Joan Baum

Book Review: Dinner With Jackson Pollock

Jul 27, 2015

There’s no word  to cover what’s out there about the man who’s been called America’s premier Abstract Expressionist, but there should be: “Pollockiana.” There are  Jackson Pollock biopics, documentaries, jazz albums of his favorite pieces, even dance workshops that would imitate his gestural movements with brushes and paint cans. And now, 60 years after his death, along comes something truly different: a surprising book, a collection of recipes, hitherto unpublished.

Book Review: Doctored

Jun 23, 2015

“Doctored,” meaning restored to good condition, comes from the world of medicine, though it’s commonly used today to mean being made impure, in order to trick or deceive, as in “doctoring the evidence.” In his new medical memoir, Doctored, Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, a cardiologist who directs the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, plays on both senses of the word.

It’s been suggested that Christopher Bollen called his new novel “Orient” not only because it’s set in the easternmost North Fork hamlet of Long Island but also because it’s about orientation, the way people look at life, and themselves. Orient is not the Hamptons, but it could be if city folk keep coming out in increasing numbers and buying up shorefront property and farmland.

Book Review: The Illusion of Separateness

Mar 26, 2015

A new short story collection called The Illusion of Separateness taps into an old belief that humankind is one. Book critic Joan Baum has this review:

Book Review: All The Truth Is Out

Mar 12, 2015

The presidential aspirations of former U.S. Senator Gary Hart of Colorado were destroyed by a sex scandal back in 1987.  But Author Matt Bai says that wasn’t the only casualty.  Bai is a former chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine and a native of Trumbull, Connecticut.   In his new book he says the Gary Hart sex scandal led to the decline of journalistic ethics and the rise of tabloid reporting.   Book critic Joan Baum has this review.