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‘Our Almost Instinct Almost True’: Clive James Reviews a Philip Larkin Biography at NYT

At the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Clive James unlocks a new biography of the acclaimed British poet, Philip Larkin. The new biography by James Booth, underscores why Larkin’s writing still matters, despite his somewhat controversial personal life. James Booth’s new biography of Philip Larkin is not very exciting, perhaps because Booth has the [...]

Pitching and Defense

In today’s New York Times Book Review, Adam Kirsch and Leslie Jamison address a familiar question: “How has the social role of poetry changed since Shelley?” (This question is usually posed in more alarmist terms: Can Poetry Matter? Or Has… Continue reading ?

War and Peace and the Gita

Recommended reading: The New York Review of Books reviews at Richard Davis‘s The Bhagavad Gita: A Biography and the way centuries of politics can alter our interpretations of religious texts.

“Never Can Say Goodbye': Book review

"Never Can Say Goodbye's" personal musings show a devotion to New York, even as the writers reflect on the reality of being a New Yorker. It’s not always easy.

Shelly Oria’s ‘New York 1, Tel Aviv 0’: Book Review

4 days agoLGBT / Gay : Towleroad

BY GARTH GREENWELL Disorientation afflicts nearly all of the characters in Shelly Oria’s nimble and disarmingly moving debut collection of stories. Many of them are (like Oria herself) Israeli immigrants in New York City, navigating multiple cultures and languages; others...

Treating Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief

Steven Hahn reviewed James McPherson’s new book about Jefferson Davis in yesterday’s New York Times. It includes nothing out of the ordinary from a typical academic review in a popular publication until you reach the very end. I found this to be somewhat curious. Yet, there is a larger and more unsettling issue. Treating Davis […]

Book Review: The Abortionist’s Daughter by Elisa DeCarlo

Recently, the mister noted that I’ve become somewhat preoccupied with early 1900s “upper-crusty British people,” as he put it. Taking a look at my Netflix viewing and some of my reading, he’s not wrong. Though set in New York, ElisaShow More Summary

Incredibly Good News on Ebola You Probably Don't Know About

I first noticed this in a New York Review of Books report about a month ago. And I've wanted us to do a piece on it since. Put simply, as we in America lost in interest in Ebola, the situation in West Africa was actually improving dramatically. Show More Summary

Books: The 2014 Teaching Book You Probably Haven't Heard Of

The latest issue of the New York Review includes a roundup review of three education boooks, including two you probably already know (Goldstein and Green's) and one you may not have heard of. It's Garret Keizer's "Getting Schooled," and it's a year-in-the-life kind of book rather than a history or an overview like the other two. Show More Summary

Lichtenberg on Religion and Stoicism

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, The Waste Books, tr. R. J. Hollingdale, New York Review Books, 1990, p. 112, Notebook G, Aph. #24: To make man as religion wants him to be resembles the undertaking of the Stoics: it is only another...

Dwight Garner Q & A

At The New York Times' 'Times Insider' Susan Lehman has a Book Reviewer Tell-All: Dwight Garner on Reading, Reviewing and Avoiding Blindness with The New York Times' book reviewer. Always of interest to me: how many books other reviewers/outlets...Show More Summary

Iraq fact of the day

There are already more speakers of Aramaic in metropolitan Detroit (around a hundred thousand) than in Baghdad… That is from Christian Caryl in the 4 December 2014 New York Review of Books, reviewing Gerald Russell’s Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East.

Bookends from the New York Times Book Review: The Rejected Questions

Can the state of contemporary literature be used to forecast stock prices?

Why Innocent People Plead Guilty

Jed S. Rakoff, New York Review of Books: The criminal justice system in the United States today bears little relationship to what the Founding Fathers contemplated, what the movies and television portray, or what the average American believes. Show More Summary

Notes on Lisa Robertson’s Cinema of the Present!

Lisa Robertson’s new book, Cinema of the Present (Coach House Books 2014), which she’s just debuted on a reading tour of sorts through Canada and New York, has been reviewed by Jake Kennedy at Lemon Hound! This review is in that favored form of notes. An excerpt: -“The poem,” said Henri Meschonnic, “is the place [...]

Ann Patchett Would Like to Clarify That She is Not Married to Her Dog

Despite a recent, glorious typo in the New York Times' Sunday Book Review suggesting otherwise, novelist Ann Patchett would like everyone to know that she is not married to, or in any kind of non-platonic relationship with, her dog Sparky. Show More Summary

Orville Schell on China

The New York Review of Books has published an essay by the academic, writer and long time China-watcher Orville Schell. In the essay, Schell details a recent trip to China he attended, with former US President Jimmy Carter, that was meant to commemorate the 35th anniversary of 'normalised relations' between the two countries. Show More Summary

Saer in NYRB

There’s a nice essay on Juan Jose Saer in the current issue of the New York Review of Books, centering on La Grande, Saer’s biggest, and last novel (and probably his best). Unfortunately, the essay is behind the paywall, so you have to subscribe if you want to read it. Show More Summary

More on When the Greeks Ruled Egypt

EXHIBITION REVIEW: When the Greeks Ruled Egypt (James Romm, New York Review of Books ). Excerpt:Egypt was a melting pot of languages as well as of religious traditions. Aramaic arrived in the sixth century BCE as the lingua franca of...Show More Summary

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