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Drawn to Read

The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh

Ward Sutton looks at a new annotated and illustrated edition of the letters from one of the most famously tormented personalities in the history of painting.

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Rock & Roll &

Not So Misterioso

Robin D.G. Kelley's new biography of Thelonious Monk inspires a reflection on a musician and composer whose gifts keep on giving.

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The Criminalist

Golden Years of Detection

How a decidedly peculiar pair of octogenarian investigators are delightedly breaking some venerable rules. Read more...

Drawn to Read

Father Knows Books: Otis

In a new visual review feature from Ward Sutton, the cartoonist (and parent) looks at Loren Long's new book Otis. Read more...

Reading Romance

Our Town

Why a small-town setting can make for a particularly compelling tale of love's trials.

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Library Without Walls

The Poems of Thomas Hardy

The novelist's other life, as a sensitive recorder of "tears in things." Read more...

Reader's Diary

New Worlds

From Wallace Shawn to Geraldo Rivera, uneasy crossings of horizons moral and physical. Read more...

The Thinking Read

Thucydides: the Reinvention of History

Why a chronicle of the struggle between two Mediterranean city-states still matters. Read more...

Drawn to Read

Last Night in Twisted River

In the latest novel from John Irving, a father and son are on the run from a Javert-like pursuer.

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Rock & Roll &

Paisley's Progress

A country star finds his voice. Read more...

The Criminalist

Tokyo Vice

An American-born reporter working the police beat in Japan renders a riveting picture of violence beneath a society's orderly surface. Read more...

Reading Romance

In Praise of Decent Men

Forget about that smoldering demon lover for a minute -- take another look at the boy next door.

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Library Without Walls

Ecstasies

The fascinating folklore of the witches' sabbath in medieval Europe. Read more...

The Speculator

The Year of the Flood

In Margaret Atwood's new novel, the nearest of futures continues to breed wild dreams and compelling nightmares. Read more...

Reader's Diary

Ascents, Flights, and Fogs

A new memoir from a daughter of a tragically brilliant union; an elegant critic; and the joys of crime by gaslight. 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."