Donna Tartt Finally Returns With the Brilliant, Frustrating 'The Goldfinch'
Published 11/13/2013 at 11:54 a.m. 1 comment
Tartt’s first two novels, 1992’s The Secret History and 2002’s The Little Friend, are both coming-of-age novels in certain ways, but neither is the Bildungsroman that The Goldfinch is. The book spans 14 years in the life of Theo Decker, ...
Jhmupa Lahiri’s 'The Lowland' Fits Intimate Details Into an Epic Scope
Published 10/16/2013 at 11:21 a.m. 0 comments
In the hands of a different author, Jhmupa Lahiri’s new novel, The Lowland (Knopf), would be an epic.
Jesmyn Ward's 'Men We Reaped' Is a Painful Depiction of Being Young and Black in the South
Published 9/18/2013 at 11:36 a.m. 0 comments
Men We Reaped, which derives its name from a quote by Harriet Tubman, tells the story both of Ward’s childhood and maturity and of the deaths of five young black men in her community from 2000 to 2004, including her ...
Mayhem and Murder: A Survey of Late-Summer Crime Books
Published 8/28/2013 at 12:18 p.m. 0 comments
Labor Day is upon us. In the book world, this means the literary heavyweights start rolling out next week. You know, the massive doorstop tomes, the would-be award winners, the serious books designed to keep you curled up in front ...
'Homeward Bound': The New Artisan Homemaking Movement Is as Tedious as You Might Think
Published 7/24/2013 at 11:30 a.m. 0 comments
Matchar spends so much time documenting the proof that all these trends and micro-trends and micro-micro-trends exist that she neglects to provide any insight into them.
Love and Hijacking Collide in Brendan Koerner’s 'The Skies Belong to Us'
Published 6/26/2013 at 11:26 a.m. 0 comments
As American air travel gets to be more and more of a pain in the ass every year—cramped seats, baggage fees, over-the-top security measures—there seems to be more and more nostalgia for the “golden age” of air travel of the ...
'Louder Than Hell': New "Definitive" History of Heavy Metal Misses the Mark
Published 6/5/2013 at 11:12 a.m. 0 comments
By trying to cover the entire scope of loud, fast music over the past 50 or so years via interviews with those who played it, recorded it, or released it, Jon Wiederhorn and Katherine Turman allow the music itself to ...
Out of the Attic: Making Friends With 'The Woman Upstairs'
Published 5/29/2013 at 11:07 a.m. 0 comments
The Woman Upstairs starts aggressively: “How angry am I? You don’t want to know. Nobody wants to know about that.
Jamie Quatro’s Stories of Infidelity, Faith, and Family Herald the Arrival of a Bright New Talent
Published 4/10/2013 at 11:13 a.m. 0 comments
I Want to Show You More marks the emergence of a new Southern talent. Jamie Quatro doesn’t just dissect the modern marriage and the modern family, but the modern evangelical church. It’s a book to both devour and chew over.
Michael Moss Takes on the Processed Food Industry in 'Salt Sugar Fat'
Published 3/6/2013 at 10:54 a.m. 0 comments
For a country that loves to eat as much crap as we do, we sure love to read about how terrible it is for us.
Like a Weak Cocktail, 'Drinking With Men' Is Best Left Aside
Published 2/6/2013 at 2:15 p.m. 0 comments
There has been a lot of discussion in certain circles lately over the memoir: Is it inherently narcissistic? Can it ever be journalism? Is anyone’s personal life ever actually interesting to anyone else?
Sebastian Faulks Examines the Meaning of Self in 'A Possible Life'
Published 1/2/2013 at 10:09 a.m. 0 comments
A Possible Life is a series of five disparate novellas that jump back and forth in time from the 19th century to the near future. But wait, you say, isn’t that just what David Mitchell did in Cloud Atlas, way ...
The Best Books of 2012
Published 12/26/2012 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments
Is the year really over? Has the wealth of riches that has been the literary scene in 2012 really come to a close? I mean, the year had its down points—can we please stop talking about 50 Shades of Grey ...
Jon Ronson Takes Clever Reporting to the Ends of the Earth in 'Lost at Sea'
Published 12/5/2012 at 10:20 a.m. 0 comments
Jon Ronson has a curious mind. More specifically, it’s a mind captivated by extreme people and situations.
Is Michael Chabon's 'Telegraph Avenue' an Elegy for Vinyl or a Tribute to Fatherhood?
Published 9/19/2012 at 10:52 a.m. 0 comments
What really sends Telegraph Avenue over the edge from realism to fantasy is that it’s a book about a record store in a mostly black neighborhood focused mostly on black music that neglects any mention at all of hip-hop culture ...
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