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The Story of Young Santa

The magic of Christmas lies in ritual. For me it's reading a Yuletide tale. As a child the ritual was my carefully handwritten letters to Santa, and reading or being read the story "The Night Before Christmas," on Christmas Eve. As I...Show More Summary

Bestsellers on Sale: Susanna Kearsley, Eleanor & Park, and 70% off at Kobo

Among today’s many deals: the first of three series by Rick Riordan are $1.99 or $2.99 at Amazon.  The Lightning Thief, first in the Percy Jackson series, The Lost Hero, first in the Heroes of Olympus series, and The Red Pyramid, first in the Kane Chronicles, are on sale. Show More Summary


When She WokeWritten by: Hillary JordanPaperback: 352 pagesPublisher: Algonquin Books Language: EnglishOctober 2011Genre: Fiction/Dystopian I am red now. It was her first thought of the day, every day, surfacing after a few seconds of fogged, blessed ignorance and sweeping through her like a wave, breaking in her breast with a soundless roar. Show More Summary

Improvisational Innovation and 'The Risk Factor': A Chat With Deborah Perry Piscione About Her Newest Release

My old friend, best selling author and entrepreneur Deborah Perry Piscione, is onto something. Again. It's a new innovation methodology -- Improvisational Innovation -- which she introduces in her new book out this week, The Risk Factor: Why Every Organization Needs Big Bets, Bold Characters, and the Occasional Spectacular Failure. Show More Summary

Annie (2014)

I loved the trailer for the Annie remake, and I was poised to love the movie itself, but I found myself with a huge case of what TV Tropes calls “They Changed It, Now It Sucks.” I loved Quvenzhané Wallis.  I think she should be in everything from now on, as long as it doesn’t interfere with her physical and emotional health. Show More Summary

In Case of Emergency by Courtney Moreno

Thomas Cook reviews In Case of Emergency by Courtney Moreno today in Rumpus Books.

Our Holiday Wishes To You

Happy holidays, if you’re celebrating today, or just finished, or have been celebrating since the Christmas trees appeared in the stores sometime back in September. We wanted to share our holiday wishes to you, and invite you to share yours. Show More Summary

Word Origins as Comics:Time to Cut to the Chase, People

Tired of a pedantic approach to word origins? Try this for size. Our goal is to both educate and entertain. There's no better place to begin than with the language we use. So let's start there. Book One of fifteen books of educational comics by Larry Paros. This is the sixth column from that first book. Show More Summary

History Repeating Itself: Odd Girl Out and Under This Beautiful Dome

History repeats itself. Just last week, I went into the new Philadelphia AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room, the organization that took bought the old Giovanni's Room Bookstore, the iconic bookstore that opened in 1973. I was thrilled to hear that Giovanni's Room was continuing in some form, of course. Show More Summary

Six Books of the Year for 2014

2014, not a bad year for books, all told. Below you will find a completely arbitrary list of some of 2014's most Interesting, controversial books and a few that I simply found fascinating -- as well as a preview of two gifted new novelists. Show More Summary

Bad Boys

Got a crush on Draco Malfoy? J.K. Rowling is concerned. In a piece on her website, she writes: “I have often had cause to remark on how unnerved I have been by the number of girls who fell for this particular fictional character.” Pair with: our own Elizabeth Minkel on Rowling and other authors with […]

On Grinchery And Book Snobbery

This post also appeared on 20somethingreads. Holiday season is a time of giving -- also of consumerism and incessantly peppy songs that play on repeat. Even if you're generally an agreeable person, it's a time of year that can bring out your inner Grinch. In the book world, this manifests in the form of turning your nose up at certain books. Show More Summary

One Voice, Two Voice

The unreliable narrator is a bit of a cliche, but it’s still possible to write a good story that features one. At The Rumpus, Alex Dueben talks with Robert Boswell about his new book, which uses a technique Boswell calls “unreliable omniscience.”

Regarding (and Remembering) Susan Sontag

Recently, I spoke with Nancy Kates, whose film, Regarding Susan Sontag, had its Philadelphia premier at the Jewish Museum. The effervescent Kates describes meeting Sontag years ago at a Meet Susan Sontag Night on the campus of the University of Chicago. Show More Summary

My Roommate

As literary apprenticeships go, it’s hard to beat a chance to live with Doris Lessing. In 1963, not long after the death of Sylvia Plath, Jenny Diski moved in with the future Nobel laureate, who lived just north of King’s Cross in London at the time. In the LRB, Diski recounts her friendship with the […]

The 10 Best Health Books in 2014

Perhaps my favorite part of being a minimally trained health writer is that it provides the perfect excuse to read! And reading is something that I did a lot of in 2014. With no further adieu, here are the top 10 books in the realm of...Show More Summary

Eight Great Popular Science Books From 2014

I can't claim that these are the absolute best popular science books of the year. All that I can do here is to look at the books I reviewed for in 2014 (with the addition one guest title). Any "best of" list has to operate within the subset provided for selection, and this is no different. Show More Summary

A Line in the Ice by Jamie Craig

A Line in the Ice had a great concept that paid off well conceptually but not at all in terms of character. I ended up not caring about the romance because by the end of the book I disliked the two major characters. There were things...Show More Summary

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