Our most popular book reviews, essays and readings from the past five years, being those receiving the most hits on a daily basis.

  • Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, by Marya Hornbacher (Harper). "The truth is," said our reviewer, "Hornbach probably needed nothing more than a couple of whacks on the fanny."

  • The World's Most Dangerous Places, An Anti-Travel Guide, by Robert Young Pelton (Fielding). A book that lists of some of the scariest places in the world to find yourself.

  • Heart of Spain: Robert Capa's Photographs of the Spanish Civil War, Leslie A. Martin, Editor (Aperture)

  • Six Wars At a Time, The Life of Gutzon Borglum, by Howard and Audrey Shaff (The Center for Western Studies). The life of the eccentric who created the faces of the presidents at Mount Rushmore.

  • Mrs. Caliban, by Rachel Ingalls (Harvard Common). A strange and wonderful tale of a living, loving vegetable man. Three British critics picked this as one of the best American novels of all time.

  • Ich Kuss die Hand: The Letters of H. L. Mencken to Gretchen Hood, Peter W. Dowell, Editor (University of Alabama).

  • Confucius in 90 Minutes, by Paul Strathern (Ivan R. Dee). Our reviewer imagines Strathern's marching orders: "Keep it short, below 10,000 words. And for christssakes Paul --- keep it light!"

  • Lady Chatterley's Lover, D. H. Lawrence (First Penguin Books Edition, September, 1946) "Has some generally useful descriptions of wildlife, botany, and hunting practices at a typical Edwardian English estate, but --- unfortunately --- the noisome activities of a certain gamekeeper and the lady of the house keep getting in the way of these otherwise excellent passages."

  • "Freeland." A meditation on land and land-use in Mexico, as compared to that of the United States.

  • A Woman of Rome, by Alberto Moravia, Translated by Lydia Holland (Steerforth Italia). "She pulls all men into her, sees them all with a dispassionate warmth that leads us to believe that perhaps she is one of the divine, a Mary Magdelaine, the Sweet Mother of Jesus, our Lady of the Streets."

  • Red Dirt: Growing Up Okie, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Verso).

  • The Ogre, by Michel Tournier, Translated by Barbara Bray (Johns Hopkins). "They compare it to The Tin Drum but that book of monsters is flat and myopic compared to the rich symphony of Tournier's work."

  • Proslavery: A History of the Defense of Slavery in America, by Larry E. Tise (University of Georgia Press).

  • Ellis Island: A Pictorial History, by Barbara Benton (Facts on File).

  • Salvation on Sand Mountain: Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia, by Dennis Covington (Penguin).

  • Memoirs of My Nervous Illness, by Daniel Paul Schreber (Harvard). The classic autobiography of a schizophrenic personality.

  • The Slave Trade, By Hugh Thomas (Simon & Schuster).

  • "Handicap as a Social Construction" from The Unexpected Minority: Handicapped Children in America, by John Gliedman & Wm. Roth. (Harcourt Brace).

  • Dr. Laura: The Unauthorized Biography, by Vickie L. Bane (St Martins).

  • How Now Shall We Live? Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcy (Tyndale House). Some thoughts on morality from one of the Nixon administration's insiders.

  • "Fatty Arbuckle," an appreciation of the classic silent-era movie star, by Douglas Cruickshank.

  • "Why Anti-matter Matters," by Alfred Jarry. Thoughts from the master of 'pataphysical thought.

  • Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy In America, by Laura Kipnis (Duke University Press).

  • "The Ladies of the School"
    The Ladies of the School of Bliss/ Have announced that each evening
    In order to save them,/ They are preparing to crush thyme
    Against the Dying Stars.

  • Prayer Warriors: The True Story of a Gay Son, His Fundamentalist Christian Family, and The Battle for His Soul, by Stuart Howell Miller (Alyson).

  • The Windsor Style, By Suzy Menkes (Salem House). The Duke & Duchess of Winsor exposed.

  • "A Brief History of Mexico." While America was busy with the Civil War, the French landed at Very Cruz and marched on the capitol with wagons filled with baguettes and petits-fours.

  • "Cousin Hans." I remember sitting alone on the steps, hearing my seven-year-old friend crying out, begging his father to stop, please to stop, please, it hurts so.

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