Friday, October 24, 2014

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NY1 teams with contributors from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Slate.com and Essence Magazine to review the latest books and book-related trends.

The Book Reader: "American Savage," "William Shakespeare's Star Wars"

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Andrew Losowsky of The Huffington Post reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."

"American Savage"
It's amazing how quickly attitudes are changing in this country around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Advice columnist Dan Savage has been one of the most visible advocates for this during the past decade or so, but as he shows in his latest book "American Savage," there's still a long way to go before tolerance becomes acceptance and people feel less ashamed of their own desires.

Savage is a spiky, witty narrator, who originally became an advice columnist for a joke, before realizing that people were taking him seriously. His work now has a significant cultural impact, and many of the phrases coined in his column, either by himself or his readers, have become widespread among sex-positive 20- and 30-somethings.

This book is funny, thought provoking and unashamedly anti-conservative, so it's not for everyone. But if you want to understand modern American sexuality while being highly entertained, "American Savage" is for you. It's out now in hardback and download from Dutton.

"William Shakespeare's Star Wars"
Star Wars and Shakespeare rarely have combined

In such a way as this curious find.

"William Shakespeare's Star Wars" is its name,

And treats its subject matter like a game.

Its funny, nerdy injokes make you smirk

It's no surprise the publisher's name is Quirk.

The movie's plot is featured, somewhat terse,

Entirely rendered here in pure blank verse.

Yes, fans of Shakespeare and George Lucas will

Enjoy the scribblings from Ian Doescher's quill.

While his intention might be parody,

This did hold more than simply that for me.

A serious point you'll find if you just look

Within the jokes contained inside this book.

For it lays bare the structures of the Bard

For readers who might find his words too hard.

So do enjoy this curious book a while,

As a great way to access Shakespeare's style.

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