I'll Have What She's Having -- Nora Ephron rom-com
Infomocracy (not on Kindle)
The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende
Joe Gould's Teeth 
K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner  
Katharine Of Aragon -- Alison Weir fiction
Last Stories by William Trevor
Leading men by Christopher Castellani THEATER fi on Tennessee Williams and lover 
The Lessons of Ubuntu nonfic on race 
Lie With Me gay french novel trans by Molly Ringwald 
A Little Life
Lost and Gone Forever Alex Grecian mystery
The Lost Boys by 4-2-2019 famous psychological experiment in 1950s
Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
Loving, Caught, Back all by Henry Green reissue NYRB
Manhattan Beach by jennifer egan
The Man Who Spoke Snakish
Mapp Lucia reissues Worshipful and Queen and Lucia
The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith
Melmoth by Sarah perry author of Essex Serpent
The Mirror Thief
Mister Monkey -- fiction/theater 
Mrs. Engels
My German Brother by Chico Barques, Brazilian pop star
My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Ninefox Gambit (not on Kindle)
Nine Lives new Mys series Wendy Corsi Staub
The Nix
Noir by Christopher Moore
The Novel of Ferrara by Giorgio Bassani (six volume epic)
Number one Chinese Restaurant lit fic
The Odyssey by Emily Wilson trans
The Paper Menagerie
Passing by Nella Larsen
Patriot Number One -- bio/curr events Chinese activist
The Personality Brokers by Merve Emre history of Myers-Briggs
Pirate Utopia sci-fi fantasy by Bruce Sterling
The Puzzle of the Happy Hooligan by Stuart Palmer mys reissue
The Red Lamp by mary Rinehart mys reissue
Renoir's Dancer history
Requiem for the American Dream -- Noam Chomsky
Richard Nixon bio John Farrell
Room To Dream David Lynch
The Sacred Hunt Duology
Secondhand Time
Shark Drunk -- two guys true story catch shark, makes em drunk!
The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton
Sing Unburied Sing litfic 9-5
The 6:41 To Paris
Sleeping Giants (not on Kindle)
The Soul Of An Octopus
Speak No Evil litfic by Iweala
The Spirit Photographer his fic
Squeezed current events economics
The Stone Reader NYT philosophy column
The Stranger In The Woods -- RS reporter on hermit
Strangers In Their Own Land -- nonfic look at American right on ground level
Substitute -- Nicholson Baker memoir sub teacher
Swing Time Zadie Smith
The Sympathizer
Tell Them Of Battles, Kings and Elephants by Mathias Enard
That Thin Wild Mercury Sound by Daryl Sanders making of Blonde on Blonde
There There -- litfic urban Native Americans
Thirteen Ways Of Looking
Thrice The Brinded cat Hath Mewed new flavia de luce
The Tide -- popular science on tides
To Fight Against This Age --fascism essays
Tomorrow's Kin  sci-fi alien first contact
Too Like The Lightning
Twelve Kings (fantasy)
Valley Of Genius Silicon Valley by Adam Fisher history tech
Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
Victorian Fairy Tales edited by Michael Newton
Vision Quest (ya)
We'll Always Have Casablanca (pop culture)
We Were Rich and We Didn't Know It Irish memoir 3-5-2019
When Einstein Walked With Godel science essays by Jim Holt
Winter -- Ali Smith
The White Ghost by James R Benn WW II Mys
Young Radicals -- nonfic about six radicals prior to WW I
The Young Visiters by Daisy Ashford
Yvgeny Onegin -- new trans of Pushkin