"I wrote 63 songs this year. They're all about Jeter." Just kidding. The game we love, the players we hate, and more.

Culture and Criticism

From Norman Mailer to Wendy Pepper — everything on film, TV, books, music, and snacks (shut up, raisins), plus the Girls' Bike Club.

Donors Choose and Contests

Helping public schools, winning prizes, sending a crazy lady in a tomato costume out in public.

Stories, True and Otherwise

Monologues, travelogues, fiction, and fart humor. And hens. Don't forget the hens.

The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Despite Everything: A Cometbus Omnibus
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

I can't recommend it enough. Cometbus started out as a punk-show 'zine and evolved into a sort of Samuel Pepys-type chronicle by the pseudonymous Aaron Cometbus, and his writing is direct and funny and lyrical …

Daughter of the Saints: Growing Up In Polygamy
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

Should have been more interesting than it was — it was evocative in parts, but often, Solomon is very clearly trying to be lyrical, but falls into cliches and works against herself. The writing isn't …

The Culture of Fear
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

You might remember Barry Glassner from Bowling for Columbine; I'd had his book on my wishlist for a while, but after seeing the movie, I motivated and bought it, and it's very good. It's thorough …

C'mon, Get Happy
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

Read it in one day. I got the feeling from the Behind The Music on David Cassidy, who came off as twelve-steppily full of himself all "I'm a survivor!", that the book would be more …

Cobb: A Biography
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

It's very good, particularly since Cobb isn't a player I had much interest in, beyond wondering why the hell nobody stood up to his crazy ass in twenty-odd seasons and traded him or suspended him …

The Circus Fire
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

The prose is a bit choppy in places, but it really carries you along — O'Nan is very skilled at giving a sense of the chaos and terror without overwriting. He's also quite good at …

The Case That Never Dies: The Lindbergh Kidnapping
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

Interesting, although I don't agree with some of the implications and I don't love that it refuses to draw any conclusions. I think it's generally agreed at this point that Hauptmann didn't act alone, but …

Capote: A Biography
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

It's very good — but the Plimpton oral history gives you a better sense of him, and you don't need both. (7/1/06)

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You: One Man, Seven Days, Twelve Televisions
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

Listy in spots, but Lechner undertook his watch-twelve-TVs-for-a-week experiment the same week Mighty Big TV launched back in 1999, so that's a nifty time capsule; the writing is not the deftest, but given the parameters, …

Boys and Ghouls Together
March 5, 2007 · No Comment

A Hitchcock short-story compilation (remember when he had his brand on everything — books, TV shows, everything?). I don't usually read much detective/suspense fiction, but the old-school stuff is good; the diction is more formal, …