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Blog Profile / The Millions

Filed Under:Entertainment / Books
Posts on Regator:9795
Posts / Week:32.5
Archived Since:February 11, 2009

Blog Post Archive

Infuriating, Possibly Illuminating: On ‘The List of Books’

What sets The List apart are the thirteen Michelin Guide-type symbols (a magnifying glass, an American flag, an armchair, etc.) that Raphael and McLeish used to flag titles as (for example) a “major masterpiece,” a “seminal work that changed our thinking,” and “a particular pleasure to read.”


We’ve published essays before on the importance of good grammar, but it’s rare that something comes along that illustrates its value so clearly. A couple weeks ago, the Times published a blurb about This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a recent essay collection by Ann Patchett, that led to the author sending in what […]

The Millions Top Ten: October 2014

Three books debut, including one from a writer well-known to Millions readers.

“Archetypal and chthonic”

Recommended Reading: The LARB’s tribute to the late Galway Kinnell.


The world isn’t exactly wanting for character studies of Captain Ahab, but Chris Power manages to come up with a novel analysis of the character in this essay about the Moby-Dick antagonist. In Power’s telling, Ahab was valuable in part for what he told us about the 20th century — namely, he foreshadowed the dictators […]

To the Edge of Sanity

Edmund Wilson famously said of the works of H.P. Lovecraft that “the only real horror in most of these fictions is the horror of bad taste and bad art.” In time, however, Lovecraft developed a substantial following, which raises the question of what attracted readers to his work. The answer? “The weird realism that runs […]

The Boy Who Would Be Crichton

That Crichton’s magnum opus involved dinosaurs – my other great childhood obsession – seemed to dictate that my own should, too. The rest, I assumed, would come naturally to a prodigious talent such as myself.

Tuesday New Release Day: Johnson; Ford; Millet; Hunter; Kadare; Jin; Rash; Self

Out this week: The Laughing Monsters by Denis Johnson; Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford; Mermaids in Paradise by Lydia Millet; Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter; Twilight of the Eastern Gods by Ismail Kadare; A Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin; Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash; and Shark by Will Self. For more on these and other new titles, check out our […]

Strange and New

Last week, I pointed readers to an article about Michael Faber’s latest book and his decision to quit writing fiction. Now, in the Times Book Review, Marcel Theroux sizes up the novel, writing that “the reader is drawn through the book effortlessly, by the combination of incidental strangeness and the suspenseful handling of plot.”


Recommended Reading: James Salter on a new book about American pilots in World War I.

Almost Famous

It wasn’t just that no one wanted to embarrass themselves by fainting or kissing Keith Richards' boots; it was that we all felt the need to guard against the possibility that his super-abundant existence might envelop our own.

Alone in the Dark

For the most part, your average writer’s retreat is a pretty cushy place. Its amenities are designed to let its guests turn their energies to the difficulties of artistic work. At The Paris Review Daily, Rex Weiner writes a dispatch from a different sort of retreat — a haunted house for writers in Mexico. To […]

Tales of a Fanboy

If you’ve been on the Internet at any point in the last few weeks, you’re probably aware that Twin Peaks is coming back. The seminal (and seminally weird) show by David Lynch will return for nine episodes in 2016. At The Nervous Breakdown, Joshua Lyons explains what the show meant to him, with the help […]

What to Read When You’re Not Expecting

I was trying to reassure myself that whatever was happening to me was common enough, normal enough, to easily crop up in my regular life reading.

Consider the Chapter

“What does the chapter’s beginnings reveal about the way our books and stories are still put together?” Nicholas Dames answers with an essay in The New Yorker.

Weird: France & Belgium

Recommended recommendations: Weird Fiction Review has compiled a list of notable “weird” French and Belgian writers.

“Carefully Arranged Derangement”

“Literature offers a way of framing, or reckoning with, the chaos of a universe we can never truly know.” The LA Times interviewed Denis Johnson about his new novel The Laughing Monsters, an excerpt of which can be read online here.

Books vs. “Books”

Recommended reading: Alex Beam on the distinction between books and “books.”

Bookstore MFA

“There’s something about shopping for books where you’re open for anything. You’re faced with a wall of books, and you don’t know anything about most of them. At some point, it’s just you and the poems.” Carl Adamshick talks with the Los Angeles Review of Books about Powell’s and the “bookstore MFA.” Pair with our […]

Fitzgerald’s Football

“F. Scott Fitzgerald is known as one of America’s greatest authors, but was he also responsible for one of football’s most important strategic advances? Maybe. Possibly. Probably not.” Kevin Draper writes about Fitzgerald’s love and possible genius for the game.

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