Tag Archives: joshua ferris

Best Books of 2014 – Fiction!

There are some years when the practitioners of fiction seem almost embarrassed by their profession – not because that profession still hasn’t turned its back on own charlatans, but rather because it sometimes seems like the reading public itself is increasingly turning its back on their profession in favor of pap. I’ve lost count of […]

Academic Presses – and Pressing Academics – in the Penny Press!

Naturally, Scott Sherman’s well-done article in The Nation on the parlous state of the university press grabbed my attention. Sherman writes about the roughly 100 university presses in the United States but concentrates especially on the vast majority of them that don’t rest on “the feathery cushion of an endowment” but rather face the hurly-burly […]

Best Fiction, 2010!

If cynicism was the besetting sin of the Worst Books of 2010, we’re all the more fortunate that cynicism has a counterpart in literature as well as life. The counterpart, of course, is truth, and just as a novel born of calculation and greed can never be anything but a weak little lie, so too […]

Frustration, consternation, and irritation in the Penny Press!

When I started this week’s New York Times Book Review, I was certain my main frustrations with it would come from some of the main pieces. The lead piece, by Walter Isaacson, reviews two books on American presidential power – one by the insufferably pompous Garry Wills and the other by the nation’s foremost unindicted […]

The Little Old Lady from Connecticut in the Penny Press!

I should state up front that I readily admit to the regular high quality of Harper’s. I’ve been a subscriber for years on and off, and I’ve been a front-to-back reader of every issue longer than most of you have been alive. It must be doing something right, to keep me coming back so long […]


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