Fall Reads 

Sex, booze and rock 'n' roll. What more could you want?

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“Hos, Hookers, Call Girls and Rent Boys: Professionals Writing on Life, Love, Money and Sex”
edited by David Henry Sterry and
R.J. Martin Jr.
Soft Skull Press, $15.95

We know that sex sells. We know that it's a multibillion-dollar industry and we know what we feel comfortable talking about in polite company. But do we know what it's like for a mother to discover her daughter is a dominatrix, as in Anastasia Krylov's “My Daughter Is a Prostitute”? Or to be given to granny like Sterry in “I Was a Birthday Present for an Eighty-Two-Year-Old-Grandmother”? From Annie Sprinkle — perhaps the first porn star to receive a doctorate (“40 Reasons Why Whores Are My Heroes”) to essays by the young women in the National Summit of Sexually Exploited Youth, this anthology spans class, age, race, sexual orientation and all kinds of experience. Taboo, clever, wrenching and compulsively readable, you'll be stripped of your stereotypes between the covers of this book. 

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>“Drunk, A Comic About Bar Stories”
edited and published by Michael Ogilvie
www.vegasdrunk.com, $25
Move over Norman Rockwell and Southern fried kitsch. “Drunk” is the perfect coaster for your bottle of Jim Beam or your AA coffee mug. From the romance of the buzz to blackouts, DT's and hangovers, this 128-page collection of graphic shorts will take you through the dizzying highs and lows of intoxication. Be warned: What you find in the pages may make you throw up, hook up, or wake up on the other side of town married to someone you don't know. But you're sure to be entertained along the way. The language of inebriation, as depicted by 25 different artists, spans the macabre to the — hiccup — hilarious.

 

 

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>

“And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture”
by Bill Wasik
Viking, $25.95

For Internet junkies, there's only one thing more compelling than actually being online: reading about what happens when you're not. Harper's senior editor, Bill Wasik, a virtual tech magician, shines a light on the inner machinations of the World Wide Web, tossing a few wrenches into the cogs just to see which way — and for how long — they'll spin. With devious humor and keen observation, Wasik winds his way through the subculture of meme makers, the media mind, flash mobs and the curse of the nanostory, pointing out the general effects of high-tech culture on art, music, marketing, politics and the very way we digest — or spit out — the world at large.

 

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>“Rock 'n' Roll Soldier: A Memoir”
by Dean Ellis Kohler with Susan VanHecke
Harper Collins, $16.99
In 1967, Dean Kohler was a typical car-girl-and-music-loving teenager from Portsmouth. But then he was drafted, sent to Vietnam and indoctrinated into a military police unit in Qui Nhon. His story, eloquently and cleanly told, will settle into its own place on the shelves of classic Vietnam War literature, but with a subgenre of its own:  the music of war. The likes of “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Louie, Louie,” and “Under My Thumb” blast louder than machine-gun fire as Kohler and his band, “The Electrical Banana,” play live gigs for the soldiers between their own live battles. With a foreword by Graham Nash about the life-saving power of music, Kohler's story couldn't be timelier for the young men and women navigating the war zones of today. 

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