Smokey and the Bandit meets Justified and Fargo in this violent crime-family saga with a sense of humor. They're not criminals. They're outlaws. They have made a living by driving anything and everything for the Stanleys, the criminal family who has been employing them for decades. It's ended with Tucker. He's gone straight, much to the disappointment of his father, Webb. When Webb vanishes after a job, and with him a truck load of drugs, the Stanleys want their drugs back or their money. With the help from his grandfather, Calvin-the original lead foot-Tucker is about to learn a whole lot about the family business in a crash course that might just get him killed. (280 Steps)
Robert Scheer presents and signs They Know Everything about You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.The revelation that the government has access to a vast trove of personal online data demonstrates that we already live in a surveillance society. But the erosion of privacy rights extends far beyond big government. Intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA are using Silicon Valley corporate partners as their data spies. Seemingly progressive tech companies are joining forces with snooping government agencies to create a brave new world of wired tyranny.
Life in the digital age poses an unprecedented challenge to our constitutional liberties, which guarantee a wall of privacy between the individual and the government. The basic assumption of democracy requires the ability of the individual to experiment with ideas and associations within a protected zone, as secured by the Constitution. The unobserved moment embodies the most basic of human rights, yet it is being squandered in the name of national security and consumer convenience. Robert Scheer argues that the information revolution, while a source of public enlightenment, contains the seeds of freedom's destruction in the form of a surveillance state that exceeds the wildest dream of the most ingenious dictator. The technology of surveillance, unless vigorously resisted, represents an existential threat to the liberation of the human spirit. (Nation Books)
Jon Fine with Clay Tarver discusses and signs Your Band Sucks: What I Saw at Indie Rock's Failed Revolution (But Can No Longer Hear)
Jon Fine spent nearly thirty years performing and recording with bands that played various forms of aggressive and challenging underground rock music, and, as he writes in this memoir, at no point were any of those bands "ever threatened, even distantly, by actual fame." Yet when members of his first band, Bitch Magnet, reunited after twenty-one years to tour Europe, Asia, and America, diehard longtime fans traveled from far and wide to attend those shows, despite creeping middle-age obligations of parenthood and 9-to-5 jobs, testament to the remarkable staying power of the indie culture that the bands predating the likes of Bitch Magnet--among them Black Flag, Mission of Burma, and Sonic Youth --willed into existence through sheer determination and a shared disdain for the mediocrity of contemporary popular music.
In indie rock's pre-Internet glory days of the 1980s, such defiant bands attracted fans only through samizdat networks that encompassed word of mouth, college radio, tiny record stores and 'zines. Eschewing the superficiality of performers who gained fame through MTV, indie bands instead found glory in all-night recording sessions, shoestring van tours and endless appearances in grimy clubs. Some bands with a foot in this scene, like REM and Nirvana, eventually attained mainstream success. Many others, like Bitch Magnet, were beloved only by the most obsessed fans of this time.
Like Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, Your Band Sucks is an insider's look at a fascinating and ferociously loved subculture. In it, Fine tracks how the indie-rock underground emerged and evolved, how it grappled with the mainstream and vice versa, and how it led many bands to an odd rebirth in the 21st Century in which they reunited, briefly and bittersweetly, after being broken up for decades. (Viking)
Vera Steiner lives through pogrom, poverty, epidemic--but how can she go on after her children are torn away from her? In a time before anyone dares dream that love is a right, Vera pays for her deviance with lifelong loneliness. Yet this is not a throwback to the old doomed-lesbian tale. Vera is strong. She survives. Fifty years later, in an era of change, of hope, Vera's granddaughter Randy comes of age and comes out of the closet. Randy throws herself into the struggle to do away with shame and secrecy--never knowing her own grandmother's secret shame until it's too late. Sweeping across the miles and over the years--from czarist Russia to sweatshop New Jersey, from the 1960s Motor City to the Manhattan of gay power protests-- Vera’s Will takes the reader on a grand journey. Set against the backdrop of war, depression, McCarthyism, civil rights, AIDS, this is a novel of the 20th century. This is a family saga. Most of all, though, this is Vera's story, and Randy's: a story about the human heart and the unbreakable human will to love. (Hamilton Stone Editions)