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A Bestselling Beach Read That Stands the Test of Time

By Elisabeth Egan | Off the Shelf There's nothing I love more than getting reacquainted with an old friend on the beach. Last summer, while I was vacationing with foodies on Fire Island, I devoured Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking; the year before, I sped through Anne Tyler's Ladder of Years on a weekend trip to Maine. Show More Summary

Jewels of Allah: The Untold Stories of Women In Iran

"It is difficult to find many bright spots in the lives of Persian women.... Their liberty of movement, of action, and of speech is curtailed.... In the prevailing social condition... they could not do anything unless [they were] helped by men.... Show More Summary

Ecstasy of Influence

In January of 1842, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s firstborn child, Waldo, contracted scarlet fever and died within a week. He was five. He had been his father’s exuberant companion, who had, Emerson wrote, “touched with his lively curiosityShow More Summary

Great Job, Internet!: As fans celebrate #BackToHogwarts day, J.K. Rowling talks about Harry Potter’s kid

September 1st is an auspicious day in the Harry Potter series. It marks the moment Harry can escape his abusive Muggle family and return to Hogwarts School Of Witchcraft And Wizardry, a magical safe haven that’s constantly infiltrated by his murderous enemies. Show More Summary

Poems on Poems

“Of course, his word-pictures don’t define the art of poetry—nor are they meant to. In part they exemplify it; in part provide a warning that such an art eludes straightforward setting out in words.” On Horace’s and Archibald MacLeish’s Ars Poetica.

Damnatio Memoriae: Returning Mediterranean's Lost Migration History to Center Stage

Today's global migration shift is not a new story in the Mediterranean. The controversy over unconditional birthrights dates back thousands of years. Likewise, the recent tragedies in the Roman-era ruins of Palmyra, Syria are a reminder...Show More Summary

Five Poets Receive Lucrative Fellowships

The Poetry Foundation and Poetry magazine announced the winners on Tuesday.

Buddhism Meets Freud and LSD

Nothing Holy About It: The Zen of Being Just Who You Are By Tim Burkett, edited by Wanda Isle. Shambhala; $16.95. 292 pages. White, middle class Americans -- whether they're raised Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or in some other religion...Show More Summary

Brian Keene Talks About Stephen King, Ghoul and Why Horror Matters

A resident of rural Pennsylvania, Brian Keene has written over 40 books, including 2003's The Rising, which is often credited with inspiring pop culture's zombie craze. His awards include the 2014 World Horror Grandmaster Award, twoShow More Summary

Phillips and Sotheby’s Announce Strategic Moves

Phillips has appointed Hugues Joffre its new worldwide head of 20th century art, and Sotheby’s said it was opening its first office in India.

Author Apologizes for Saying Idris Elba Is ‘Too Street’ to Play James Bond

The novelist Anthony Horowitz had said Adrian Lester would be a better choice.

HaBO: Hero Refuses Sex with Heroine to Protect Her

This HaBO request comes from Catherine, who is looking for a possibly out of print historical romance: I am really hoping you guys can help me out, because I remember very little about the book I am looking for since I read it about 10 years ago. Show More Summary


Just before he died earlier this year, Nobel winner Günter Grass completed his last manuscript, Vonne Endlichkait, “a literary experiment” that combines prose, poetry, and illustration. The book has just been published in German and will be available in English next year.

Bookends: Is Everyone Qualified to Be a Critic?

Adam Kirsch and Charles McGrath discuss what it takes to pass judgment on the arts.

Robert Rodriguez, Film Director and El Rey Founder, on Creating a Hispanic Network

"People could enjoy these stories all over the world, but Hispanics could see themselves reflected in different ways — as heroes, as lead characters."

Books of The Times: Review: Chrissie Hynde’s ‘Reckless’ Details a Rocker’s Life

Ms. Hynde’s memoir is full of facts and anecdotes, but is also noteworthy for what it leaves out.

Amazon's Best Books of September: Part One

As the poet never said, September is the busiest month. Maybe it’s the back to school effect, but every fall we see an abundance of great books to read. Here are the first five titles in our Best of the...

A Bad Book Review Isn't the End of the World

"Writers, fall into two groups" said Isaac Asimov, acclaimed science fiction author. "Those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review." Sound like anyone you know? Yes, been there too, but it's not all bad. Show More Summary

Goodbye to Naples

Recommended Reading: Year in Reading alumna Elissa Schappell interviews Elena Ferrante about feminism, friendship, and her latest Neapolitan novel. Pair with Cora Currier’s essay on reading Italy through Ferrante’s books.

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