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Rock & Roll &

Smart and Smarter

Vampire Weekend’s second outing is no sophomore slump. Read more...

Library Without Walls

The Stories of Heinrich von Kleist

Arresting and magical tales from a little known master of German literature. Read more...

Reading Romance

Strange Bedfellows

Marriage to a virtual stranger may not work out well in most peoples lives. But it does make for a good story.

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Reader's Diary

Happy Accidents

Discoveries in winter, from an Asperger’s memoir to a poet’s rural vision.

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Drawn to Read

Americans in Paris

Ward Sutton reviews Charles Glass's new history of how American citizens survived, resisted, collaborated, and sometimes died during the Nazi occupation of the French capital.

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The Thinking Read

When China Rules the World

An argument for the emerging dominance of the world's economy -- and culture -- by the most populous nation on the planet.

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The Speculator

Galileo's Dream

From the award-winning author of the Mars Trilogy, an intellectual adventure that shuttles between the 17th and 31st centuries. Read more...

The Criminalist

A Precinct of Her Own

Dorothy Uhnak's books transformed her trailblazing experience as a woman in the N.Y.P.D. into sagas that plumb the soul of the force. Read more...

Rock & Roll &

Resuscitations and Business Plans: The Best Albums of 2009

After twelve months of listening, the songs that beg to be heard again. Read more...

Rock & Roll &

The Dean's List: The Best Albums of 2009

Fourscore (plus three) records worth remembering from a year's devoted listening. Read more...

Reading Romance

Way, Way Out West

From the Old West to imagined new frontiers, lone rangers who fire the imagination

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Reader's Diary

From Brisbane to Byzantium

New books collect the literature of a modern nation and listen for the lasting echoes of an ancient one. Read more...

The Speculator

Makers

The new book from the award-winning author of Little Brother attempts to bring new life into a foundational concern of science fiction: the social role of the technological innovator. Read more...

Library Without Walls

2009: A Year in the (Reading) Life

Michael Dirda on the books of the year that "continue to linger most vividly in my memory."

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The Thinking Read

Secrets of the Universe: How We Discovered the Cosmos

A new history of astronomy illuminates the wonders of the skies, and the contributions of those explore them with eyes, telescopes, and radio waves. Read more...

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April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."