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the letter 'b'

Billy Bragg
bookstores independently owned
The Bird Artist, a novel by Howard Norman
Birds of America, short stories by Lorrie Moore
Blood on the Tracks, by Bob Dylan, and journalist Pete Hammill's 1974 essay that serves as liner notes and places one of Dylan's best albums within the context of the Vietnam War
"Baltimore," sung by Nina Simone
Mikhail Bulgakov, author of Heart of a Dog and The Master and Margarita, a wonderfully original novel
James Baldwin
basta, Italian for "enough"—tonally perfect
Bastard Out of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison
Breaking the Waves
Breaker Morant, by Australian director Bruce Beresford—and his understated, moving film Tender Mercies, written by Horton Foote
Breaking Away, a funny and perceptive coming of age story, with the best filmed fight involving a bowling ball
The Bicycle Thief
Breakfast at Tiffany's
breakfast in bed
Being John Malkovich
James Brown
bars with board games
Barfly, written by Charles Bukowski
B vitamins—good for the morning after
biscuits & gravy—also for the morning after
The Biscuit on "Ally McBeal"
Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate
Alain de Botton, author of How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolation of Philosophy, for introducing Proust and philosophers of the Western canon in hip, smart, readable books
Barq's rootbeer, mmm...
Blue Funk martinis
Budweiser, 'cause it's not hip
La Bohème, by Giacomo Puccini
The Barber of Seville episode of Bugs Bunny
Albert Brooks—rent Lost in America, his brilliantly funny road film about an attempt to escape modern life and re-live Easy Rider in a Winnebago
Born to be Wild, by Steppenwolf
Broadcast News—James L. Brooks's witty tale about love and the news, with lines like:
  Aaron:  Wouldn't it be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If needy were a turn-on?
  Tom:  What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?
  Aaron:  Keep it to yourself.
Linda Barry
Gina Berriault, author of Women in Their Beds and The Infinite Passion of Expectation, because her short stories are excruciating and perfect
Boys Don't Cry
The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Barthelme brothers, because they turn their gambling problem into great writing
Badlands, the 1973 film with Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek
Joseph Brodsky
"Baby, It's Cold Outside," sung by Ray Charles and Betty Carter
Big Night, a film by Stanley Tucci
Burnt by the Sun, by Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov
Amy Bloom
Bolinas, California
Buena Vista Social Club
Betty Blue
Andrea Barrett, author of Ship Fever and The Voyage of the Narwhal, because if you think you don't like seafaring, historical fiction, you're wrong
Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky
Bark, originated as a dog park newsletter, now a national magazine
Harold Brodkey
Bob Roberts, Tim Robbins' political satire
"Bridge Over Troubled Water," demo cut sung by Paul Simon
Brigitte Bardot, for obvious reasons
Bombay Sapphire (superb gin)
Chet Baker
Bethany Beach, Delaware
Babe the pig
Blue by Joni Mitchell

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