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January 11, 2001 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-01-11

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Books editor pages through the year's literary gems

Eight great releases that escaped popula

By Lisa Raft
Books Editor

The \\r1iter Saul Below once
claimed that, '.With a novelist, like a
sturgeon, you have to get a feeling that
\ rOU'vCfallen inO tood hands -some-
one from whom you can accept anes-
thetic with confidence." Keeping this
quote in mind. 1 set about the task of
selecting nmy favorite books from the
year 2000.
Good books should alternately
break our hearts and make us laugh.
All of the works of fiction mentioned
below did jdust that. often combining
sophisticated wiigwt simple sto-
ries. As they were each so differcnt I
could not find it within myvself to rank
them: They arc li sted in n() par-ticular
order.
Consider this list a mere sample of
the books from 2000 that are wvorthy of
your time, It is by no means condot-
siv c. as I certainly do not claim to hav e
read every g{ood book that w~as wvritten
this past year. 110lowever., should you
like to fall into the hands of some of
the year's most capable literary "sur-
ocons," here are the places to begin. Sit
back and relax, let the anesthetic take
hold:
"Anth rop~ooov, by Dan Rhodes:
A simple concept: 101 stories, in
alphabetical order. 101 words each.
Some stories tic into others, some
stand alone. all are hilarious and

clever. These tiny little vignettes
embody themes of infidelity, death,
insanity and insecurity, providing a
window into the world of dating and
sex that is at times crystal-clear, at
times a bit fogey. Those with short
attention spans
take note: I i-cad
the book in about
liked it so muchY
that I actually e
mailed the author
and found that he
is a really niec
Englishman w~ho
eagerly a\\ait his
"[The Feast of
Love" 1w Charles
Baxter: Yes,
you're reading
correctly: This
book was w\ritten
by the
E.nivecrsity'5 0\\'11
Charles Baxter. Author Joyce Carol
Enog Iish professor the world of Marily
and 'rational "Blonde."
Book Aw\ard n0om-
inee. The best pait of this book is the
range of' characters that populate it:
Well-dev eloped, complex and thor-
ouglv human, the narrators of this

book range from a teenage coffee-shop
enloyee to an elderly philosophy pro-
fessor'. Filled with surprises, each nair-
iator tells a story that weaves into the
otheirs. often with an unldetCricrnt of
humor rippling just below the surface.
A surprising bonus is
thlat thle book is set in
good old Ann Arbor.
"Getting Over
It" by Anna
Nlaxted: This is.
withlout a doubt, one
of thle funniest
books I hlave ever
read. I lauglled copi-
ously. Out l01ud, in
public. Thlis novel
follows ill thlefoot-
steps Of thle popular
-Bridoect Jones
Diary'' series, ill that
it recordls thle trials
and tribulations ill
thle life of a hip,
Urball t\Veltv-SOill-
tllilg . It's a typical
cou : , E . s love story and <a tvp-
lates explores ical tale of soinleonle
Monroe in trvinlg to "get over"
thle loss of a love
onle. This book is
not all fun anld games. hlowever. it is
about findim-, an identity alld a place
in a very big world. It just so hlap-
pens to also lave hilarious twists,

I0

university ~
$10 Rush Tickets on sale 10 am - 6 pm the day of the performance or the Friday
before a weekend event at the UMS Box Office located in the Power Center, 121
Fletcher Street.
50% Rush TIckets on sale beginning 90 minutes before the event
at the Performance Halt Box Office.
veY-{P/ : v 6nrizvte
764.2538 tt iic
A _vald student ID) is rcquired. Limit two tickets per student, perHiL A to v it
event Rush Tickets arc not offered if an event is sold out and
.seating is .subject to. availability and box offie discretion.

