Sunday, December 28, 2014

Follow us:
Follow @NY1 on Twitter Follow NY1 News on Facebook Follow NY1 News on Google+ Subscribe to this news feed 


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

The Book Reader: 'Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation,' 'I am the Beggar of the World'

  • Text size: + -
TWC News: The Book Reader: 'Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation,' 'I am the Beggar of the World'
Play now

Time Warner Cable video customers:
Sign in with your TWC ID to access our video clips.

out of 10

Free Video Views Remaining

To get you to the stories you care about, we are offering everyone 10 video views per month.

Access to our video is always free for Time Warner Cable video customers who login with their TWC ID.

  To view our videos, you need to
enable JavaScript. Learn how.
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.

Then come back here and refresh the page.

June Thomas of Slate reports on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in The Book Reader.

It might seem like a business book about videogames and a collection of Afghan folk poems have little in common, but two new releases expand our understanding of conflict in surprising ways.

In "Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation," Blake J. Harris provides a blow-by-blow account of the cut-throat competition for young Americans’ hearts and game controllers. When the story begins, in 1990, Nintendo controls 90 percent of the U.S. videogame market and treats game developers, stores, and customers with contempt. If Nintendo hadn’t been so arrogant, it’s unlikely that Tom Kalinske could have led Sega to become the new industry leader in just six years. For some readers, names like Sonic, Super Mario, Genesis, and NES will be like old friends. But even if, like me, you never played any of these games, this gripping saga will keep you reading the way Street Fighter II used to keep kids playing for hours and hours at a time.

A landay is a very short Pashto-language poem, traditionally recited by women. In 2012, Eliza Griswold traveled to Afghanistan with photographer Seamus Murphy to collect contemporary landays about drones, war, love, and homeland. In Griswold’s vivid and often witty translations, the poems in "I am the Beggar of the World" become a revealing and intimate form of journalism. The couplets can be funny, shocking, bawdy, and brutal. Some attack America, others the Taliban. Griswold’s explanations of the poems’ themes taught me more about contemporary Afghanistan than did many much longer books.

Look for reviews of new volumes of poetry and prose on the Slate Book Review at ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP