Recent Articles

July 24, 2005

Ask a Book Question: The 40th in a Series (The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford) 0


Dee writes in with this question: Do you know when Richard Ford’s sequel to Independence Day will be published? Richard Ford’s Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award winning Independence Day from 1995 revisits Frank Bascombe, who Ford first introduced to readers as The Sportswriter in 1986. In the novels, Ford plumbs the angst of the 1980s […]

July 22, 2005

Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki 0


Anyone who enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point or Blink or Steven D. Levitt’s Freakonomics, will likely be interested in The Wisdom of Crowds by the New Yorker’s business columnist, James Surowiecki. Surowiecki’s premise is that groups of diverse people can collectively come to a better conclusion than even the smartest individual. Like other books […]

July 21, 2005

New Book Previews: Thomas O’Malley, Xue Xinran 0


In the Province of Saints, a first novel by the Irish writer – and Iowa Writers’ Workshop grad – Thomas O’Malley is being compared to Angela’s Ashes. The subject here is a down-on-its-luck family in an Ireland of the late 70s and early 80s that was still ravaged by sectarian violence. PW says “his sentences […]

July 19, 2005

New Kurt Vonnegut 0


After Timequake, Kurt Vonnegut declared that his career as a novelist was over, but in recent years Seven Stories Press has collected the scattered writing he has done since his retirement into small books. A new, and perhaps more substantial, collection called A Man without a Country comes out in September. Seven Stories describes it […]

July 18, 2005

What people are reading: The Harry Potter edition 0


I only took the train one way today – Mrs. Millions was kind enough to pick me up this afternoon – but I still spotted at least three people reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in various stages of completion while riding the El this morning including one young man who was vigorously finishing […]

July 17, 2005

Brit Lit Blogs Aggregate 0


Six British book bloggers have combined forces to create a site that aggregates all of their blogs onto one page. It’s a great way to find out at a glance what all these folks are writing about, and I like the design too. Visit Brit Lit

July 14, 2005

Book Review: Absolutely American by David Lipsky 0


Anyone who has made a living sitting in a cubicle has at one time or another wondered if there is more to life than pushing the proverbial pencils. These second thoughts are central to our existence as working folk. Often, when that meeting has dragged on an hour to long or when the boss is […]

July 12, 2005

Ask a Book Question: The 39th in a Series (Finding First Editions) 0


Michael writes in with this question: I want to know how to determine if I have a first edition book or not. I have several books, Black Beauty 1945 without any other copyright dates, I also have The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin, without any dates but the one given, Darwin doesn’t even have […]

July 11, 2005

The Grinch who Hates Harry Potter 0


Joel Stein of the LA Times is bravely calling the wrath of legions of Harry Potter fans down upon himself, but I can’t say that I agree with what he’s trying to say. First there’s the headline: “Hogwarts fans, you’re stupid, stupid, stupid.” Not mincing any words there. Stein is apparently infuriated that so many […]

July 11, 2005

Happy Endings 0


I spotted this essay by James Wood in the Guardian about endings that disappoint. I agree that there is hardly anything more disheartening than a novel that just peters out at the end. To me reading a book is like making an investment. You put in the time, and at the end you hope to […]