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'The Good Liar,' A Conversation with Nicholas Searle

Photo: John Rice Nicholas Searle grew up in Cornwall and studied languages at the Universities of Bath and Göttingen. After teaching for four years, he moved to London to join the Civil Service, holding a variety of positions dealing with security matters before going to work in a similar capacity for the New Zealand government. Show More Summary

'The Dark Days Club': Regency romance with demonic twist

Alison Goodman has crafted a masterful, beguiling story from start to finish.

The Moment I Realized I Had A Drinking Problem

I was reading a book I wrote when I realized: I had to give up drinking. This happened a few months back. I had just finished writing this novel, and was reading it over one more time, the way I always do before a piece of my work is published. Show More Summary

Katarina Bivald: "There Should Be No 'Should's' about Reading"

Katarina Bivald - former bookseller and the author of our Best of the Month pick "The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" - talks about the reading life, writing, and when you should to kill off characters.

Post-Katrina Fiction

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and Eleventh Stack are celebrating Black History Month by highlighting books, music and movies by African American Artists. We also have a ton of great events and programs for children, teens and adults. You can view … Continue reading ?

The Contents of His Head: On A.O. Scott’s ‘Better Living Through Criticism’

This is a rather defensive and sometimes irritable book, an act of muffled aggression by a man besieged and yet conscious of occupying a privileged position in the world.

Critic’s Take: Song of Inexperience

For E. M. Forster, sex became symbolic of all in human existence that one could feel but not express.

‘The Good Death,’ ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ and More

Five books explore the way we are shaped by our knowledge of mortality.

Conversations with Writers Braver than Me #18: Anne Roiphe

Sari Botton and Anne Roiphe talk about respecting writers’ freedom to express the truth of their experiences, while also respecting their subjects’ prerogative to shun and even punish them for it.

Reopening the X-Files

Our very favorite FBI agent, Dana Scully, is back (oh, hey Mulder, you are back too, that’s great, maybe it’s time to try some meds? Hmmm?) with six new episodes of The X-Files. We’ve seen the first three episodes, and we have thoughts. Show More Summary

Tagore Translation Deemed Racy Is Pulled From Stores in China

As the nation celebrates the 155th anniversary of the poet’s birth with a translation of his works, another tome, by Feng Teng, has caused a furor.

Books of The Times: Review: Jeffrey E. Stern’s ‘The Last Thousand’ Explores the Mission of a Struggling Afghan School

Moral tension animates this portrait of Marefat, a progressive school for girls and boys of the Hazara minority that is endangered by the withdrawal of American troops.

Impossible But True: A New Novel About Georgia O'Keeffe Has Something Original To Say About Her

When it comes to culture, Americans are like baby birds --- we like our nutrition pre-chewed. About the last place I'd go to learn about Hadley Richardson, perhaps Ernest Hemingway's greatest love, is "The Paris Wife." And if I wanted...Show More Summary

Why I Quit My Book Group

Okay, the snacks were great, and so was the wine. But the books were awful. I wanted to have fun, but everyone kept voting for books that were depressing. They called them "classics." I guess that's code for boring books where nothing really happens to people you don't care about, and books that leave you feeling there's no point being alive. Show More Summary

Looking for Cleopatra

Recommended Reading: This love letter to Shakespeare’s Cleopatra, “the only woman in the world.” Here’s a bonus infographic that compares Cleopatra to everyone’s favorite Khaleesi, Daenerys Targaryen.

Homework Diary is Currently Full

“Dear Mrs D, Thanks for your homework. Your idea of writing a Christmas ghost story was a good one, but it’s not really the kind of thing I tend to do — it’s a little bit too genre for my tastes. Try Kevin, who sits next to me. He loves that stuff.” Over at McSweeney’s, Nick […]

Page To Screen: Bridget Jones became the patron saint of singletons everywhere

In Page To Screen, we compare a movie to the book that spawned it. The analysis goes into deep detail about specific plot points—in other words, you’ve been warned. Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary (1996) and Sharon Maguire’s Bridget...Show More Summary

Book Review: The Secret Life Of The American Musical reduces the stage to a formula

As she launched into the second chorus [of Pipe Dreams’ Sweet Thursday], and began a gentle, three-person soft shoe, I could swear the floor fell away from me, I was suspended in midair, and I thought I felt the almost two thousand patrons of City Center having the same experience. Show More Summary

Sea Like a Mirror

This little bit of found poetry courtesy of the Beaufort Wind Scale and Mallory Ortberg over at The Toast will have you reading your weather reports with a fresh set of eyes. If meteorology is your thing, here’s a link to the ten best weather events in all of fiction.

A Most Terrible State

Yesterday I told you about a ridiculously rare signed copy of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, a poem famously loaded with coldness and sterility and failed human intimacy. Later this month, some new letters will be published that reveal the depth of Eliot’s mental anguish over the breakdown of his first marriage with his wife, Vivien. Show More Summary

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