Articles by Michael Bourne

July 22, 2015

America, Meet the Real Atticus Finch 3

Whatever its true provenance, Go Set a Watchman, despite some deft prose and sharp dialogue, fails as a work of art in every way except as a corrective to the standard sentimental reading of Atticus Finch.

July 13, 2015

No More Lies: The Great Second-Half 2015 Nonfiction Preview 2

Today, we offer a preview of some of the most compelling nonfiction titles set to arrive in bookstores between now and December.

June 10, 2015

Father’s Day Books for Dads Who Actually Read 7

A certain kind of man views his bookshelves the way a leopard sees bleached bones on the veldt — as evidence of past kills, the larger the better.

April 22, 2015

Hinge of History: Nine Books for the Post-Ferguson Era 4

These nine books, some new, some decades old, shed light on the history and evolution of racism in America.

April 6, 2015

Stodgy, Slow, Sacred: Fathers and Sons and Baseball 1

This is why baseball matters so much to me. In an era of relentless change, here is one thing that has remained constant without losing its capacity to dazzle. Here is one thing a dad and an eight-year-old can talk about without either one having to pretend to be interested.

February 16, 2015

My Neighbor, the Poet Laureate 1

When I read over the weekend that Levine had died, at age 87, I thought of that rainy September afternoon in Brooklyn.

January 26, 2015

The Page 40 Test 18

But by paying close attention to how a writer constructs sentences, we can begin to see how the larger structure of the novel is built.

January 20, 2015

A World Made of Words: On Anthony Doerr’s Nouns and Verbs 19

Twenty-one words, three simple clauses, and wham, you are there.

December 7, 2014

A Year in Reading: Michael Bourne 1

Meyer spent five years researching and writing The Son, reading some 300 books on Texas, teaching himself how to hunt with a bow, and shooting a buffalo so he could experience what it was like to drink its blood.

November 25, 2014

Just Try and Stop Me: Jane Smiley Sets Her Sights on the American Century 4

The idea for the trilogy, Smiley says, arose in part out of her fury over the political situation in the U.S. since the Bush Administration and a desire to understand “how the country got where it is today.”