Staff Picks: Son Step and “The Girl Who Fished With A Worm”

PLUS: Attention Deficit Democracy: The Paradox of Civic Engagement by Ben Berger.

The Girl Who Fished With a Worm

By Harry Groome, (Connelly Press, 87 pages) 

Photo by Jared CastaldiFans of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo might want to invest a little time in this fast-paced spoof of that hugely popular literary masterpiece. Coming in at less than 100 pages, it can easily be read in one sitting. Its author lived in Villanova through most of his career at SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories. Now retired, Groome is putting his MFA from Vermont College to good use by writing fiction. Better late than never. —Tara Behan

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Son Step 

Fair warning: Son Step isn’t for everyone. Co-founded by Collegeville natives (and twin brothers) Jon and Chris Coyle, the West Philly-based quartet’s propulsive indie-rock sound is marked by oddball electronic experimentation, angular grooves and communal harmonizing. Son Step has generated some credible buzz with its cerebral music-making, thanks to its 2012 releases, Hear Comes Dreamboat and Night Cycles, plus a pretty hefty touring schedule that’s taken them as far west as Chicago. Most certainly a band to watch. Visit—Hobart Rowland

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Attention Deficit Democracy: The Paradox of Civic Engagement 

By Ben Berger (Princeton University Press, 216 pages)

Here’s a little something to get you thinking on the eve of President Obama’s inauguration. Swarthmore College political science professor Ben Berger offers a multifaceted take on the quandary of civic engagement, taking on idealists and cynics alike. Winner of the North American Society for Social Philosophy 2012 Book Award, Attention Deficit Democracy may not be a light read, but it’s an essential one for anyone with a proactive political stance. —H.R.

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!