Commentary

Book Review: 'Sunburn'

Feb 19, 2018

Inspired by the noir novels of James M. Cain, Laura Lippman assiduously delivers a masterpiece of the form in her steamy novel Sunburn. An alleged secret stash of cash from a questionable insurance settlement, apparently amoral characters, and ulterior motives all mixed up because of a fervid love affair simmer over a steady flame, until everything combusts.

Michael Lionstar

Charles C. Mann has written about the intersection of science, technology, and commerce for many newspapers, magazines and books. His latest book, The Wizard and the Prophet, is about two scientists and their dueling predictions about the future of our planet. 

Gia Watson

Gia Watson is a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and music educator.

“My dad’s a pastor, so I’m like the queen of the impromptu solo. I got really comfortable with getting up and just singing. That’s what I’ve always done and what I like to do. I wish there was a platform where you could just gig and having nothing prepared. And people would just throw things at you. That would be so much fun because it would feel really natural. Not necessarily produced.”

In August of 2015, a gunman attacked a train from Amsterdam to Paris. After short skirmishes with some passengers, his rifle jammed, and three Americans on the train overwhelmed the man and subdued him with the help of a couple of other passengers.

Back in the late '90s I would occasionally hang out with the great Wichita painter Shirley Glickman. She would invite me to run errands with her in her white Volvo station wagon. She would randomly call me and invite me over for Sunday brunch. 

With Planet Comic Con coming to Kansas City this weekend, it’s a good time to show appreciation for what nerds, geeks and other assorted dweebs have done for musical culture. It’s easy to make fun of them, but let’s not forget that nerds are the driving force of our digital lives, and the potential for a nerd overthrow of our musical power structure is unlimited.

We don’t often associate the Romantic period of literature and art with the sounds of factories or machines, but there’s a good case to be made that despite our insistence on realism and modernism, we’ve never really left Romanticism behind. Liberal philosopher Isaiah Berlin complained that Romanticism led to the "melting away of the very notion of objective truth," which could conversely be a point in its favor.

Where the old Romantics left off, much of hip hop has picked up, returning to the quest to discover the self within the world that it inhabits.

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, is a well-loved Civil War-era novel that has been adapted for stage and screen again and again. 

Justin Cary

When I think of cooking with fire, a lot of images pop into my head, but the most iconic of all is the wood-fired oven.

Roger Ebert often pointed out that the movies that made him cry weren’t the ones that were supposed to be sad, but rather those that showed the goodness that lies within people. I thought of this as my eyes got a bit teary while watching Call Me By Your Name, a Best Picture nominee, and the most humane and kind movie in a year that featured so many others filled with anxiety and darkness.

Pages