turins and one-liners.
"The Way Forwcard is With a
Broken Heart" by Aice Walker:
One of illy favorite writers, Walker
does not disappoint with her latest
collection of memoirs and sort sto-
ries. The characters semed so real
that I aml almost coninced of their
existence. This is wvith good reason:
Each story relates to Walker's own life
soillelowN. As is typical ill any of.
Walker's wrks. tie temles aie feni-
nisml, sexuality. llpowvermeit race
anld spirittualit.
"Phoenix: A Brother's Life" by
J.D. Dolan: A true story about Dolan s
brothler w\rittenl illtoucinlv simlple
prose. With great honesty. this book
prvO\ides a heart-w\reching \viw of
D)olaln", grief afier his broters traic
anld unit imely deathl.:A mit-read for
anyonle interested inl exploring sibig
relations11i ps aid the tis ta bild
thleml.
"~Blonde" by Joyke Carol ates:
A seii-fictionalized accounit of
Niari IvilMonroc enCtieli fe. NMal
Cvelts anld characters featured aie
real, but Monroes dMiaoue Itrough-
out thle book is, of Course. iaied.
Oates Niites tense taut prose tat
lends to an oveirallI feeling of iilpend-
ing doomllanld failure. I'ill not tpi-
cal ly a fal of an thin(,,gthat so reat v
blurs thle line betweenl fact ad fic-
tionl. but Oates does so ill a a\ tat
REALITY
Continued from Page 3B3
mlost -the olger 1 8-48 age bracket.
Survivor alone brougt CBS back to
imaniy younger viewers that had left te
"Geriatric Network''ill yea rs past.
Finlally, reality programs film quickly
anld efectively. Anid using real people over
actors adds to an ilsualce policy i' an
actors stike affkcts te industrv.
Pundits around te outr r eenitly~
uimped on the anti-real it bandwaon,
With Criticisml about tle sows'
v'oyeurismlland sexual contet, te worst'
of ender -Fox's Temlptationl Islad.
The shlow takes our couples and puts
themo n a tropical island off Belize. The
object -- stay faithful with your- paltier
as sever'al beautiful l nad woenC lty
to tellpt the COuples into bieakig up.
Eachl imemlber of thcouples will have
thle chance to vote a paiticular "temlpter'
off thle island - people tetik their
m1ateCs wouild want to date.
"The producers oTcmnptation island"
should be asamed of tleiselves ii6r tr-
ing to foi'ce the destructionl o four ila-
of' thlose low-lifs "w]to coseit to \vatcll
this trash:.' Bent Bozell, founder of te
Parents Television Coullei, told te
Associated Press.
Fox stainds by its sow callig it a
"view of r'elationshi p dynamilcs.
leillptatioll Island may beDCte sexiest
of thelewil\Vshows, but it will take alue
shlowinlg of \ iewers to beat Survivor I1.
This timel 16 cotestants ,pi for SI
millio in l the Australian Outback.
Producer' Mark Burnett has a perfcct
lead-ill w0e the premiere airs after te
Siip,' )owl oil Suldav, .an. 28

By W. Jacarl Melton
D)aily :arts Writer
It's hard to believe but tile year
2000 is about to close out. Now's tile
time when people whlo follow music,
like me, start thinking abotit what
artists made an inmpact in the last 12
nmonths. I've already seen somel mlag-
azines nmaking thleir declarations
about the best artists or- albums and I
think a lot of the timel, ill my hluimble
opinion, they're wrong. So whlat I'm
going to do is shled someC light oil
eight artists aild albums, ill 11 partic-
ular order, fronltile past yeai' that I
thlink didn't get 'the attenltionl they
deserved.
Jurassic 5 "Quality Control" -
J1 fillally released tile full-length
follow-up to their classic EP~ and did-
n't disappoint. Thlis six-mlanl group
represents thle LA underoround to thle

fullest. Thley bring an old school
style that's fresh whether thley rhyme
individually or together.
Binary Star "Masters of the
Universe" - This Michigan group
is set to blow up. "Masters" is most-
ly' a repackaging of their
"Waterworld" release but serves to
bring more attenltionl to tile Detroit
hlip-hop scene, which I feel is finally
starting to get its just due. Good pro-
ductioll and the representation of
Michligan are highllights of thle
a lb uml.
Dimitri From

