Notable Articles

June 22, 2012

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

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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 20

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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? 75

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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 70

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

March 28, 2012

The ___’s Daughter 86

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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 53

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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 7

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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.

February 17, 2012

Crime Pays: Jo Nesbø Talks about Killing Harry Hole and the Best Job in the World 17

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I had worked as a taxi driver, a stockbroker. A fishing trawler. I had many kinds of jobs. And I know this is the greatest job that you can have. To actually get up in the morning and people are paying you to do what you really want to do. To come up with these stories.

February 16, 2012

The Arcades Project: Martin Amis’ Guide to Classic Video Games 79

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Invasion of the Space Invaders is the madwoman in the attic of Amis’ house of nonfiction; many have heard rumors of its shameful presence, but few have seen it with their own eyes.

February 15, 2012

On Getting Paid: Literary Magazines and Remuneration 42

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The economy of literary magazines appears to be a closed system. Money is tight, payment is low, and subscriptions and institutional support appear to be the final hope for sustenance. Does it have to be that way?