Bhi Bhiman

Favorites from the singer-songwriter's shelves.



Bhi Bhiman's sophomore album, Bhiman, draws on his Sri Lankan background and upbringing in St. Louis to create an unclassifiable sound that is somehow distinctly American. Singing from perspectives as diverse as a North Korean political prisoner ("Kimchee Line") and a freight train-hopping hobo ("Guttersnipe"), Bhiman's booming tenor and technically accomplished guitar playing captivate listeners. This week, he points us to three favorites with subjects that range from the mighty Mississippi to his beloved hometown baseball team.


Music by Bhi Bhiman



Life on the Mississippi

By Mark Twain


"This book is a great introduction to the man, Samuel Clemens, and the central character of the story, the Mississippi River. It's an autobiographical stepping stone to what would be his classics, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer."





The Dominant Animal

By Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich


"This is an excellent book about how we became the dominant species on Earth. Climate and environmental change were factors in how humans evolved, but now the roles have reversed. We are currently squeezing every last drop from this planet like it's an orange."





Three Nights in August

By Buzz Bissinger


"As a St. Louis Cardinal fan and a baseball fan in general, this is a must read. Three Nights dissects three games and 27 innings between divisional rivals the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals during a heated playoff push. This book shows how in this baseball age of numbers, there are several human intangibles that truly dictate the game."

April 18: "[W]ould it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament…?"

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.