Staff Picks

April 17, 2012

Staff Pick: Lauren Groff’s Arcadia 6

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Sometimes I just want to read a book from beginning to end as quickly as possible. Arcadia was perfect for this venture, both because I was immediately in love with it, and because the book itself is about experiences that wrap around you until the outside world fades away.

March 26, 2012

Staff Pick: E.L. Doctorow’s The Book of Daniel 0

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The Book of Daniel is metafiction done right, by an author who cares as much about telling stories as he does about talking about telling stories.

March 22, 2012

John Leonard Died for Our Sins 6

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I’m glad I haven’t read anything Leonard wrote about Nixon after 1975. My guess is it would be like watching someone empty an Uzi into a lifeless Clydesdale.

January 11, 2012

Staff Pick: John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead 16

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Every word I say or write about John Jeremiah Sullivan’s Pulphead turns instantly to mush. Yes, he’s that good.

November 23, 2011

Staff Pick: Steve Erickson’s Zeroville 5

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Zeroville is a work of surpassing strangeness and beauty. Vikar is possesed by movies, and he’s come to the promised land. He has a tattoo of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift on his shaved head, a red tear drop inked below an eye.

October 18, 2011

Staff Pick: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall 2

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Let me get this out of the way: I hate running. I never enjoyed it: it hurt, it was boring, and I always worried about getting a sunburn.

October 12, 2011

Guilty Pleasures: Julie Salamon’s The Devil’s Candy & Wendy and the Lost Boys 0

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Author Julie Salamon is blessed with that rare talent for not missing the forest for the trees while at the same time being able to see the trees.

September 20, 2011

Staff Pick: Exercises in Style by Raymond Queneau 2

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By the end of the first page, you have learned everything you are ever going to know about the events on which the book focuses. What Queneau does do, however, is re-narrate this same scenario a further 98 times, in a series of distinct styles.

September 16, 2011

Staff Pick: Kenneth Fearing’s The Big Clock 0

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In Kenneth Fearing’s 1946 noir novel, a Manhattan writer is given the unenviable task of tracking himself down.

August 29, 2011

Staff Pick: Daniele Mastrogiacomo’s Days of Fear 1

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In the spring of 2007, the Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo arrived in Afghanistan. He was there to conduct an interview with a Taliban commander, but the promised interview was a trap.