Notable Articles

July 5, 2012

A Beginner’s Guide to Alice Munro 23


Considering which of Alice Munro’s stories to read can feel something like considering what to eat from an enormous box of chocolates. There are an overwhelming number of choices — and, while you’re very likely to choose something delicious, there is the slight but real possibility of finding yourself stuck with, say, raspberry ganache.

July 2, 2012

Most Anticipated: The Great Second-Half 2012 Book Preview 50


At 8,700 words strong and encompassing 76 titles, this is the only second-half 2012 book preview you will ever need. Enjoy.

June 29, 2012

The High Line: New York’s Monument to Gentrification 29


The High Line is the distressed skinny jeans of public parks, the gourmet taco truck of urban tourist attractions.

June 22, 2012

The Game’s Afoot: The Case of the Mystery Genre’s Terrible Secret 21


The biggest secret in crime fiction is that there are really only, like, four ways to tie up a mystery, and I’m going to show you all of them in 1200 words. Get ready to have an entire genre irrevocably spoiled.

June 4, 2012

Ten Books to Read When Mad Men is Over 19


Mad Men is about to disappear from our lives once again, leaving us to grapple alone with our complicated nostalgia for an era when men were men, women were secretaries, and alcoholism was glamorous. These books give a closer look at the era.

May 1, 2012

Are eReaders Really Green? 64


Our conspicuous (and often unnecessary) tech consumption — eReaders included — contributes to an inflating carbon footprint far beyond anything ever caused by traditional book production.

April 23, 2012

Tolstoy or Dostoevsky? 8 Experts on Who’s Greater 56


All mediocre novelists are alike; every great novelist is great in his own way.

March 28, 2012

The ___’s Daughter 81


To be clear, I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with calling one’s book The ___’s Daughter. I think those titles have a marvelous rhythm to them. And yet one can’t help but wonder why there seem to be so many of them.

March 21, 2012

It’s All in Your Head: The Problems With Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine 52


As Lehrer writes, “Until we understand the set of mental events that give rise to new thoughts, we will never understand what makes us so special.” This claim raises the stakes for the book. The problem is, it’s probably just not true.

March 1, 2012

Ban This Book: An Uncensored Look At The Lorax And Other Dangerous Books 6


Am I a closet censor, ready to suppress repugnant ideologies while trumpeting the importance of Banned Books Week? The short answer is yes. The fact is, when censorship fits with one’s values, even the staunchest defenders of free speech are willing to bend the rules.