From the Stacks: June 1, 2007

Utne Reader‘s library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500
magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively
dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box
bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights
(and occasional lowlights) of what’s landing in our library each
week in ‘From the Stacks.’ Check in every Friday for the latest
edition.

The New ConfessionalsThe New Confessionals, a collection of
female zinesters’ writings compiled by Katie of
The
La-La Theory
fame, will have you running to the
office-supply store for scissors, glue sticks, and pens —
because you’ll want to make a zine of your own, and right away.
Katie has assembled a delicate balance of writings that are
funny and somber, thoughtful and lighthearted, and all-around
readable. In an excellent excerpt from Clark8, Megan Gendell gracefully chronicles her descent into
suicidal thoughts, describing an ‘almost manic’ evening during
which she cleaned her room and folded her clothes: ‘I wanted to
leave things in a state of order.’ In ‘M is for Mixtape,’ Becky
writes an ode to the art of mixtaping and declares her 2007 New
Year’s resolution to ‘make my height in mixtapes.’ By her
calculations, given her height (5′ 2′) and the width of a
cassette tape (1/2 inch), she’ll have to crank out 124 mixtapes
by year’s end. — Danielle Maestretti

Coffeeshop CrushesCoffeeshop Crushes, a one-off zine from
2001 reprinted in April by
Microcosm Publishing with a few new
additions, catalogues the sometimes awkward, sometimes painful
interaction between the java we love and the dreamboats who sell
it. Edited by Nicole J. Georges and Jon Van Oast, the zine is
split between amusing anecdotes about secret crushes and
illustrated comics that chart jittery attempts to gain the
attention of beloved baristas. While a good many of the crushes
remain simply that, a few gain purchase as lusty encounters of
promise that end with embarrassing failures or broken hearts. As
one such account concludes: ‘After a week and a half of coffee
themed hot sex, I decided to declare my love. I was more
surprised than he. He said ‘You know you’re cute and all,
but…. You’re just too weird for me.” — Chris
Gehrke

Just in time for the summer reading season, the May/June issue
of the BloomsburyReview has arrived to whet our appetite for books from
presses large and small. The Denver-based magazine boasts reviews
on books from a wide array of genres, ranging from fiction to
biographies to young adult and children’s books. Published six
times a year, Bloomsbury Review also features several
author interviews and profiles in each issue. Interviewed in the
latest issue is Marjane Satrapi, author of the widely acclaimed
graphic novel
Persepolis:The Story of a Childhood, her
autobiographical account of coming of age during Iran’s Islamic
Revolution. — Natalie Hudson

Socialist ViewpointSocialist Viewpoint offers ‘news and
analysis for working people.’ The bimonthly magazine out of San
Francisco focuses on labor issues, while keeping a close (and
skeptical) watch on national and international politics. The
May/June issue features an antiwar-themed section, including a
piece reprinted from Jason Miller’s blog,
Thomas Paine’s Corner, in which the
author argues that ‘each of us in the United States is complicit
in the crimes of our nation to some degree.’ In her ‘Open Letter
to the Antiwar Movement,’ culled from
Global Research’s website, Hana Abdul Ilah
Al Bayaty calls on antiwar activists  to ‘condemn the
ignorance that accepts the dehumanizing of the other.’ —
Natalie Hudson

Writers Elie Wiesel and Leonard Fein founded
Moment in 1975 to chronicle and explore
the American Jewish experience. A staple of the engaging magazine
is its ‘Ask the Rabbis’ department, which challenges rabbis from
various sects to answer a pressing question. The June issue’s query
— ‘What does Judaism say about being a workaholic?’ — draws some
interesting insights. Rabbi Arthur Waskow chimes in for Renewal
Judaism, connecting overwork to the unfair employment patterns that
leave many people with two or three part-time jobs: ‘As Jews,’ says
Waskow, ‘we should affirm our religious obligation to change the
present patterns of overwork so that all peoples’ work can be
worthy and sacred.’ Conservative Rabbi Gary L. Atkins comically
bristles (‘This is a question you ask a rabbi?’) before speaking of
the importance of honoring Shabbat in order to rest and spend time
within one’s family and community, while Reform Rabbi Joui Hessel
holds up workaholic Ari Gold of Entourage as a warning
against prioritizing a job over important relationships and Holy
Days. Also a highlight of the issue: Ron Rosenbaum interviews
novelist Norman Mailer about his latest book, The Castle in the
Forest
. — Julie Dolan

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