Wednesday, October 16 2013
This book turns global statistics about poverty, hunger, alcoholism and computer use, among others, into stunning visual representations.
Tuesday, October 15 2013
Meyer Spacks brings a clear-eyed examination of the socioeconomic hierarchies and cultural values of Austen’s time without becoming overly fond of, or resistant to, the ideas of love and romance that run through the novel.
Monday, October 14 2013
This is a fascinating satire that wonders what makes us human.
Although slow-paced and vain, readers will be reminded of Elif Batuman’s wonderful memoir, The Possessed, which also wrings humor from stilted translations and complex cultural exchanges.
Friday, October 11 2013
The new Penguin edition of John O'Hara's short stories set in New York City is a treasure for any O'Hara fan. They show the master at his best--salty, cynical and at times, disarmingly sentimental.
Before Jerry Seinfeld spoke of shrinkage and Adam Sandler sang of Hanukkah, Allan Sherman sang about silly Jewish tales from deep in the heart of the suburbs to the absurdities of summer camps.
Thursday, October 10 2013
Divas, Dames & Daredevils is bursting with hardboiled detectives, lawyers, World War II flying aces, goddesses and science fiction warriors -- all in the Golden Age of comics, when Batman was still finding his footing.
Once the tome gets going, Slimed! can be an insightful and occasionally funny read with a near Rashomon-like telling of the same events from different points of view.
Wednesday, October 9 2013
Jonathan Lethem's family saga, Dissident Gardens, recalls Saul Bellow or Philip Roth’s urban intellectuals battling Jewish angst.
Noise may antagonize, subvert, transcend or annoy, but one person's noise is almost always another's music.
Tuesday, October 8 2013
Say goodbye to magical realism with this breathtaking novel, which combines history with profound reflections on the process of remembering.
Without bells or whistles, but with love and a subtle touch, Lee Sandlin lays bare the lives of his very private ancestors in this simple but pleasurable memoir.
Monday, October 7 2013
David Mikics' leisurely contemplation, Slow Reading in a Hurried Age, makes the case for literature in a digital world.
Although not excellent literature, this can be a heart-breaking read at times, because all the hardships of childhood come soaring back.
Friday, October 4 2013
The Lowland is more than an examination of misguided youthful idealism: it's an examination of what happens once youth has passed, when pitiless hindsight sets in.
In The Lowland, as in her first book, Interpreter of Maladies, Lahiri invents people with emotional and spiritual sicknesses, and she explains them to us.
Thursday, October 3 2013
Classic comics ranged from the cartoonishly simple to the intricately complex. The true surprise is that the best of both worlds was drawn by one man.
Maggie O'Farrell is deft at delineating character, to the extent that by the end of the novel, the reader feels on intimate terms with everyone involved.
Wednesday, October 2 2013
Tango: Sex and Rhythm of the City is more than just a history of Argentina's most famous cultural export; it is, in many ways, a history of Argentina itself, with the evolution of tango and the lives of its main architects intertwined with the social, political, and cultural evolution of the nation.
Psychologists take on questions about what makes superhero media so compelling, and how comic books change us -- for better and for worse.