Reviews > Books
Naomi Duguid’s ‘Taste of Persia’ Demystifies and Enchants

Duguid is particularly well-qualified to address the jewels in Persian cuisine's crown: exquisite rice cookery and a vast array of flatbreads.

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Zadie Smith’s ‘Swing Time’ Does a Difficult Dance

Learning from the past is not as simple as pressing rewind: it's a dance that's quite difficult to execute.

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Roger Ebert Was Tuned in to the Average Reader’s Frequency

The Great Movies IV may be thinner than its predecessors, but it's just as essential for fans of the late critic.

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‘Agnes’ Is a Bleak Tale About the Misuses of Storytelling

Peter Stamm's work is an example of how stories can hold their creators in their power.

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‘The Road Not Taken’ Travels the Blurred Boundary Between Sincerity and Performance

David Orr's exploration of Robert Frost's famous (and famously misinterpreted) poem will have you questioning Frost's intentions -- and your illusions of self-agency.

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Biography of X-Men Comics Writer Chris Claremont Is Weighed Down With Words

Claremont's long-form X-Men story, told over 186 issues, proves he's the master of the form. Jason Powell's new book offers an exhaustive issue-by-issue commentary.

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Alexander von Humboldt Carried the Spirit and the Genius of Goethe

Humboldt knew that nature, when properly channeled and understood, is something felt and experienced deeply and personally, that stimulates the imagination as well as the intellect.

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22 Nov 2016 // 2:15 AM

Font Matters

Simon Loxley's Type Is Beautiful will have you realizing that you haven't fully lived until you've stared into the depths of Louis John Pouchee’s 18 Lines No. 2.

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‘The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016’ Takes a Different Approach, This Year

When I learned that the content chosen for this anthology had been selected by high school students, I got nervous.

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‘Eileen’ Is a Grimly Funny and Dark Story of Breaking With the Past

Eileen is an atmospheric thriller with a seductively ugly narrative voice.

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17 Nov 2016 // 2:30 AM

Great Wealth Pays No Dues

Brooke Harrington follows the One Percent's money around the world in Capital Without Borders and shows how the world's richest stay rich.

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As George Orwell Might Appreciate, This New Biography Abounds in Piety and Wit

As with Orwell’s writing style, very little goes to waste here, and John Sutherland's work is a remarkable achievement of synthesis.

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16 Nov 2016 // 10:15 AM

Dead Elvis, Money and Jesus

The very exciting life of the King since his death in 1977.

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Eugen Ruge Explores Alienation in ‘Cabo de Gata’

Ruge's latest muses upon the routines and ruptures of belonging.

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Michael Chabon’s ‘Moonglow’ Is a Big, Fat (Fun), Lie

Chabon merges his earlier and more recent literary profiles in a vivid, at times explosively entertaining, and occasionally schizophrenic novel about history, memory, and family.

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With Great Sound Comes Great Responsibility

Cheng's Just Vibrations poses the only essential question left unanswered by the academy and the secret of its truly massive failure: an absence of any instinct to repair.

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With the Holiday Shopping Season Rapidly Approaching, Is the Ancient Virtue of Frugality Possible?

Contemporary "frugalists" are only playing at a virtue that previous generations practiced, willingly or not, to an unenviable degree.

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11 Nov 2016 // 8:30 AM

How to Insult Jack White

The only biography of the mysterious genius pulls no punches.

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Gayle Forman’s ‘Leave Me’ Reminded Me of Erma Bombeck’s Work

Everyone who has ever been married might see some of themselves in this story.

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Stone Dead: Murder and Myth in 'Medousa'

// Short Ends and Leader

"A wry tale which takes in Greek mythology, punk rock and influences of American suspense-drama, this is an effective and curious thriller about myth and obsession.

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