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Creating Comics With Kazimir Lee Iskander

Sometime around 1994, I really wanted to get into comic books. The X-Men, toting female characters on the covers, seemed more accessible to me than Batman or Spiderman. When I asked my neighbor, an avid comics fan, where I should start,...Show More Summary

A Terrible Beauty Is Born

The great accomplishment of Marian Partingon's If You Sit Very Still is its capacity to uncover the gift in the wound which, to paraphrase W.B. Yeats, permits "a terrible beauty" to be born. The recent US publication of this outstanding...Show More Summary

7 Banned Books That Will Always Have a Place on Our Shelves

By Off the Shelf Staff | Off the Shelf It's always surprising to us which books wind up on the banned books list each year. They might be banned for violence or drug use or "inappropriate" sexual relationships. But we believe that everyone...Show More Summary

Newswire: Wanda tries to piece together her past in this Scarlet Witch #11 exclusive

Scarlet Witch is unlike any other Marvel comic currently published. Each issue tells a standalone story brought to the page by a different art team, and that format has made for a surprising, visually exciting superhero title. Writer...Show More Summary

It Just Got a Lot Easier to Read the Game of Thrones Books

A new enhanced edition makes keeping track of all those characters so much easier

Edward Albee Was My Mailman

It turned out that Albee was an elusive kind of mailman. He’d drive up to our house, quietly drop off the mail on the kitchen counter, and slip away. The post Edward Albee Was My Mailman appeared first on The Millions.

Five Songs That Set Springsteen on Fire

The Boss has a new autobiography as big as his legend. Here are five songs cited as some his greatest influences in Born to Run, as well as a couple of images from the book, one more muscly than the other.

Mike Love Still Can’t Harmonize With the Beach Boys

The story of the Beach Boys is like a California-blond version of Amadeus, with Brian Wilson as Mozart and Mike Love as Salieri–except that Salieri had talent. Love’s new memoir, Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy, seeks to prove his essential artistry and so recaps Wilson’s studio triumphs with detailed notes on how…

‘Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History’

It took 134 interviews and a decade for Russell L. Riley and his team at the University of Virginia to compile Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History, a dense, valuable volume featuring everyone from Clinton secretary Betty Currie to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (not included: the Clintons themselves). The book reminds us…

Pop Music Is Smarter Than It Appears

Pop music is often dismissed as light, frivolous and artistically bankrupt. But in his new book Love for Sale, music critic David Hajdu argues that it’s one of the most meaningful forms of expression in American culture. Consider songs like “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets and “Rapper’s Delight” by the…

The Beach Boy and the Boss: Darkness on the Edges of Two Memoirs

The big revelation in Bruce Springsteen’s new memoir, Born to Run, is that the Boss gets bummed out. Big time. Which may finally help fans understand the bleak menagerie of killers and black-sheep brothers who populate the 1982 album Nebraska. While Springsteen’s bouts of depression and anxiety come as a surprise to many of his…

Are You a Slob? That Could Be a Great Thing

“Lots of people tolerate mess,” a friend once observed while looking at my living room, strewn with clothes, dishes and junk mail. “You’re the only one I know who seems to have a positive preference for it.” So you can imagine my initial thrill at the title of Tim Harford’s Messy: The Power of Disorder…

The Black Count by Tom Reiss

The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo is a biography that is packed with adventure and drama and a smidgen of romance. It tells the story of Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, the father of Alexandre Dumas. History buffs, you won’t want to miss reading this book. Show More Summary

Get Off Get Paid

“It wasn’t our job to be aroused; it was our job to enhance literature meant to arouse our paying readers.” Kayleigh Hughes writes for Catapult about her year of editing e-erotica. You will learn myriad things from her account, suchShow More Summary

Nonfiction: Here Are 10 Practical Solutions to the World’s Big Problems

In “The Fix,” the journalist Jonathan Tepperman travels the world to find practical solutions to issues like inequality and corruption.

By the Book: Tana French: By the Book

The author of “The Trespasser” likes crime writers who see “genre conventions as starting points rather than limitations, who refuse to recognize that supposed boundary between genre and literary.”

Fancy Yourself a Bowdlerizer

“Books can be dangerous objects–under their influence people start to wonder, dream, and think.” In “celebration” of Banned Book Week, the New York Public Library has a quiz for you to find out how much you know about the freedom to read. Show More Summary

A Thing of Beauty

“Hitler increasingly presented himself in messianic terms, promising ‘to lead Germany to a new era of national greatness,’ though he was typically vague about his actual plans.” The New York Times‘ Michiko Kakutani writes a review of Volker Ullrich‘s new Hitler biography, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939, so timely it could easily be an op-ed. Show More Summary

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