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Susan Casey’s ‘Voices in the Ocean’

Exploring a watery world of intriguing creatures and the people they captivate.

The Shortlist: Surviving the Nazis

New books include Alex Kershaw’s “Avenue of Spies.”

SBTB/DA Bestsellers: 18-25 August 2015

This week’s bestsellers are brought to you by (hopefully) cooler weather, stocking up on school supplies, and our affiliate sales data!

‘Hannibal’ Series Finale Recap: Give Us a Hug

A satisfying ending to this season, but a deeply disappointing way to end this series.

For the Sake of Cohesion

“Setting is often the last piece of the jigsaw. I start somewhere else—with a kind of a premise, a set of relationships, a theme—and I often have a long period when I can’t figure out where the story should be put down. I find myself going location hunting. Not just for a time and place, […]

Why Social Security's Complexity is a Strength, Not a Weakness.

Dodd-Frank. ObamaCare. And most recently, Social Security, on the occasion of its 80th birthday this month. All have been blasted of late, if not since inception. And in each case, the charge is the same: Complexity. Overcomplexity - an accusation also leveled at the tax code, the criminal code, and just about every set of US government rules. Show More Summary

Connected by “And” and “And”

New books of poetry from names like Linda Gregerson and James Tate are always a cause for celebration. Over at the New Yorker, Dan Chiasson takes a look at Gregerson’s Prodigal: New and Selected Poems and Tate’s Dome of the Hidden Pavilion in one extremely thorough essay.

This Week In Good People

In Bogotá, Colombia, a garbage collector by the name of Jose Gutierrez has been working tirelessly to rescue thrown-away children’s books for use in his homemade community library. If this doesn’t immediately call to mind Bohumil Hrabal’s classic Too Loud a Solitude, then it might be time for a re-read. Also, check out this Millions […]

Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law

The newest issue of Granta features some seriously captivating work, like this poem by Juliana Spahr and this story by Lorna Gibb, among many others. This “Possession” issue pairs well with an essay by our own Lydia Kiesling on possessing one’s own words and the narrative potential of leaked emails.

Poetry As Enchantment

“The magical aspect of poetry does not diminish the value of critical scrutiny. Scholarship has clarified the meaning of poetry. The point is rather that an essential part of poetry’s power has little connection to conceptual understanding. Poetry proffers some mysteries that lie beyond paraphrase.” Dana Gioia with a beautiful essay on the enchantment of […]

Books… the final frontier.

Michael Joseph editor Emad Ahktar takes a trip to the Penguin archive to rediscover some of the best sci-fi covers from the past 80 years.

A Week To Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

This is a biased review in the sense that this book appears to have been written specifically for me. Seriously. Look at the title page under a microscope, and you’ll find, “Written specifically for CarrieS” in tiny aquamarine-colored cursive metallic type. Show More Summary

The Words After War Interview With Jesse Goolsby By Siobhan Fallon

Jesse Goolsby is the author of I'd Walk With My Friends if I Could Find Them, which has been hailed as "beautiful and brutal" (Janet Burroway), "a major literary event" (Robert Olen Butler), "a book about the human heart" (Brian Turner), "powerful" (Esquire) and "an earthquake-in-your-soul-novel" (Michael Garriga). Show More Summary

The Fellowship: Why the Inklings Still Matter

The Inklings met here each Thursday night at Magdalen College in C. S. Lewis's rooms. Photo: Greg Garrett This summer, I lived for five weeks in Oxford, where the influence of the Inklings -- the group of Oxford writers and thinkers including J. Show More Summary

11 Unforgettable First Lines in Literature

By Sarah Jane Abbott | Off the Shelf If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then the first line is the window to the book. A first line can drag you in, shock you, confuse you, or touch you. A first line is what makes you read on. Here are some of our favorite first lines that set the tone for some incredible books. Show More Summary

The Mysterious, Anonymous Author Elena Ferrante on the Conclusion of Her Neapolitan Novels

BY ELISSA SCHAPPELL "I prefer to think of myself as being inside a tangled knot; tangled knots fascinate me." The Community Bookstore in Park Slope is not the sort of place you might imagine a West Side Story-style rumble to break out,...Show More Summary

Graphic Novel Friday: Fairy Tale's End

This is a fairy tale that is not bedtime reading; this is a fable without a cute moral tacked onto its ending; this is what happens when storybook characters escape from death only to find mortality is very real and...

Injured ‘Wicked’ Actress Seeks Evidence in Court

A member of the "Wicked" ensemble who fell from a rope during a performance is asking a court to order the show to preserve evidence of what happened to her.

Emily Dickinson 101: Demystifying One of Our Greatest Poets

Emily Dickinson published very few poems in her lifetime, and nearly 1,800 of her poems of were discovered after her death, many of them neatly organized into small, hand-sewn booklets called fascicles. The first published book of Dickinson's...Show More Summary

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