Recent Articles

January 18, 2009

Curiosities: As Compiled by a Hologram 0

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So much to hate: The Beast’s 50 Most Loathsome People in America 2008 Bookshelves gone wild: Plant your tree of knowledge next to your literary playground. At the Vroman’s Bookstore blog, Patrick talks about why “books need more time,” and looks at how one book is getting more than the one week it was given. […]

January 14, 2009

Books as Objects: Artifacts and Armaments 2

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If you thought books were just to read – to entertain, educate or enlighten – then think again. Macleans Magazine ran a piece recently on a little bookshop in Old Montreal that displays its wares as museum-pieces. Librissime offers Dante’s Divine Comedy, “bound in buttercream-white calfskin leather, a hand-chiseled brass rendering of the crossing of […]

January 13, 2009

Staff Picks: Simenon, Johnson, Suskind, McPhee, Herzog 0

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The “staff picks” shelf in any good independent bookstore is a treasure trove of book recommendations. Unmoored from media hype and even timeliness, these books are championed by trusted fellow readers. With many bookselling alums in our ranks, we offer our own “Staff Picks” in a feature appearing irregularly. Red Lights by Georges Simenon recommended […]

January 12, 2009

Middlemarch: The Fraught Lives of Women and Men 6

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It sells Middlemarch short to call it a novel of manners, although if viewed from just one angle it is. The novel describes the precisely ordered life of the eponymous village in feudal England, where every resident can be placed on a grid according to his annual income and the quality of his lineage. There […]

January 12, 2009

Missed Connections: A Review of Philip Hensher’s The Northern Clemency 4

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Halfway through Howards End, E.M. Forster describes a certain elm tree as a living symbol of that elusive quality called Englishness. “It was neither warrior, nor lover, nor god,” Forster writes: In none of these roles do the English excel. It was a comrade, bending over the house, strength and adventure in its roots, but […]

January 10, 2009

Curiosities: 8x Buffalo 2

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Appearing Elsewhere: VQR Young Reviewers Contest winner and Millions contributor Emily drops by the NBCC blog to tell them what she’s been reading. The NY Times fleshes out some of the details of Google’s digitizing agreement with publishers and authors, including getting into some of the numbers involved. We explained the importance of the deal […]

January 9, 2009

Salman Rushdie Runs Down 2008’s Best American Short Stories 0

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Yesterday, on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show, Salman Rushdie discussed the choices he made as guest-editor of Best American Short Stories 2008. A comparison with our recent post on the year’s New Yorker fiction reveals that several of his picks date to 2007. Still, Rushdie’s taste is excellent, and it’s always fun to hear him talk […]

January 8, 2009

New Yorker Fiction by the Numbers: The Many Stories by the Few 4

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Earlier this week we took a qualitative look at recent fiction in the New Yorker, and now, with help from a Millions reader, we’re going to take a quantitative look. Last year, Frank Kovarik, who writes and teaches English in St. Louis, sent us a spreadsheet that he has used to catalog New Yorker fiction […]

January 8, 2009

The Last of Her Kind: Women Authors and the Novel of Ideas 1

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This guest post comes to us Sana Krasikov. Sana is the author of the short story collection One More Year. Recently, in response to the launch of Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, the literary critic Germaine Greer posed the question of why women don’t write more books about “Big Ideas.” Reaching back in time to […]

January 6, 2009

Most Anticipated: 2009 May Be a Great Year for Books 12

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The publishing industry (and every other industry) may be going down the tubes, but readers won’t be wanting for good new books this year, I suspect. Readers will get their hands on new Pynchon, Atwood, Lethem, and Zadie Smith – those names alone would make for a banner year, but there’s much more. Below you’ll […]