Displaying articles for: September 2010

Salvation City

In this searing and sensitive novel, the author of A Feather on the Breath of God imagines a flu pandemic that decimates the American population, leaving a 13-year-old boy of atheist parents in the hands of kindly fundamentalist Christians. Rapture-ready pastor and sceptical teenager, faith and reason, ideological surety and human uncertainty engage one another with uncommon dignity in Sigrid Nunez's generous imagining.

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Madame Bovary

Flaubert's nineteenth-century masterpiece, in a new translation by one of contemporary literature's most original and quietly audacious talents. How can we resist?

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Yellow Dirt

Journalist Judy Pasternak turns her award-winning Los Angeles Times series about the shameful results of Federal uranium mining on Navajo lands into a book-length indictment of the government's callous treatment of a tribe of its citizens.

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Bob Dylan in America

Pulitzer-winning historian (and Grammy-nominated liner note scribe) Sean Wilentz provides a revelatory mapping of the roots and branches—and even the knotholes—of Bob Dylan's American art. Personal, analytical, and compelling.

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Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition

An appropriately handsome, witty, deeply smart and buoyantly informative annotated edition of Jane Austen's beloved novel, prepared with astuteness and affection by scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks.

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The World As I Found It

A big, gripping novel about the tortured philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein may sound oxymoronic, but Bruce Duffy pulls it off (assisted by the presence of Bertrand Russell, that old swashbuckler), mixing gossip, history, and plenty of ideas into a compulsively readable fiction.

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Madison and Jefferson

This refreshing dual biography of the third and fourth Presidents of the U.S., by Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg, depicts these Founders not as plaster saints, but as feisty young idealists—and pals, strivers, and conquerors to boot.

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Dogfight: A Love Story

With its compressed timeframe, New York City setting, and lively mix of humor and violence, Matt Burgess's debut novel, chronicling the tribulations during a single weekend of a youthful Queens drug dealer, might turn out to be a new generation's version of Martin Scorsese's After Hours.

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Framing Innocence

In 1945, Life magazine could print a frontal picture of a topless, six-year-old Natalie Wood. In the year 2000, loving mother Cynthia Stewart was prosecuted for snapping a candid shot of her eight-year-old daughter in the shower, intended solely for family viewing. Poet Lynn Powell smartly ponders this telling change in attitudes and laws.

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The Oxford Book of Parodies

Former TLS editor John Gross offers a rich compendium of an underrated genre. From Beowulf to Harry Potter, no literary monument is left unscathed. A fun, surprisingly illuminating take on literary history.

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Home, Away

Perfect reading for pennant-race season: a pitcher on his way to the pinnacle of the major leagues faces his greatest challenge in the form of a renewed relationship with his troubled son.  

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You Lost Me There

An Alzheimer’s researcher, mourning the death of his beloved wife, finds a set of index cards that challenge his memory of their marriage—and the nature of memory itself. Science and modern love are enfolded in a wonderfully assured first novel.

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Rat Girl

The astonishingly precocious Kristin Hersh started her music career at the age of 14, and her band Throwing Muses became one of the most arresting acts of the indie-rock revolution. Her memoir is a rawly emotive look back at a single year of musical breakthrough and mental crisis for the artist.

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Kraken

The high priest of the "New Weird" follows up his dreamlike policier The City & The City with this marvelous comic thriller. It starts with the theft of a giant squid, and gets infinitely stranger.

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The Calculus Diaries

What's calculus good for? How about losing weight, winning in Vegas, and surviving a zombie apocalypse. With wit, insight, and stories, Jennifer Ouellete, a reformed English major, shows us how.

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The Widower's Tale: A Novel

The new novel from Julia Glass, the acclaimed author of Three Junes, is a family saga set outside Boston, focusing on a seventy-year-old man whose settlement into retirement is disrupted when he lets a preschool take over his barn.

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The Hilliker Curse

The publisher calls this "a raw, brutally candid memoir" about an obsessive search for "atonement in women"—but what else would you expect from the author of The Black Dahlia and American Tabloid? Prepare yourself for another sinister literary seduction by James Ellroy.

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Empire: The Novel of Imperial Rome

Continuing the story, begun in Roma, of the aristocratic Pinarius family, Steven Saylor follows its fortunes through the peak decades of Rome's empire, the age of Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Trajan, and Hadrian.

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Becoming Animal

Anointed by Utne Reader as one of a select hundred transformative visionaries, ecologist and philosopher David Abram here attempts to imaginitively engineer the reunion of contemporary man and his animal-respecting ancestors, seeking in near-shamanistic terms a new perspective on where we fit in the vast web of life.

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The Twilight of the Bombs

We may no longer worry about massive exchanges of nuclear weapons between superpowers, but Pulitzer-winning historian Richard Rhodes (The Making of the Atomic Bomb) knows that so long as a single atomic bomb exists in the world, potential disaster lurks. In his fourth volume on our nuclear history, he charts post-Cold War challenges and prospects.

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April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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