Picks and Pans Review: Great Reads Learn a Little Something in the New Year

UPDATED 01/10/2011 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 01/10/2011 at 01:00 AM EST

HOW MUSIC WORKS

by John Powell

The difference between a note and a noise, how perfect pitch is no big deal and why some songs make us cry.

THE TRUTH ABOUT GRIEF

by Ruth Davis Konigsberg

Five stages? Maybe not. This hopeful book upends old ideas and emphasizes resilience.

HOW TO WRITE A SENTENCE

by Stanley Fish

"A sentence is, in John Donne's words, 'a little world made cunningly,' " writes Fish. He'll teach you the art.

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