Bird On a Wire

Stanley Crouch gives us the best biography yet of Charlie Parker, the first jazz musician to let the saxophone lead the way, and the seminal musician who could make his horn sound “sweet,” yet “devoid of pity.”

Finding Faults

The Earth moves in mysterious ways, and even once altered the flow of the Mississippi River. Conevery Bolton Valencius’ new book on Missouri’s New Madrid fault shows how those tremors spread through culture and history. Read it, and be prepared when “The Big One” next hits.”

The Show of Shows

Kevin Cook writes an informative, insightful biography of Comedian Flip Wilson, the first black entertainer to successfully host a TV variety show. Gerald Early reviews Flip: The Inside Story of TV’s First Black Superstar.

Food Fights

The short, but dense, Something to Chew On serves up no-nonsense, stimulating fare over a range of food controversies, from GMOs to weight-loss and world hunger. Digest it if you dare.