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 ...
SEC Hijinks in Inman Majors’ Comic 'Love’s Winning Plays'
Published 9/5/2012 at 10:13 a.m. 0 comments
It’s a given that the nephew of one of college football’s most storied coaches might know a little something about the sport, especially if his father also played college ball and his grandfather coached for decades over at Sewanee. So ...
Femme Noir: The Best Hard-Boiled Novels of the Summer Are All Written by Women
Published 8/15/2012 at 11:21 a.m. 0 comments
While it’s likely the summer of 2012 will be best remembered in the publishing world for the utter domination of 50 Shades of Grey, the erotic trilogy hasn’t been the only best-selling surprise this year.
Summer Reading: '50 Shades of Grey' vs. 'Game of Thrones'
Published 7/25/2012 at 3:26 p.m. 0 comments
'50 Shades of Grey' vs. 'Game of Thrones'—a review in comic-strip format.
Sheila Heti Asks 'How Should a Person Be?' in Her New "Novel From Life"
Published 7/18/2012 at 12:38 p.m. 0 comments
How Should a Person Be? is described as “a novel from life,” although it could equally be called a fictionalized memoir. The book’s protagonist is a Toronto writer named Sheila Heti whose best friend is a painter named Margaux Williamson ...
'The Secret History' Meets 'Gossip Girl' in Jennifer Miller's 'Year of the Gadfly'
Published 6/13/2012 at 11:03 a.m. 0 comments
Do we really need The Year of the Gadfly, a new novel by Jennifer Miller about a possibly villainous secret society at a small New England prep school? Probably not. However, if you’re a fan of the genre, The Year ...
Alan Greenberg Pays Tribute to Werner Herzog
Published 5/23/2012 at 2:30 p.m. 0 comments
This new, revised version of Alan Greenberg’s 1976 book collects fragmentary, dream-like scenes from the period—starting with his first meeting with Herzog at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975 and concluding with the final shoot for the film, in Ireland—plus ...
Hilary Mantel's 'Bring Up the Bodies' Mixes Political Terror and More Private Conspiracies
Published 5/9/2012 at 11:37 a.m. 0 comments
Bring Up the Bodies (Henry Holt), Hilary Mantel’s sequel to Booker Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Wolf Hall (2009), arrives on the heels of the latest flare-up about women in literary publishing, kicked off by Meg Wolitzer’s ...
Be Prepared: Girl Scouts, Trailer Parks, and Growing Up in 'girlchild'
Published 3/28/2012 at 10:59 a.m. 0 comments
Tupelo Hassman’s girlchild is a tough read. It’s not because the book is dense and impenetrable, although Hassman does stray from a conventional narrative structure. No, girlchild is a tough read because the string of events that happen to the ...
Sarah Manguso Mourns a Friend in 'The Guardians'
Published 2/29/2012 at 10:15 a.m. 0 comments
“My friend died—that isn’t a story,” Sarah Manguso writes near the beginning of The Guardians: An Elegy. But, of course, it is. We all have friends, and we love them, and we lose them.
Two New Books Wonder How Much Work a Marriage Should Take
Published 2/8/2012 at 11:17 a.m. 1 comment
Maybe you’ve said it, maybe someone has said it to you, maybe you learned it from Friday Night Lights, but most Americans know: Marriage takes work.
'Running the Rift' Hurdles Olympic Training and the Rwandan Genocide
Published 1/18/2012 at 11:25 a.m. 0 comments
Running the Rift is a much better novel than The Help, but it suffers from the same problematic issue—can an American white woman write authentically and realistically about the issues faced by blacks? Can someone who lives a life of ...