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The Observer's choices for the best of 2009 in entertainment


Sultan Ahmed

Issue date: 12/4/09 Section: Focus
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6. Love and Obstacles: Stories by Aleksandar Hemon
This quirky book by Hemon features an unnamed narrator who takes the reader through eight separate but linked stories. The narrator, a Bosnian writer, follows his career path tohis current position. The book explores the intricacy of human relationships and the meaning and value of poetry and writing.

5. Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
If you are a generally happy person, Chaon will abruptly rectify that situation. The three disparate, yet linked fictional tales that make up this book take hard looks at what it means for a person to die and be reborn. Through grotesque imagery and terrifying scenes, Chaon conveys a powerful message in a suspenseful and entertaining way. This book is not one for the weak- hearted.

4. SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Levitt and Dubner have outdone themselves and outdone the original Freakonomics with this latest work. Following in the footsteps of the first, the two take humorous, yet sophisticated analytical looks at new ideas. Topics in this book include the economics of prostitution, radical views of global warming and the Kitty Genovese murder. This book provides startling insights into the motivations for people's actions, the way the media portrays certain events, and a host of other topics.

3. Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli
In this graphic novel, the reader is introduced to a middle aged man, Asterios Polyp, whose life in New York has changed so drastically that he decides to leave the city. The reader follows Asterios' journey and learns through flashbacks about what may have upended his life in the city. Not only does this work have a brilliant plot that unfolds in a way to keep the readers on the edge of their seats, but it also has insightful commentaries on everything from architecture to the nature of human perception.
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In This Issue

Cross Country

  • Women finish 15th in nation; Simpson has best finish in university history


  • A conversation with Christina Mastrangelo
  • CWRU students among thousands at SOA protest
  • CWRU's Great Lakes Energy Institute honored as "Center of Excellence"
  • Relay for Life 2010 kicks off with recruitment fair
  • Smart holiday spending tips
  • USG Minutes

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Reid Anderson

Sex and Dating

  • Are you tired?


  • All-American, UAA honorees back
  • Building starts on Mather Park
  • Dukes, Criss keep grapplers strong in the middle
  • For Spartans, Allegheny is splitsville
  • Revolving door is no good for the Browns
  • So far, it's been so good for women's basketball


  • Early Ending: Spartans eliminated from playoffs by Trine University

Fun Page

  • Combo Scramble Solution
  • Crossword Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions

Worst Case Scenario

  • Reading days and salad days


  • Column on smoking misinformed
  • Copenhagen summit may not be effective
  • Divisive politics dilute meaningful discourse
  • Editorial: Semester grades
  • Junior year abroad - wait, a whole year?
  • Take some time to earn your coal
  • What are your plans for winter break?


  • Director Peter Jackson discusses film adaptation of The Lovely Bones
  • M.U.S.I.C. assembles talented group of musicians for 24-hour recital
  • Surviving the home stretch
  • The Buzz
  • The Observer's choices for the best books of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best films of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best music of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best video games of 2009
  • The Spectrum Drag Ball
  • tUnE-yArDs' debut record merges folk music with noise
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