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Open Book: A Quiet Member of the Canon

“A Difficult Death” is the first critical biography in English of the 19th-century Danish novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen.

Our Back Pages: Notes From the Book Review Archives

In which we consult the Book Review’s past to shed light on the books of the present. This week: an endorsement of James Billington’s sharp intellectual study of Russian culture.

Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to Jan Morris’s review of “Victoria & Abdul” and more.

Nonfiction: A Portrait of Stalin in All His Murderous Contradictions

The second volume of Stephen Kotkin’s biography “Stalin” reveals the ideologue and the opportunist.

By the Book: Simon Schama: By the Book

The author of the two-volume “Belonging: The Story of the Jews 1492-1900” didn’t finish reading Elena Ferrante’s “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay”: “I left.”

Unwanted Girl by MK Schiller

Unwanted Girl deals with serious topics and yet manages to be a sweet, satisfying romance. It’s quite a balancing act in terms of tone. The hero of Unwanted Girl is Nick Dorsey, the writer of a series of bestselling spy novels of the James Bond type. Show More Summary

269. One More Reader Rec Request, A Book Squee, A DNF Warning, and Listener Email

This is something of an all-in-one episode. Ready? We begin with one last recommendation request for Amanda and me, and then we squee! Amanda and I both read a book we loved, and want to tell all of you about it. We go on at length, too, so be ready. Show More Summary

The Rec League: Mary Stewart

Our community at the Bitchery is full of warm & fuzzy moments and as the person who puts together the Books on Sale posts, sometimes we get some kickass, budget-endangering comment threads. For example, KateB alerted us to a mega Mary...Show More Summary

A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford

Trigger warnings for rape, gaslighting, infidelity, and discussions of Joss Whedon. I  DNF’d this book so hard I’m a little surprised my Kindle isn’t embedded in the drywall. First, a few points. I am aware (and was aware when I started this book) that this is Not a Romance. Show More Summary

Turning your buffet up to 11

Family Circle Buffet Entertaining Robinson, ed. 1978 When I think of buffets, I usually think of potlucks and lots of informal, easy prep food. I am a Midwesterner, after all. This book actually surprised me on the complexity of some of the dishes. Show More Summary

Writing the Truth: A Conversation with David Hicks

David Hicks discusses his debut novel, White Plains, the reasons why he thinks readers are fascinated by how much truth resides in a work of fiction, and what it’s been like to make the transition from a “professor who occasionally writes fiction to a fiction writer who occasionally professes.”

The Rumpus Mini Interview #106: Louise Marburg

The stories [in THE TRUTH ABOUT ME], like Marburg herself, are insightful, witty, to the point, and told with her wonderfully dry sense of humor.

Then Who Am I? The Millions Interviews Kathleen Hill

It’s sometimes when we’re most at sea, even desperate, that novels speak to us most strongly, as if our lives depend on learning something from them essential to our own survival. The post Then Who Am I? The Millions Interviews Kathleen Hill appeared first on The Millions.

Viva La Vida

“We break down thirty-nine literary journals and well-respected periodicals, tallying genre, book reviewers, books reviewed, and journalistic bylines to offer an accurate assessment of the publishing world.” This year’s VIDA Count is out. The post Viva La Vida appeared first on The Millions.

A Sense of Sensibility: On ‘The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick’

In Hardwick’s criticism, we encounter an uncondescending intelligence, a humane sensibility, and a forthright independence of mind for which we, in our scatterbrained era, cannot be grateful enough. The post A Sense of Sensibility: On ‘The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick’ appeared first on The Millions.

Broken dreams

In the expensive realm of musical comedy, it’s impossible to predict what will take off and what will crash and…

The pilgrims’ ways

Liza Picard, an chronicler of London society across the centuries, now weaves an infinity of small details into an arresting…

Art and aspiration

When Adam Gopnik arrived in Manhattan in late 1980 he was an art history postgrad so poor that he and…

Lend me your ears

Complaints about the decline and fall of political oratory are nothing new. Back in 1865 a British reporter branded the…

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