Wednesday, November 27 2013
My ramblings about reading are so valued that I'm now a big star in Tanzania. On my recent whirlwind tour I was mobbed at the airport and carried about on people's shoulders.
Monday, November 25 2013
Here as in all his works, William T. Vollman sides with the poor and the marginalized, but he tries to remain fair to all he meets, even as he confesses his prejudice, or tolerance.
Friday, November 22 2013
Both Elements of a Life and A Life Worth Living offer concise, eloquent, and learned treatments of the life and work of Albert Camus.
Friday, November 15 2013
Depending on whom you listen to, God, or the devil, is in the details, and that's exactly where John Updike's talent lies, too.
Thursday, November 14 2013
Both James Alexander Langteaux and Mary Griffith have become leading voices in the discussion about how one can align a deeply personal relationship with God and support the LGBT community. Yet, neither wanted the job.
Tuesday, November 5 2013
Marisha Pessl and Sergio de la Pava have both found success with novels that are defiant in their length and ambition. Yet critical and editorial prejudice against their 'Bigness' -- in scope and heft -- won't budge.
Tuesday, October 22 2013
Chuck Haddix's new biography of the great alto saxophonist unearths fresh details of his early life—and helps us to see more clearly his genius and his tragedy.
Tuesday, October 15 2013
Robert Slifkin's book on Philip Guston is an incantatory debut work that shows us a compelling new side of the artist's famous Marlborough paintings.
Monday, October 14 2013
Merle Haggard's restlessness breaks him out of one prison and sends him towards another.
Friday, October 4 2013
More books you'll love than you can swing a cat while shaking a stick at.
Friday, September 27 2013
The great Elmore Leonard wrote dozens of novels. Some, like Get Shorty, were adapted for film. So why do I associate him with smooth jazz? Well, John Lurie had a hand in that.
Thursday, September 26 2013
Available again in ebook form, the crime classic Stephen King called "one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century", The End of Night, is ready for rediscovery by a new generation of readers.
Wednesday, September 18 2013
Brett Martin's latest book serves as a reminder of how enlightening dealing with darkness in television can be.
Monday, August 26 2013
"Dancing in the Street" did not seek the kind of greatness ascribed to it -- it simply woke up one morning and found that greatness bestowed upon it.
Thursday, August 15 2013
Drawing her recipes for Relish, Lucy Knisley almost literally shows cooking to be more art than science.
Monday, August 12 2013
"I am not by nature cut out for this life, as it's defined in these parts by the chamber of commerce and our bishop, who is devoted to Christian family living, as everyone knows." This deadpan tone suits J.F. Powers and his conflicted, capitalist, Midwestern, mid-century priests well.
Sunday, August 4 2013
Marty Beckerman talks about his hilarious new novella, '90s Island, the "infantilizing" nature of nostalgia, and why the truly cool people never got frosted tips.
Thursday, July 18 2013
The big trend in apocalyptic thinking is now computer based, and it’s strangely not even billed as apocalyptic. It’s known as the Singularity, a point in the near future when computers become more intelligent than people -- and they absorb us.
Monday, July 15 2013
If Disney's Song of the South is as innocuous as its adherents claim, they need to think long and hard about why it’s out of official circulation.
Monday, July 8 2013
New York Times best-selling author Caroline Leavitt discusses her new novel about a family who must brave the hostile status quo of '50s American suburban life while being as different from their neighbors as possible.