Do Self-Help Books Really Help?

As far as individual books go, controversy is normal and often welcomed. In terms of disagreement on entire genres, however, one category up for discussion is that of self-help literature. These types of books have been around for over a century, even if they seem to be a relatively modern occurrence, and their popularity has been on the rise. In 2018, sales of self-help books in Britain were up 20% from the previous year, landing at a solid three million books sold. Celebrities have even gotten in on the business, with Russell Brand and Fearne Cotton having written and published their own books. It is estimated that the genre will be worth 13.2 billion dollars in the US market by 2022.

Music to be Murdered

On January 17th, Marshall Mathers — aka Eminem — quietly released his 10th major-label album, entitled Music to Be Murdered By. The title and cover image are a nod to Alfred Hitchcock’s eponymous work from 1958, and the “Alfred” interlude and outro are the famed director’s orated introduction and closing from his own album. But Eminem didn’t use the theme to make a concept album. Instead, with production by Dr. Dre, Tay Keith, and D.A. Doman, among others, the 64-minute album has Eminem performing a balancing act that invokes his crude alter ego — Slim Shady — with rabid foolishness. It has him rapping alongside younger artists such as Juice WRLD (in his first posthumous musical appearance) and Young M.A, all while still trying to provoke nostalgia by emulating his D12-era self and sharing the scene with established rappers like Black Thought and Royce Da 5’9”. Unfortunately, for a body of work that takes its title from the so-called “King of Suspense,” the album leaves the listener largely unmoved.

Dear Mac,

Circles is Mac Miller’s first, and likely only posthumous release. The album comes seventeen months after the singer/rapper was found dead in his home from an apparent drug overdose. His death sent shockwaves throughout the hip-hop and music communities at large.

Horror Movie List

Horror Movie List

Happy Halloween A.V. readers! And what better way is there to celebrate today, and the rest of Scorpio season, than with a good old-fashioned movie marathon, horror edition. Below are a few recent (and one or two older) films to put you into the spirit of the season.

What’s on at the Fisher Library?

What’s on at the Fisher Library?

This autumn’s special exhibition at the Fisher Rare Book Library for the autumn combines the art of photography with that of bookmaking. It features the work of Michael Torosian’s Lumiere Press, the only fine press worldwide that focuses exclusively on photography. The Fisher Library recently acquired the Lumiere Press Archives, including all twenty-two books that the press has published to date. The display celebrates both the craftsmanship of Torosian’s entirely handmade books and the art of some of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. 

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