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The Speculator

Who Fears Death

A young heroine navigates post-apocalyptic Africa in an ambitious hybrid of fantasy and science fiction. Read more...

Drawn to Read

Ilustrado

Ward Sutton's illustrated review of Miguel Syuco's dazzling new tale of an author's mysterious death.

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Rock & Roll &

Who Knows It Feels It

Before Bob Marley was a visionary and culture hero, he was a musician.

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Reading Romance

Presumed Innocent

Eloisa James is surprised—and delighted—by the winning innocence of the heroines of five new romance novels.

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The Thinking Read

Cro-Magnon

Cro-Magnon interlopers displaced the Neanderthals who once roamed over prehistoric Europe. What made them different?

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Public and Private

Hunger Artists

Originality, plagiarism, and creativity—Andrew Keen on Helene Hegemann, Reality Hunger, and The Authenticity Hoax.

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Reader's Diary

American Insurgents, American Patriots

In a new history of the American Revolution, an esteemed historian shifts the focus from the Founders to ordinary people.

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The Criminalist

The Age of Salander

Stieg Larsson's unlikely heirs to the mantle of Sherlock Holmes.

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Drawn to Read

Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Ward Sutton's illustrated review of Daniel Okrent's new history of America's singular experiment in mass sobriety.

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Rock & Roll &

Pops as Pop

Robert Christgau on the enduring power of Louis Armstrong's horn -- and voice.

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Library Without Walls

A Reader on Reading

A collection of essays on a reading life from the author of A History of Reading and The Library at Night

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Reader's Diary

Therapeutic Felony & Mayhem

Brooke Allen on the therapeutic joys of mystery and espionage discoveries from Felony & Mayhem Press.

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Reading Romance

She's No Rocket Scientist

This month in Reading Romance, Eloisa James celebrates less-than-perfect lovers.

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The Thinking Read

Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience

A. C. Grayling on the quest to find the seat of wisdom in the brain.

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Drawn to Read

Beatrice and Virgil

Ward Sutton on Yann Martel's intriguing follow-up to Life of Pi, in which a writer wrestles with a seemingly impossible subject.

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April 21: " 'Pull' includes 'invitations to tea' at which one hears smiling reminders that a better life is available to people who stop talking about massacres..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.