Displaying articles for: August 2010

A Novel Bookstore

This French literary thriller by Laurence Cossé (translated by Alison Anderson) chronicles the unexpected dangers that surface when a bookseller and an heiress open a Parisian bookshop stocked only with masterpieces, as chosen by a secret committee. Replete with an intoxicating stream of reading suggestions.

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The Great Typo Hunt

Jeff Deck had been poked in his editorial eagle-eyes once too often by the glaring typos that seemed to be breeding on signs all around him. Enlisting his friend Benjamin D. Herson in the Typo Eradication Advancement League, he set out on a quixotic journey to make right the errors proliferating across the American landscape. Great fun.

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Lucy

Transgenic animals—hybrids between two or more species—exist all around us, as mere agricultural and pharmaceutical beasts of burden. This little-noted biological frontier inspires novelist Laurence Gonzales to ponder the day when a human-bonobo mix is possible, resulting in his eponymous character, a young girl who finds herself in a storm of controversy and greed.

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Clandestine in Chile

The nonfiction work by Colombian Nobelist Gabriel García Márquez recounts the dangerous undercover exploits of filmmaker Miguel Littín, who snuck back into his homeland—after being exiled by Augusto Pinochet—in order secretly to craft a documentary about the conditions there.

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Thinking of Answers

Our resident philosopher, A. C. Grayling, who contributes "The Thinking Read" column to this site, here teaches us how to think about questions fundamental to the pursuit of an examined life. His brief, inviting essays are lucid and illuminating.

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The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating

Bedridden with a mysterious illness, Elizabeth Tova Bailey becomes absorbed in observation of a snail that accompanies a gift of wild violets a friend has brought her. You'll be surprised how much that snail teaches her, and us.

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Bad Boy

In Peter Robinson's latest thriller, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks tackles the most personal case of his career as he must find his missing daughter.

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In Utopia

It's a sad fact about our human species that we can always imagine recipes for disaster better than those for success. So anytime bold dreamers conjure up a method for reaching paradise on Earth, even if it's crackpot and doomed, their schemes can seduce us. J. C. Hallman dissects six such blueprints for happiness with mordant tongue-in-cheek.

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Finny

Boarding school, adolescence, first love, rebellion: the recipe for YA drama gets spiced up intriguingly by Kramon as he brings surrealism and Dickensian characters to his tale of female teen Finny Short, following her slow maturation into adulthood. Read more...

Elsie & Mairi Go to War

The true story of two motorcycle-riding women who made their way to the Belgian front lines to drive ambulances amid the horrific carnage of World War I.

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Knife Music

A handicapped detective and a doctor accused of violating a young girl confront one another in David Carnoy’s dramatic debut, in which medical expertise and legal suspense combine to deliver a compelling--and surprising--thriller. Read more...

The Pindar Diamond

Katie Hickman’s vividly drawn historical confection transports us to 17th-century Venice, where an English merchant schemes to win the 322-carat gem of the novel’s title at the gaming table while several storylines converge with page-turning satisfaction.

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Audition

Don't mistake Ryū Murakami for Haruki. The author of Coin Locker Babies has a penchant for the violently macabre not shared with his more famous namesake. Akin to Patrick McGrath's "New Gothic" style, Ryū's latest plumbs the depths of erotic obsession. Read more...

Tacit & Explicit Knowledge

Part philosophy, part science, this deep-digging exegesis of the subtle ways in which knowledge is held and classified and handled in our mental structures shines a searchlight on the foundations of our everyday repertoire of tricks for navigating life. Fascinating. Read more...

Dusk and Other Stories

A new edition of James Salter's deservedly revered story collection affords readers a fresh opportunity to admire the poised and quietly virtuosic prose of a modern master. Read more...

The Wicked Big Toddlah

New in paper, and the winner of the Irma Simonton Black Award for Children’s Picture Book, this is a rollicking retelling—in a Maine accent—of the classic story of the giant baby who wrecks everything. A read-aloud treat. 5+ Read more...

The Surf Guru

Following up his award-winning debut novel, Alive in Necropolis, with a collection of off-kilter stories, Doug Dorst displays a sly affection for eccentrics and outlaws, including the elderly wave-rider of the title piece. Read more...

William Golding

Controversially including accounts of an early incident of rape committed by the author of Lord of the Flies, this biography fills out the lopsided portrait of a writer whose subsequent novels never attained the fame of his first, but still earned him a Nobel Prize. Read more...

Layover in Dubai

An auditor on business in boomtown Dubai is mixed up in murder, terrorist activity, and corporate shenanigans. You're at the beach: it's perfect. Read more...

Insignificant Others

Fashioning high comedy out of the quotidian domestic and vocational incidents filling the life of a gay couple in Boston, Stephen McCauley reaffirms his reputation for a sharp eye for the everyday absurdities of contemporary living. Read more...

The Horses of St. Marks

How can famous objects seen daily by millions of tourists, whose long history is well- documented over the past few centuries, retain any mysteries? Charles Freeman eruditely explains how, as he puts those iconic Venetian equine statues under his historical microscope. Read more...

Long for This World

If science extends the average lifespan by one year for every calendar year of R&D, we'll all live forever! Although the actual state of cutting-edge geriatric medicine is not quite so simple or sanguine, Pulitzer winner Jonathan Weiner makes a good case for the advent of radical life extension technologies just down the road. Read more...

Skylark

There's no better way to celebrate New York Review Books Classic's entry into the eBook game than with Dezso Kosztolanyi's modern Hungarian classic, the story of an elderly couple and their spinster daughter that will teach you more about the poignant ironies of family love than a shelf of novels set closer to home. Read more...

More Life-Size Zoo

Actual-size animal photography again astounds in this sequel to last year's Life-Size Zoo. Children can look an orangutan in the eye, and be up-close to a seal, raccoon-dog, and even a lion cub (and so can you). 4+ Read more...

July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

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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