Amis, boozer. Tynan, cold. Beckett, rubbish: A review of The Angry Years: the Rise and Fall of the Angry Young Men by Colin Wilson. A review of Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk (and more). Dave Eggers's What Is the What shows he has recovered from irony overload to tell a truly heartbreaking tale of a young man's journey from Africa to America.

A review of books by doctors who wield the pen to heal the profession. A thriller suggests Isaac Newton was murderously ambitious: A review of Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott. A geoscientific page-turner: German thriller Der Schwarm plants one foot firmly in real science, the other gets chewed by clairvoyant, needle-toothed methane worms. The (Other) Secret: The inverse square law trumps the law of attraction. The Secret's Success Micki McGee puts a progressive spin on the self-help bestseller. Think Negative!: Oprah, it's time to come clean about The Secret.

Safety and love first: An article on the politics of children’s literature and Barbara McClintock. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was Education Secretary Alan Johnson's favourite book at the age of 11. And it's on a list of the top 160 books for teenage boys. But is Mark Twain's tale relevant today? How his down-and-out Central Valley days gave Mark Twain his voice—and made him famous. The invention of America: Two books, Walt Disney: The Biography by Neal Gabler and The Animated Man: A Life of Walt Disney, illustrate how scenes from the life of Walt Disney have shaped how we all see Main Street, USA (and more).

Rhett, Scarlett and friends prepare for yet another encore: The second sequel to Gone With the Wind will be published this fall after years of setbacks. The Southernness of the South: An interview with Roy Blount, Jr., author of Long Time Leaving: Dispatches From Up South.

From The Nation, over eighteen seasons and three presidential eras, The Simpsons has paid badly animated homage to all that sucks in America. Simon Maxwell Apter measures their impact; and Calvin Trillin pays tribute to Studs Terkel, a Chicago icon whose curiosity and generosity of spirit embraces everyone, without regard to rank or station. From PopMatters, an article on America's Most Policed Art Form: The rise of the informal mixtape economy. Roll Over, iPod: There's nothing like a genuine jukebox.

From Smithsonian, Blues Alley: How Chicago became the blues capital of the world. Billy Taylor has made a career of trying to prove that jazz still has an audience. But does it? An interview with T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, author of Pimps Up, Ho's Down: Hip Hop's Hold on Young Black Women. A review of Third Coast: Outkast, Timbaland & How Hip-Hop Became a Southern Thing. When the sounds were a-changin': A review of White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s by Joe Boyd. The life and loves of a he-devil: Marilyn Manson talks sex, death and make-up. And Sex, Drugs and Updating Your Blog: How the rock ’n’ roll life became a desk job