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Thursday, March 13 2014

Criminals and Kids in the Sunshine State

Kids These Days is an entertaining exploration of impending fatherhood and criminal madness.


Wednesday, March 12 2014

How the Renowned Liar Fritz Lang Became One of the Most Truthful Filmmakers

It’s impossible not to realize that the author, too, has come to the conclusion that Fritz Lang was a beast not even he could tame.


The Future is Scarily Close to Home in ‘The Office of Mercy’

Who loves Big Brother? You do. The Office of Mercy is only technically about the future. In spirit, it's about the here and now.


Tuesday, March 11 2014

‘The Luminaries’ Is One of the Best Books of 2013

Outside the likes of Zadie Smith, we may never see such a young novelist perform such a great highwire act, and largely succeed, as Eleanor Catton has done here.


David G. Hartwell Doesn’t Disappoint with ‘Year’s Best SF 18’

Each story touches on different issues, ponders different concerns, and asks different questions. Each story has a distinct message and voice.


Monday, March 10 2014

The Big Reveal: ‘I Want to Show You More’

In her debut collection of stories, I Want to Show You More, Jamie Quatro reveals her talent for examining the desire and vulnerability inside us all.


Revisiting ‘At Home in the World’, a Chilling Memoir of Innocence Lost

The closer we think we’re looking at Joyce Maynard, the further she distances herself from us.


Friday, March 7 2014

The Colors Black and Blue are Paradoxical, Contradictory, and Yet True

Observed as ambiguous figures as impossible to pin down as the effect of the colors they discuss, John Harvey's The Story of Black and Carol Mavor Blue Mythologies are impossible to resist.


Thursday, March 6 2014

On the Serious Pleasure of Wendy Lesser’s Company

Being a reader—that is, a reader of actual books, increasingly feels like a marginal, slightly suspect habit. Wendy Lesser reminds you why you love it, and why you should keep reading.


The Art of Rube Goldberg, or, The Art of Inefficiency

The Rube Goldberg Variations are finally given a museum-quality recollection by none other than the artist's Granddaughter. It's hardly what you'd call "very simple".


Wednesday, March 5 2014

Don Drummond Was One of the Five Best Trombonists to Ever Play the Instrument

One comes away from Don Drummond with a clearer sense of who the man was and why he is considered by many to be the best musician so few people have ever heard of.


‘Moomin’s Desert Island’ Makes for a Cute, Fun, Dangerous and Weird Odyssey

This classic dark, enchanting, eyebrow raising tale from Finland, wherein talking animals are swiftly slaughtered, can be a bit of a challenge, but it's never boring.


Tuesday, March 4 2014

‘The Sugar Season’ Is a Bittersweet Warning

The addled combinations of sap and syrup, air and gravity, evaporation and consolidation also serve as a humble harbinger of global warming.


Modernity, Rising: ‘Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator’

Lifted is an absorbing exploration into how the introduction of elevators into buildings transformed cities and the experience of living and working in them.


Monday, March 3 2014

Romance and Illusion in ‘The Swan Gondola’

Timothy Schaffert draws upon L. Frank Baum's Oz mythology for his gorgeous fifth novel, The Swan Gondola.


Adam Phillips’ ‘Missing Out’ Offers Pearls of Wisdom in a Sea of Disappointment

Part Shakespearean analysis, part cultural anthropology, part literary criticism and part psychoanalysis, Missing Out is a compendium of insights and musings about our desire to be more than we are.


Friday, February 28 2014

When One Perfectionist Writes of Another: ‘Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven’

Gardiner approaches Bach with a great deal of consideration beforehand, leavened with the knowledge that music is about the transmission of emotion rather than logic.


Thursday, February 27 2014

Small Towns and Short Stories Are Perfectly Matched in ‘Once You Break a Knuckle’

There’s a lot of space in these short stories, a sense of the vastness of the Canadian wilderness which surrounds and sometimes envelops the characters.


‘Night In Shanghai’ Splits Between a Serious Historical Work and a Silly Romance Novel

In the ambitious Night In Shanghai, Nicole Mones attempts to recreate a city of nearly a century ago.


Wednesday, February 26 2014

Charlie Parker’s War with Jazz

If the devil lives in the details, Stanley Crouch’s mission in his biography of Charlie Parker is not just to befriend the devil, but to make him a business partner.


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