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Wednesday, July 23 2014

Rainbow Rowell’s ‘Landline’ Is Part Magic, Part Soap Opera, and All Popcorn

This novel plays hopscotch with different genres, and that’s part of its appeal.


Tuesday, July 22 2014

Smells and Bells, Halls and Hells: ‘The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London’

The mud, rain, smoke, fog, and excrement that abounded meant whatever one's rank, the weather and the smells took their toll on one's health, one's clothing, and one's nerves.


Monday, July 21 2014

‘Rebel Music’ and Islam’s Influence on Jazz, Hip-hop and More

Exhaustive and thorough, Hisham D. Aidi's study on the Islamic influences in contemporary music is alternately informative and alienating.


Friday, July 18 2014

Is Tarzan Forever Lost in the Jungle?

There are no futuristic weapons or strange beasts in Tarzan: In the City of Gold. With Tarzan, it's just the specter of colonialism and dated views on race.


Thursday, July 17 2014

The Words That Maketh Murder

David Bromwich's Moral Imagination Is an exploration of the relationship between the America national consciousness and political discourse.


Wednesday, July 16 2014

‘Bellweather Rhapsody’ Is an Entertaining and Enthralling Yarn

What makes this novel interesting is that it is peppered with a cast of characters who are still living in the past, or are afraid of the future.


Tuesday, July 15 2014

‘Mind of Winter’ Is a Thrilling Page-Turner with Shimmering Prose and a Heart-Wrenching Ending

Laura Kasischke's tenth novel is a dark fairytale about the sacrifices of motherhood and of secrets so deep, we learn to keep them even from ourselves.


Monday, July 14 2014

There’s Generational Magic in Tiphanie Yanique’s ‘Land of Love and Drowning’

Tiphanie Yanique's debut novel is both a family saga and an unusual love story. It seems likely to become a classic of Caribbean American literature.


Friday, July 11 2014

In ‘Proof’, Science Writer Adam Rogers Investigates Booze, and Suffers Gladly for His Art

Should you indulge, I encourage you to pour your favorite tipple, settle into a comfortable chair, open the pages of Proof, and enjoy the "bar moment".


Thursday, July 10 2014

‘Panic in a Suitcase’ Is a Solid Debut from an Immensely Gifted Novelist

Nothing goes unnoticed in Yelena Akhtiorskaya's satire of an immigrant family, and nothing is sacred.


Wednesday, July 9 2014

Paul Gravett Is in the Mood for Love in ‘Comics Art’

Comics Art demonstrates Gravett's deep passion for the world of panels, speech balloons, fine lines and grand colors, subtle shading and transformative images.


Tuesday, July 8 2014

Selina O’Grady’s ‘And Man Created God’ Edifies and Entertains

And Man Created God is an impressively detailed and panoramic survey of how power and piety interacted with one another in the increasingly globalized classical world.


Monday, July 7 2014

‘Famous Baby’ Shows What Happens When It’s Time for Mommy Bloggers to Grow Up

Famous Baby is fun and funny and a bit flawed, just like its two main characters.


Wednesday, July 2 2014

‘Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China’ Is both Trivial and Expansive

There is nothing hidden about the world of these stories, and Yu Hua’s writing is defined by its plainspoken voice and depiction of quotidian lives.


Tuesday, July 1 2014

William T. Vollmann’s Words to Howl at Death

The success of the 32 restless, spectral stories in Last Stories and Other Stories depends upon whether Vollmann can sustain in-depth soul-searching.


Monday, June 30 2014

Amy Bloom’s ‘Lucky Us’ Tells the Tale of (Several) American Hustles

Nothing is quite what it seems to be in Lucky Us, a story of survival in '40s-era America.


Friday, June 27 2014

‘What Is Visible’ Is an Extraordinary Imaginative Feat

In this re-imagining of Laura Bridgman's life, we enter a vivid world, albeit one deprived of sight, sound, smell, and taste.


Thursday, June 26 2014

Wherein Futurists and Anti-Futurists Lock Horns

Economists routinely fail to predict GDP or oil prices, and they do even worse at boom and bust cycles. In 100 Years, they attempt to predict the future.


Wednesday, June 25 2014

Stephen King, ‘Mr. Mercedes’, and Our Love of Literary Junk Food

Why can't a reader enjoy both Stephen King and Alice McDermott? Fancy Michelin critics have been known to go wild for Shake Shack, after all.


Monday, June 23 2014

‘K-Pop Now!’ Is the Literary Equivalent of a K-Pop Disco Night

Gangnam Style is only the tip of the iceberg, as this handy, lavishly illustrated introduction to Korean pop reveals.


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