May 23, 2011

Boom! Crash!: A Handicapper’s Guide to Panic Lit 4


The winners and the also-rans in the race for the best book on the Financial Panic of 2008.

May 20, 2011

The Perils of Reading Pregnant 27


People’s protective urges extend beyond the body of the mother-to-be, and into her reading life. If literature is clogged with unhappy marriages, it’s certainly also darkened with dead babies and the complex melancholy of mothers.

May 18, 2011

Migrations: A Reading List 6


Migration in its various forms is at the heart of a great many of my favorite plots in fiction. But beyond that it seems to me that migration, as an idea of motion, is inextricable from good fiction. Your characters must change—they must move, psychically at least, from point A to point B—and the plot must move forward.

February 28, 2011

Getting to Know the Presidents: The Presidential Biography Project 28


Much as I love Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, I have a much more personal affection for the likes of Madison and Fillmore.

February 23, 2011

No More Model Airplanes: Essential Writing about Writing 16


There’s technique, but there’s also passion, soul, grace, daring.

January 20, 2011

The Amazon Alphabet: From Audio Books to Zane 6


The ABCs of Amazon: a peek into the reading habits of America and, like it or not, a primer for what’s popular in the world of books.

January 5, 2011

Millions Meta-Data 2010 1


Before we get too far into 2011, let’s take a look at what was keeping readers interested on The Millions in 2010.

January 4, 2011

New Yorker Fiction By the Numbers 8


Several years ago I started cataloging the fiction published in The New Yorker in a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet began merely as a way to keep track of what I’d read, but I soon became curious about what the spreadsheet’s data-sorting capabilities could reveal.

January 3, 2011

Most Anticipated: The Great 2011 Book Preview 61


8,000 words strong and encompassing 76 titles, it’s the only 2011 book preview you will ever need.

December 24, 2010

A Special Note for All You New Kindle (And Other Ereader) Owners 7


For all those readers unwrapping shiny new devices, here are some links to get you going.