Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It

The roster of contributors to Paula Derrow's collection of tales about sex, relationships, and the many things in between is impressive for its intellect and sass. Here you will find women who say what you and yours have only thought, who use writerly metaphors to depict the tangles of being female, being a mother, being a lesbian, being young, being old, and, in all cases, being boldly vulnerable. Susan Cheever, Hope Edelman, and Lauren Slater are among the willing -- those who reveal their tastes and shortcomings through punchy stories. Cheever writes in praise of one-night stands, Edelman reflects on her teenage love affair with a bad boy turned groveling cheater, and Slater justifies sexless marriage. Reminiscent of the 2003 Bitch in the House anthology, Behind the Bedroom Door is every bit as scintillating, if not deliberately more sex-obsessed. What?s most impressive is the candor that these women muster -- here are respected teachers, authors, and parents who tell their secrets as though their kids will never lay eyes on their tell-alls, who unabashedly relate the quirks of their husbands and lovers. But then again, what appears foolhardy may be just another act of modern living. Their kids and lovers will find out, or be shown again, that the women they love crave more, have qualms, and revel in their mistakes as much as their independence. This is a fun, helpful read for "ladies" of all ages, and for men who seek to understand.

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.