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A Reading Life

Gold: The Race for the World's Most Seductive Metal

This history of an element's grip on human imagination -- and the  devastating consequences of that fascination.

 

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The Speculator

New Vessels: A Critic's SF Picks for 2013

Thirteen works of fantasy and science fiction that register fresh visions.

 

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Reading in Common

Charmers Return

An annual rundown of books as diverting as they are thought-provoking.

 

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University Presses

Slow Reading in a Hurried Age

Rules for readers in an era when distraction is de rigueur.

 

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Crime and Punishment

Most Wanted: Critic's Picks for 2013

The finest heists, murders, capers, cops, robbers, and investigations from a year of great mysteries.

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The Speculator

Burning Paradise

In this Twilight Zone–esque novel, we really are surrounded.

 

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Reading Romance

Taking Me Back: The Best of 2013

A novel approach to judging the best romance of the year.

 

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A Reading Life

Death of the Black-Haired Girl

An ominously mysterious murder in a college town leads a professor into a psychic abyss.

 

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Reading in Common

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Compassion is the central theme in these essays from the author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto.

 

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A Reading Life

Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World

The author of Gulliver's Travels was a wit, a ladies' man, a champion of the oppressed -- and a mystery.

 

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Rock & Roll &

The Cynic and the Bloke

On tour with Donald Fagen and Rod Stewart.

 

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Reader's Diary

Firefly

A novelist makes chamber drama out of Noël Coward's Jamaican twilight.

 

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Crime and Punishment

The Hired Man

The aftermath of atrocities in the former Yugoslavia unspools in a tale of secrets, revelations, and aching suspense.

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Reading Romance

I'll Tumble for You

Love's a farce.

 

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Library Without Walls

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton

The great chronicler of turn-of-the-century New York was also a master of the chilling tale.

 

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July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.