Comfort and Joy

Comfort and Joy

Mary Balogh’s Survivors’ Club novels are romances, which means they tell hopeful stories about people whose struggles end happily. Why should that optimism earn them such disdain?

The Cute One Redux

The Cute One Redux

A sprawling new biography looks at both the quotidian day to day life and the pivotal music of the “cute” Beatle, Paul McCartney.

Kindling the Mob

Kindling the Mob

A new biography tells the fascinating story of anarchist poet Lola Ridge, long overlooked by a critical culture that considered politics antithetical to literature. Laura Tanenbaum reviews.

Closing the Buffet

Closing the Buffet

A fascinating new book reveals the wonders that are visible once humans stop thinking of fish as merely food with fins.

How We Got From There to Here

How We Got From There to Here

A thoughtful new book about Victorian concepts of space, nation, and mobility reminds us that our own world is vulnerable to unraveling as we move from here to wherever’s next.

Rabbit Trails into History: An interview with translator Christiana Hills

Rabbit Trails into History: An interview with translator Christiana Hills

Steve Danziger talks with Christina Hills, a “cruciverbalist” translator from the controversial Oulipo school.

Let’s All Meet at the Mahalalel Mall

Let’s All Meet at the Mahalalel Mall

A thorough and even-handed new book gives readers a tour of the “Creation Museum” in Kentucky – and warns not to dismiss its dangers too readily.

Socrates of Amazonia

Socrates of Amazonia

What exactly is a philosopher? As it turns out, that question may have more than one answer. Robert Minto shares the exciting results of Justin Smith’s new history.

The Smooth Handle

The Smooth Handle

Did Thomas Jefferson love his slave, the mother of his children Sally Hemings? A new novel asks the question factually and counterfactually, and Kenyon Gradert sums up the results.

Why Don’t You Both Shut Up?

Why Don’t You Both Shut Up?

In the United States in the last few decades, issues of free speech have drifted closer and closer to the heart of American life. A new book analyzes a right too many Americans take for granted.

The Devil in the Hills

The Devil in the Hills

A new book about Primo Levi’s morally questionable acts as a Partisan can’t cut him down to size: his own self-critique makes that superfluous.

It’s a Mystery: “A man’s ego will kill him faster than any bullet”

It’s a Mystery: “A man’s ego will kill him faster than any bullet”

Stoicism and betrayal vie at the heart of two new mystery thrillers from veterans of the genre.

From the Archives: Playing Lotto with Wittgenstein

dewitt

Since its publication in 2000, The Last Samurai has been defined, but not explained, as a “cult classic.” In this regular feature, Garth Risk Hallberg looks with fresh eyes at Helen DeWitt’s brilliant and jolting novel.

From the Archives: Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeeezin’

From the Archives: Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeeezin’

It has three hearts, eight tentacles, and a brain of startling and utterly alien complexity – it’s the octopus, and a heartfelt book takes readers inside the cephalopod world.