ebarnum@northshire.com's blog

The Night Circus

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The Night Circus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307744432
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Published: Anchor - July 3rd, 2012

I was dragged kicking and screaming to this book, as it has everything I hate in a novel. Nevertheless I adored this marvelous (literally) tale of rival magicians who raise competing apprentices. This is a true tour de force, the author charmed me right off the bat and kept me enthralled to the very last page. I'm afraid that Erin Morganstern has exposed me as a literary snob, but I'm awfully glad she did. Highly recommended. ~ Reviewed by Erik Barnum


An Improvised Life

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An Improvised Life: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780306819667
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Business Days
Published: Da Capo Press - March 1st, 2011

This is not a traditional cradle to grave memoir, but a totally fascinating account of the creative life of one of our finest artists. Arkin's honesty and his candid introspection enlightens and informs the reader as he takes us from his fledgling days as one of the founding members of the improvisational troupe Second City into his movie career and beyond. A great read for the casual reader, an absolute inspiration for artists of any stripe.

P.S. Check out YouTube for the video that promotes this book. It's hilarious. ~ Reviewed by Erik Barnum

The Tiger's Wife

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The Tiger's Wife: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385343848
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Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - November 1st, 2011

This multifaceted novel is a treasure from one of the New Yorker's 20 under 40. A doctor living in an unnamed country searches for answers regarding the death of her grandfather whom she suspects was in search of a legendary deathless man. This is gorgeous storytelling that walks a very precarious tightrope, acrobatic and thrilling in the moment, pensive and profound in afterglow. In a word, exquisite. ~ Reviewed by Erik Barnum


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Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385529969
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Published: Random House - September 6th, 2011

Taibbi is one of today's few fearless journalists. In Griftopia, he directs his unflinching gaze and stimulating, often profane prose at the financial industry. With total grasp of his subject, he not only takes the financial giants to task, but burns down their houses. Highly recommended. ~ Reviewed by Erik Barnum

The Wave

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The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean Cover Image
ISBN: 9780767928854
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Published: Anchor - May 31st, 2011

This is a marvelous anecdotal treatise on freak (or rogue)ocean waves. While I didn't think I would enjoy this very much, I found myself enthralled by the topic and how it is presented. After the introduction, Ms. Casey follows around a group of diehard surfers who only surf giant waves of 60 feet or more. Laird Hamilton, who seems to be King of the Surfers, is a fascinating man hellbent on surfing a 100 foot wave - something that, until a few years ago, scientists didn't think existed. After this section of the book, the author attends a symposium on wave theory, in which we find out that, despite a great deal of scientific jargon, scientists really don't know a damn thing about waves. This is a very well written and researched book on an enthralling topic. ~ Reviewed by Erik Barnum

He Is Legend

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He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson Cover Image
By Christopher Conlon (Editor)
ISBN: 9780765326140
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Published: Tor Books - September 14th, 2010

Matheson was one of the writers that fueled my early reading life. He is underrated and overlooked because of the genre in which he plied his craft. Yet many of today's writer's owe him a great deal, and that is what this book is about. Those writers paying their debt to the master. This collection is loaded with prequels, sequels, and stories inspired by Richard Matheson - including the first ever collaboration between Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill. Do you need to go back and read Richard Matheson's works? Not really, but it will enhance these stories and reading Matheson is always a pleasure. ~ Reviewed by Erik Barnum


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