Kinky Friedman Live in St. Louis

On December 2, Kinky Friedman will be appearing at Off Broadway in St. Louis. Mr. Friedman is a prolific writer, musician, and 2006 gubernatorial candidate in Texas. Over the past few years Friedman has gained notoriety for his outspoken political views and his cutting sense of humor, which he delivers through his books and web-based columns.

Bittersweet and 90 Proof

"Lorraine" by Lori McKenna is full of songs that tell the sad but sweet tale of an ordinary life. Lori McKenna is a singer songwriter with an emotionally charged voice. She can be considered a folk artist, but she has a heavy twang which makes her sound country. However, some of the songs on "Lorraine" have more of a pop sound like "You Get a Love Song" and "American Revolver."

Memories Light the Corners of My Mind

With the holidays approaching, it's all about memories. As you set around the dinner table, by the time you've finished dessert, you just may have some new ones.

Flashback Film Review: "Paper Moon"

The film "Paper Moon," although produced in the 1970s, was shot in black-and-white, thus transporting viewers back to the era in which it is set, the Great Depression, and rekindling the stark emotions of the time. Audiences may be surprised to find that while the story of an orphaned child, Addie, in the Depression era might not sound like a laugh-out-loud comedy, "Paper Moon" is a wonderfully witty road movie, whose charm still holds true some 30 years later. The story begins following the death of Addie's mother, a Midwest prostitute, who has been killed in a car accident. Moses, an acquaintance of Addie's mother - which one might read between the lines to mean more - agrees to take Addie to her Aunt's home in St. Joseph, Missouri. Here, the comedy begins.  Addie and Moses team up devising scams and attempting to swindle all of whom they encounter. While Addie is ostensibly a sweet child dealing with the grief of losing a parent, Moses soon discovers that she is also a talented con artist, perhaps an even greater one than himself.

Survival Skills

Colson Whitehead's novel "Zone One" might be called a zombie novel or post-apocalyptic fiction. But even those without interest in Armageddon scenarios or the undead will enjoy this thought-provoking book. In addition to presenting a gruesome picture of the aftermath of a worldwide catastrophe, it explores the survival techniques humans use to live with one another in good times and bad.

Fix It & Forget It

After a hectic and busy day at work, many of us find the drive-thru of our favorite greasy pit to be the last stop before we reach home. Most of us are guilty of this sinful detour because, frankly we just don't have the time, let alone the effort left in us to cook a well balanced and hearty meal.

Series Roundup: The Wicked Years

Way back in 1995 Gregory Maguire started something big with "Wicked: the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West." Maguire has said that he hoped to tell a new story about a familiar villain. He succeeded. "Wicked" became a huge hit spawning a four book series and an award-winning musical. The latest book "Out of Oz: the final volume in the Wicked Years" is available this month. Now might be a good time to catch up with the series.

In "Wicked" readers learn about Elphaba Thropp and her fight against a tyrannical Wizard of Oz. The sequel "Son of a Witch" focuses on Liir who may be Elphaba's son. "A Lion Among Men" is story of the cowardly lion during a time of war between the Munchkins and the emperor of Emerald City. In "Out of Oz" Maguire concludes the series with the story of Elphaba's granddaughter. This book contains the political themes present in the whole series.

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