• The Best (and Worst) Books of 2010 Published 12/29/2010 at 12:00 p.m. 0 comments

    A best-books-of-the-year list is inevitably more subjective than a similar list of movies, or even music, because so, so many more books are released in a year. Even if you read all the time, you still end up with a ...

  • Despite Efforts, "Lulu in Marrakech" Unconvincing Published 3/11/2009 at 1:39 p.m. 0 comments

    Diane Johnson has perfected the contemporary novel of manners. Or more particularly, she has mastered the expatriate version of such, a cross between Henry James’ American on European Tour and Jane Austen’s Social Commentary. In previous works, such as Le ...

  • Neil Gaiman Delivers Again with "The Graveyard Book" Published 3/11/2009 at 1:36 p.m. 0 comments

    With the film adaptation of his young adult novel Coraline now in theaters, it’s worthwhile to glance at Neil Gaiman’s newest book for a younger audience, The Graveyard Book, which just picked up the coveted Newberry Medal and has been ...

  • Osamu Tezuka Published 12/10/2008 at 2:00 p.m. 0 comments

    Osamu Tezuka is generally regarded as the father of manga, the Japanese comic form that has only recently burst into the mainstream American consciousness. His signature works are the kid-friendly Astro Boy and Kimba the Lion and the epic 12-volume ...

  • Bruce Herschensohn Published 12/10/2008 at 1:57 p.m. 0 comments

    In conservative commentator Bruce Herschensohn’s debut novel, the barbarians are at the gate. In fact, technically speaking, the barbarians—in the form of rabid Islamist fundamentalists—are well beyond the gate, having achieved world domination, defeated the U.S. military, occupied the White ...

  • David Sheppard Published 11/26/2008 at 10:12 a.m. 0 comments

    “America is waiting for a message of some sort or another” is just a scrap of “found” talk radio—flatly delivered, inflectionless. Nevertheless it looped persistently through my head this fall while reading David Sheppard’s On Some Faraway Beach: The Life ...

  • Pulp: Karin Slaughter Published 10/22/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    No matter how good or how successful any series of books is, living in the same headspace with the same characters book after book can weary even the most devoted author. Such is the case with Karin Slaughter’s excellent Grant ...

  • Pulp: Victor Gischler Published 10/22/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse is half-adventure novel, half-social satire about an insurance salesman named Mortimer Tate who sees the writing on the wall and disappears into the Tennessee mountain wilderness to wait out whatever’s coming down the road. Nine ...

  • Pulp: Erin Hogan Published 10/1/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    Erin Hogan’s Spiral Jetta is one those unpretentious travel volumes that largely go unnoticed. It’s only 180 pages. It doesn’t tell of perilous journeys or of discovering exotic cultures. Nor is its author, the director of public affairs at the ...

  • Pulp: Haruki Murakami Published 9/3/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    Does Haruki Murakami’s popularity derive from the ubiquity of American culture? Perhaps no other Japanese author has attained such a global following, with translations in over 40 languages, from Arabic to Vietnamese. The author’s new memoir, What I Talk about ...

  • The Neverending Story Published 9/3/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    Bestselling author Terry Brooks has forged a long career writing giant books about epic fantasy worlds, and Charles Maldonado pops in for a visit.

  • Chasing Darkness (Simon & Schuster) Published 8/13/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    Pulp: After producing a subset of novels exploring the origins of his Los Angeles detective characters Elvis Cole and Joe Pike, and taking a break from those characters with a stand-alone novel (2006’s The Two Minute Rule), Robert Crais returns ...

  • Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (MIT Press) Published 8/13/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    Pulp: Historian Jacques Barzun once observed “that a good deal of [20th-century] art has been instructional, the artist-pedagogue flogging the dead philistine.” That remark could serve as epigram to the essays and music Paul D. Miller has collected in Sound ...

  • Swan Peak by James Lee Burke Published 7/30/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 1 comment

    Sometimes we have a writer who is so good and so reliable that we forget exactly how amazing his prose can be. Perhaps he makes the bestseller lists, but rarely peaks at number one; or she never goes out of ...

  • The Age of Bronze by Eric Shanower Published 7/30/2008 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments

    For all its cultural familiarity, there’s never been a full, high literary telling of the story of the Trojan War. Some people may not think an ongoing comics series is an appropriate form for such an epic undertaking, but those ...

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