Prof. Charles Baxter's latest novel
stood out among this year's new
releases.
is highly engaging.
Thle goal of'tile book is to conltrast
";Marilyn Monroe, thle pire-fabricated
blond sexpot conltrived by mledia
geniuses. withl "Noria ,lcaile,"tille
deeply comlplex huilan beiing that
existed behind thle fake mlole anld fluffy
blonldeIlair-.
While thle shlow's f ormlat is thle samle
-- two tribes work IlII uity, comlpete Ill
chlallenges anld vote off tribeielllbers -
thle newest sLII'r P.'S ar'e a IilUell \ollger
anld better-looking bunchl.
Rodger Binghanm, a :)-yeair old
teachler fl'oil Keiltuckv is thle oldest com-
petitori.
Differences firoil thle first serics ai-e
slight but illportailt.
While tile series f inishled tapinlg ill
eairly Deceimber-, thle iesults of th1e finlal
vote, whlere tile last sevenl castawvavs
kicked off vote to chloose the wvinnler
amongi thle finlal twvo, lhave not beeln
ievealed to ainvoine.
Pr-oducers locked thle votes ill a box
and will disclose thlemllliveC illthle final
episode.
And unl11ike first-series williler Richlard
[latch, who used an~ alliance sti-atey to
will the $1 mlillion, thle nec\ ontestanlts
Xwill nleed better tactics to will it all.
Because thle first suirvivor' contestants
took imainy weeks to leai-n thle new\ rules,
[latch pied oil thle inexperienlce aind
built a four-mlemlber alliance thlat voted
off the others onle-by-onle. All of thle ilC\
castaways studied thle oiinial series
intently, pr'eparinlg for backst-Ibbiilg-
'illed social chlaos.
N-ow conifdentt is CBS ill thle new
series'? Thleinetwor-k placed it illthle
Tllhursdav 8 p11m. iileslot. opposite an
NBC-domlinated Must See TV linleup
Survivor will battle tlle hit sitcomllf1riends.
Ilil additionl to key tiinig -f the shlow.
CBS anniounleed -iICSisdV thle go allad
for a thlird aind fourill Survivor.
Planlied sites for tile thlird Stallza.
schleduled thlis lall, inlulde thle .-\la/oil
Rivrcr iegion of Soutl AIlIfica aild a.til'-
cde in Africa.

a mix of underground disco. No, it's
not KC and the Sunshine Band or
stuff you hear on thle radio. This is
quality and served as the basis foi'
house music. Give it a listen before
you make any conclusions.
Fela Kuti "The Best Best of Fela
Kuti" - Kuti died in 1997 btit 2000
saw several of his 80 albums ricis-
sued along with this "Best of"
album. They call thle native-born
Nigerian the king of Afrobeat and
rightly so. This album enlcapsulates
aind offers details oil Iis flamboyant
and controver-
sial career aind
,. pano tribute to
lliml on Like
s q Travellin"' and
. Kuti's sonl Fenli
also released an
Salbum this v'ear
Jill Scott
Scott?"" - W'ell,
Scott was a background singecr for
the Roots who dropped a geml of an
albuml. She mixes spoken word with
singing to create a mlellow groove.
This is perfect if you just need to
relax.
Dead Prez "Let's Get Free" --I
first hleard DP in 1998 and wondeired
why thle LP took so long to put out.
Now I know why. Th1ey pusllthle
envelope in a p.c. and apathetic
world. Whlether thley're talking about
thle school systeill. hip-Ihop or sex,
Dead Prez is thlought provoking.
Give thle album a listen to see whlat 1
illean.
Cali Agents "Howi The W~est Was
One" - California hlip-hop is often
stereotyped by the Di. Dre sound,
but tile Bay Area billes its ownl
style. Planet Asia aind Raseo teaml up

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Rac'khant Student Governiment
and the Graduate Employees Organ ization
invite you to attend a Rackham Town Hall Meeting regarding:
T hursdav, Januarv 11, 2001
330 to 5pm
Rackham Assembly Hall
(4th Floor Rackham Bldg)
Both t'nderuakiduate andi g-raotiate parents are encouraged to altlend. ciiildrc Iiarc
v.e rac a \elI (child care xv ill be prov ided on-site). Refreshments XXill be pro\ MidA
panel lbllon" he '010n6-,\dmiinistrators will be present to respond to yoaur c-,ision-
Mid oncerns recardine Child Care Opportunities at LM:

vi

Leslie DePiet ro, C'ooird inator, Faini ly('are Resour-ces Prourml
Roo ster tlarper. Vice President of Student Aitair-

L-

ut ral O S Kjna uaLoj3LU~l
I Jayn re London. Rackllail Coordinlator of Div ersity Initiative
*. l.i J ,. a a.i wy' i ' . ti't r tYa .dir K" . tbv i s ¢ p Y . , . . . ,. . . ,,_a , - J. i Fa ' ..iF T -9'' i+ ' 4 C% " 'a J.k!! y1

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