Recent Articles

December 13, 2004

Eight from a Bookseller 0


Lisa is a bookseller from Colorado whose eclectic tastes are appreciated here at The Millions. Non-FictionThe Elements of Lavishness: Letters of Sylvia Townsend Warner and William Maxwell 1938-1978: In this delightful volume English novelist Sylvia Townsend Warner and New Yorker editor William Maxwell’s relationship blossoms from professional correspondence to a deep friendship. The two never […]

December 11, 2004

AKA Dr. Srangelove 0


My good friend Derek is deep into his first year of law school. He reads not for pleasure but for salvation. Eight Secrets Top Exam Performance in Law School performance by ___ Whitebread: Yes, it’s depressing that a law school book with a cheesy name is one of my top books of the year but […]

December 10, 2004

And from the Missus 0


Believe it or not, Mrs. Millions reads circles around me, she just doesn’t feel compelled to maintain a blog about it (I know, crazy). But I was able to convince her to send along a note about the best book she read this year. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole — Ignatius J. […]

December 9, 2004

Two Bests from the Left Coast 1


Brian from Los Angeles, one of the most prolific readers I have ever known, sent along his to favorites for 2004 (as we continue The Millions End of Year Extravaganza) Non-Fiction: The Fall Of Baghdad (excerpt) — It is to our great benefit that Jon Lee Anderson was one of the very few journalists to […]

December 8, 2004

Return of The Gaviero 0


There are some books that just demand to be reread. For Emre, who I’m hoping will become a regular contributor to The Millions, the book he reread this year is also the best book he read this year. I never read a book twice until The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll. When I finished reading […]

December 8, 2004

The Millions End of Year Extravaganza (It Begins) 1


Some time during the month of December, squeezed in between the eggnog and the marathon sessions at malls swollen with frantic shoppers, I hope everyone has a moment or two to reflect on the last year. And as you are reflecting, I hope you set aside another, smaller moment to think about some of the […]

December 6, 2004

My review of The Founding Fish by John McPhee 0


Have you ever wondered why someone doesn’t write a really interesting book about shoemakers or Idaho or health inspectors? When I worked at the bookstore I used to get questions like this all the time. Usually, I was forced to stare blankly for a moment before performing a futile search on the computer. But every […]

December 4, 2004

Yardley’s year in books 0


My favorite book critic, Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post, has put out his list of the year’s best books. He also takes the opportunity to make some comments about the National Book Awards controversy. My own view is that the literary judgment of the National Book Award panelists was clouded by their desire to […]

December 3, 2004

More year-end lists 0


Two British papers have put out their “best books” lists for the year. The Guardian asked some literary luminaries to pick their favorites, while The Independent compiled a mega-review that amounts to the story of 2004 in books. If you like year-end “best of” lists about any and all things, check out Fimoculous, who is […]

December 1, 2004

Physics and Book Sales 0


Using bestseller rankings as his data set, a physicist at UCLA, Didier Sornette, and his coauthors have just completed a study to investigate which phenomena lie behind the creation of best-selling books. While Sornette acknowledges that a big sales spike occurs after a book receives a prominent review or a mention on television, “the […]