Heller McAlpin http://wuwm.com en 'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain http://wuwm.com/post/empathy-exams-virtuosic-manifesto-human-pain A boyfriend once called Leslie Jamison "a wound dweller." This is one of many personal morsels she shares in her virtuosic book of essays, <em>The Empathy Exams,</em> in which she intrepidly probes sore spots to explore how our reactions to both our own pain and that of others define us as human beings. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:03:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 28330 at http://wuwm.com 'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain Comedian Ages With Humor — And Effort http://wuwm.com/post/comedian-ages-humor-and-effort What is it about comedians itching to get between the covers — book covers, that is? Annabelle Gurwitch's <em>I See You Made An Effort, </em> a seriously funny collection of essays about teetering over the edge of 50, makes it clear that the draw isn't strictly literary. Wed, 26 Feb 2014 01:29:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 25579 at http://wuwm.com Comedian Ages With Humor — And Effort 'One More Thing' Has A Few Too Many Things, But It's Still Funny http://wuwm.com/post/one-more-thing-has-few-too-many-things-its-still-funny How entertaining is B.J. Novak? With <em>One More Thing</em>, the standup comic, scriptwriter and actor (best known for his work on <em>The Office</em>), takes his talents to the page in 64 fresh, short, offbeat and often hilarious stories, many of which involve updating classics for satirical effect — whether with a rematch between the tortoise and the hare, or by replacing detective Encyclopedia Brown from children's literature with Wikipedia Brown, who is hopelessly distracted by tangential subjects. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 12:03:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 24455 at http://wuwm.com 'One More Thing' Has A Few Too Many Things, But It's Still Funny Anna Quindlen Is (Still) The Voice Of Her Generation http://wuwm.com/post/anna-quindlen-still-voice-her-generation Back in the 1980s, Anna Quindlen's <em>New York Times </em>column, "Life in the 30s," delineated — with humor and grace — what so many of her fellow newly liberated female Boomers were going through: the complications of using your maiden name after you have children. Check. The challenges of balancing a career with parenting. Check. Grocery shopping with small children in tow, "an event I hope to see included in the Olympics in the near future."<em> </em>Check again.<p><em>Still Life with Bread Crumbs</em>, Quindlen's seventh novel, offers the literary equivalent of comfort food. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:02:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 23469 at http://wuwm.com Anna Quindlen Is (Still) The Voice Of Her Generation Music And Chemistry Are An Explosive Combination In 'Orfeo' http://wuwm.com/post/music-and-chemistry-are-explosive-combination-orfeo Richard Powers, whose novels combine the wonders of science with the marvels of art, astonishes us in different ways with each new book. His 11th, <em>Orfeo</em>, is about a 70-year-old avant-garde composer who has sacrificed family and fortune to his relentless pursuit of immortal, transcendent music.<p>Retired from teaching, Peter Els finally takes his esoteric monomania too far when he attempts to combine his twin obsessions — music and chemistry — in homegrown genetic engineering experiments aimed at instilling music into bacterial cells by altering DNA. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 12:02:00 +0000 Heller McAlpin 22936 at http://wuwm.com Music And Chemistry Are An Explosive Combination In 'Orfeo'