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Viet Thanh Nguyen's favorite books of 2017: "The Song Poet" and "The Sellout"

I was late to reading Paul Beatty’s “The Sellout” but loved it as I knew I would, having been a fan since his 2001 novel “The White Boy Shuffle.” He wrote so many lines and deployed so many ideas I wished I had, beginning with the legal case that begins the novel: Me vs. America. Less well known...

David Kipen recommends an overlooked book about a lost LA hero

If Rachel Maddow and H.L. Mencken had conceived a child in Los Angeles in 1837, he’d be Francisco P. Ramírez. Paul Bryan Gray’s criminally overlooked “A Clamor for Equality” (published in 2012) tells the story of this trilingual teenage journalism prodigy, who editorialized against police brutality,...

Rigoberto González recommends his two favorite books of 2017

My two favorite books of 2017: Achy Obejas’s superb story collection “The Tower of Antilles” (Akashic Books) deals with the conflicted relationships Cubans, exiles and Cuban Americans have with their homeland, with the U.S., and, more poignantly, with each other; Vanessa Angélica Villarreal’s stunning...

Adriana E. Ramírez recommends an unusual culinary history

Good nonfiction writers are able to use the smallest details to recreate entire lives. In “What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories,” Laura Shapiro uses food to illustrate the lives of six cultural and political figures: Dorothy Wordsworth, Rosa Lewis, Eleanor Roosevelt,...

Hilarious essays and a mighty children's book: Rebecca Carroll's top picks of 2017

“We Are Never Meeting in Real Life,” Samantha Irby’s collection of candid, funny and deliberate essays will make you laugh until you pee and cry and ache in your belly. It’s like nothing you’ve ever read, because Irby is like no one you’ve ever met, although you will never really know, because...

Alexander Chee recommends essays by Mary Gaitskill and Yiyun Li

I’ve loved and admired Mary Gaitskill’s essays over the years as they’ve appeared in between her novels and short story collections, and here, collected at last in “Somebody with A Little Hammer,” with a cover she designed herself, I felt like I had not just a collection of her essays but an essential...

[insert "Baby, It's Cold Outside" headline here]

The Winter Blues got you down? Anne and Mike Howard share some of their favorite off-season adventures from Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent.

Elyse Watches The Bachelor: Season 22 Preview

It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love. And when ABC tries to convince the world that 30 successful, attractive, interesting women have resorted to going on reality television to find their soulmate. Last season I laid out my theory: ain’t nobody here to win The Bachelor. Show More Summary

A Year in Reading: Rakesh Satyal

The Book That Will Make You Believe (Even More) in Magic: I would like to add my voice to the overwhelming chorus that has already lauded Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties. This book feels like meeting Angela Carter for a wild night of drinking and dancing. Show More Summary

The Best Art Books of 2017

The Times’s art critics select their favorite art books (and books about art) of the year.

What It Means to Be Human: The Moon is Almost Full by Chana Bloch

These poems are equal to the task of navigating illness and death, while celebrating the life that remains the morning after.

Friday Fiction – Galactic Aliens

Galactic Aliens Frank 1979 Submitter: A student brought the following book to our attention for review and weeding…because he wanted it. Why is this book awful? Well, it is a book that claims to be the most important book since The Bible. Show More Summary

Celebrity Picks: Jenna Bush Hager's Favorite Reads of 2017

Author, news correspondent, and daughter of a former president Jenna Bush Hager picks a devastating memoir and two critically acclaimed novels as her favorite reads of the year.

A Year in Reading: R.O. Kwon

The other night, at a party, someone asked if I consider my writing to be political. I said no, but also yes, always, what else can it be, since I’m an immigrant, a woman, and a person of color, living in a time and place in which more or less every aspect of who I … The post A Year in Reading: R.O. Kwon appeared first on The Millions.

Fiction: Mysteries Unfold in a Land of Minarets and Magic Carpets

The first of a projected trilogy, S. A. Chakraborty’s fantastical adventure novel, “The City of Brass,” riffs on the imagery of Islamic folklore.

Nonfiction: A Freed Hostage Audits the Murky Business of Captive Negotiations

In “The Trade,” the American journalist Jere Van Dyk relives the injustices he suffered both during and following his captivity at the hands of the Taliban.

Critic’s Take: Why Rupi Kaur and Her Peers Are the Most Popular Poets in the World

It’s less the content than the plain conversational style that gets Instapoets’ work dismissed as “not real poetry.”

Children’s Books: What the Shadow Knows: Picture Books on Runaway Reflections

Coincidence? In three new books, runaway shadows break away from their owners, seeking adventure and showing off their own personalities.

Children’s Books: In Armand Baltazar’s ‘Timeless,’ People, Dinosaurs and Robots Co-Exist

A cosmic event has reshuffled epochs. It’s up to a 13-year-old with “mixed” parents — from different eras — to keep the world on course.

Nonfiction: ‘Bloodlines’ Tracks Bloodshed Across the Border

Melissa del Bosque investigates a paramilitary drug cartel through the lens of a valiant F.B.I. agent, revealing binational brutality in grim detail.

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