Sexual abuse and incest are realities, and there's no reason why art shouldn't confront them. But when pop culture addresses them (and Precious, with its against-all-odds cheerleading and music-video casting, is very much a pop-culture commodity), the results deserve scrutiny.
The Kind Diet is a cookbook, yes, but the first half is dedicated to a surprisingly readable, occasionally affably ditzy, and heartfelt argument as to why one should consider the benefits of a "plant-based diet," which -- unbelievably redundant as it may seem -- is the politically correct way of saying "vegan."
The underlying message here is that while bicycling may be a political movement, it can also be liberating and fun at the same time. I'm hoping Byrne's book now heralds bicycling's offbeat entry into the American mainstream, just as his wacky persona hit the big time thanks to our parents' taste in pop music.
Nothing Brown presents in Porn & Pong is going to be a huge revelation if you're already mired in gamer culture, and I just can't see the average person choosing the book over Stephenie Meyer's sparkly vampires.