jfine@northshire.com's blog

Steely Dan

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Steely Dan: Reelin' in the Years Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781468313147
Availability: Special Order
Published: Overlook-Omnibus - August 23rd, 2016

For anyone who ever came to appreciate the inimitable brilliance of the music of Steely Dan in the 1970's, Sweet's newly updated and rereleased review of their evolution from college friends to struggling songwriters to the toast of the music industry has all the answers to all the questions you ever had or never even got around to posing.

For years, Sweet had been the publisher of Steely Dan's fan newzine. In presenting this all-encompassing profile of the band/duo to the world, he obligatorily points out that Becker and Fagan- founders, songwriters, Steely Dan themselves- did not agree to offer input for his book. Yet “Reelin” doesn't suffer at all in this absence; firstly, Sweet dug up enough prior interviews that Becker and Fagan had given during the earlier days to make up for any lack of new interview material, but additionally, in his extensive research, the author has touched based with every other significant contributor to “The Dan's” music from day one- countless musicians, producers, engineers. There is a true treasure trove of inside and insightful information here sure to delight fans, especially given Steely Dan's previously notorious skimpiness when it came to album notes.

Which player had just finished building his instrument in the parking lot just three hours before recording one of the group's most famous guitar parts? Which musician performed the impossible feat of acing their part in one take on one of the band's all-time most intricate compositions? The evolution of Fagan the vocalist from self-loathing self-doubter to iconic interpretive master, the story behind the crafting of every song, from draft board to studio and the contribution of every “hired gun” studio musician- as well as the tales behind those famously cryptic lyrics- it's all here, comprehensively and skillfully presented by Sweet. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


Pedro

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Pedro Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780544705319
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 10th, 2016

There is much to love and hate about the iconic pitcher “Pedro”. He was one of the most effective pitchers in the history of the game and was known for his unstoppable drive and often abrasive arrogance. With confidence and honesty, he lays all his cards on the table for both fans and detractors. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


Natural Born Heroes

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Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780307742223
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Vintage - April 5th, 2016

McDougall's zeroes in on a small band of supreme “overachievers” and sets out to reveal what it was- physically, mentally, spiritually- that set these people apart from their peers. His focus is on the residents of Crete and the British agents who teamed up to take on Nazi invaders in WWII. ~ Reviewed by Jonathan Fine


Sam Phillips

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Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780316042741
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Little, Brown and Company - November 10th, 2015

That one man could have such a profound impact on the musical and cultural trajectory of an entire nation is astounding. That so many people don't know even who Sam Phillips was or what he accomplished through single-minded determination, passion, instinct and a unique musical "vision" is even more amazing. His life's work defined an era and shaped our history. A must read. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


Purity

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Purity: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374239213
Availability: Special Order
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 1st, 2015

In his first novel in 5 years, Franzen digs his sharp-edged spade into the modern world of cyber “truthing” in the personage of the charismatic and possibly troubled “Sunshine Project” founder Andreas Wolf. Pip Tyler (Purity) is the young, wandering, wondering heart of this book, struggling to make her way while the mysteries of her parents' past cast shadows on her life. Franzen's ability to create full-bodied characters deeply enmeshed in the societal ills of any era is on full display. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


Hold the Dark

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Hold the Dark: A Novel Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781631490422
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright - August 10th, 2015

Not for the faint of heart, William Giraldi's novel "Hold The Dark", is a bloody, brutal, ice cold look inside the darkness of an isolated Alaskan town and the cascade of violence that erupts in the wake of a child's death. ~ Reviewed by Jon Fine


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