He Killed Them All: Robert Durst and My Quest for Justice

149208181He Killed Them All is  District Attorney Jeanine Pirro’s account of her dealings with real estate heir and suspected murderer Robert Durst. For over a decade Pirro tried to pin the murder of Durst’s ex-wife Kathie on, well Robert Durst. If you’ve seen The Jinx do you really need to read this book? Well if you’re obsessive and need to read everything then yes, if not then save yourself some time, and if you can’t stand strong female personalities then you need to skip this book.

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I Lost it at the Video Store: A Filmmakers’ Oral History of a Vanished Era

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I Lost it at the Video Store is a love-letter to the near-extinct video store and its culture. The title is an homage to influential film critic Pauline Kael’s I Lost it At the Movies.

Out of all retail outlets that are dying off the video store has been the saddest one to watch go. There was something more exciting about hunting for new movies than for books or records. It was always tailored to my moods – find a torturous Arthouse film or the trashiest horror, and I’d always come across random gems  whereas record and book purchases were always decided upon first. There’s not a huge investment in taking a risk on a crap film, you waste between $1-$8 and it’s no big deal, but I was never keen on taking risks on records and books.

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Can I Say: Living Large, Cheating Death, and Drums, Drums, Drums

Travis-Barker-Drums-DrumsI’m a sucker for autobiographies, especially by musicians. I used to be a bit of a snob and only read books by people I actually liked or knew about but slowly I caved in to any celebrity trash. After reading Kim Gordon’s wonderful Girl in a Band and Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl I was left  wanting  something a bit more… rambunctious and depraved, and saw that Travis Barker had a book due out so recommended that my local library buy it and they did.  Continue reading

Hello Kitty, Hello 40

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I can’t remember the first time I laid my eyes on Hello Kitty but I have passed my Hello Kitty obsession down to my daughter who has Hello Kitty lego, a bean bag, towels, tea sets, DVDs, clothes and toys. Yes I am buying the stuff I wish I had as a kid for her, but then one of her first words was kitty, so that makes it ok…right??

Hello Kitty, Hello 40 is a collection of 40 stories (plus one for good luck) about Hello Kitty from different comic artists, muralists and toy creators. The book is a celebration of 40 years of Hello Kitty. The book includes a blurb from contributors about what Hello Kitty means to them before their comic segment. There’s also an introduction from Babymouse creators Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm.

What makes the book so awesome is all the different interpretations of her character, she’s presented in ultra cuteness to macabre horror-esque stories (one story reminded me of Roman Dirge’s Lenore). There’s a story in here to appeal to everyone from role playing geeks (yes there’s a RPG story here) and toddlers to grumpy old granddads, no one can resist Hello Kitty’s charm and cuteness.

I’m not a big comic fan and I haven’t heard of any of the contributors but enjoyed every single story in the book. I pretty much read novels and non-fiction so it was nice a nice reminder of how powerful images can be as there’s no speech bubbles in any of the stories. An impressive collection of Hello Kitty stories and an impressive array of art.

Hello Kitty, Hello 40 is a beautiful 144 paged hardcover book that is a must have for any Hello Kitty collector. Lots of Kitty and Kawaii!!!!

At the back of the book there’s an index of artists with a profile (see picture gallery.) Artists who contributed include: Alberto Arzeni, Franco Aureliani, Art Baltazar, Chuck BB, Alan Brown, Juan Calle, R.J Casey, Jacob Chabot, Chanmen, Belinda Chen, Gemma Correll, Brianne Drouhard, Jerzy Drozd, Chris Eliopoulos, Theo Ellsworth, Chynna Clugston Flores, Susie Ghahremani, Chris Giarrusso, Stephanie Gonzaga, Sarah Goodreau, Habbenink, Charise Mericle Haper, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm, David Horvath, Corin Howell, Matrin Hsu, Debbie Huey, Leslie Hung, Phillip Jacobson, Karl Kerschl, Cynthia Liu, Ian McGinty, Alex Eben Meyer, Jorge Monlongo, Becka Moor, Travis Nichols, Sirron Norris, Luke Pearson, Lark Pien, Philippa Rice, Dave Roman, Brian Smith, Jay Stephens, James Turner, Gene Luen Yang.

Hello Kitty, Hello 40 is available from Madman Entertainment.

The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood

The-CornerThe Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood chronicles a year in the lives of a group of West-Baltimore natives. Written by Ed Burns (former police officer and teacher) and David Simon (former Baltimore Sun journalist), you may know of these guys from their other book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, or the HBO television shows: The Corner, The Wire, Generation Kill, Treme, and Homicide: Life on the Street which was based on the book but the show was not helmed by Burns or Simon.

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