Books

Patricia Arquette Joins Celebrity Memoir Club

For many, Patricia Arquette’s character made the movie Boyhood. After a seeming acting dry spell (though she was on Boardwalk Empire just before… Read More

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Jonathan Franzen Urges We Abandon Fight to Slow Climate Change “to Protect Birds”

Well, this one’s actually for the birds: In this week’s New Yorker, novelist Jonathan Franzen suggests in an essay… Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: Preview a Sci-Fi Murder Mystery from Russia’s Answer to Phillip K. Dick

Maybe you’ve heard of the Arkady and Boris Strugatsky — the Brothers Strugatsky — as the science-fiction authors of the novels behind Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Aleksei German’s Hard to Be a God. Or maybe you haven’t. In case of the latter, you can find an introduction, of sorts, here. But to enjoy the below excerpt, from the great sci-fi mystery novel The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn, you needn’t know that the Strugatsky Bros. are Russia’s answer to Theodore Sturgeon or Philip K. Dick. Nor do you need to know that their novels are enjoyed by contemporary novelists like Jeff VanderMeer and Jonathan Lethem. There isn’t much, in fact, that you need to know at all, except maybe how to read and laugh. … Read More

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Border as Event Horizon: On Mexico’s Greatest Living Novelist

What will we make of North American civilization, in the broad, continental sense, when it is gone? When its states have vanished or dissolved or slowly mutated into other states, how will we remember the borders that once existed between them? Or, for example: how will the war of attrition waged by the U.S. along the border of Mexico be understood in two or three centuries? … Read More

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The Next Novel in the ‘Millennium’ Series Is Finished, Will Be Released Aug. 27

As sometimes happens with major bestselling series, despite the fact that the author of the Millennium trilogy (Steig Larsson) died… Read More

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A Medieval Manuscript in the British Library Seems to Contain a Cure for MRSA

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (more commonly referred to as MRSA) is quite difficult to treat, and the medicine most used for it is… Read More

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Does Magic Stand for Privilege in Harry Potter?

J.K. Rowling may have been writing about Harry Potter before “privilege” (and the checking thereof) became a mainstream idea, with waves of backlash and counter-backlash to its frequent use. But that doesn’t mean the concepts embedded within “check your privilege” discussions weren’t present in her seven Harry Potter books. … Read More

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Is Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt a Racist Troll, Literary Celebrittante, or Both?

Yesterday morning, Stephin Merritt, literary celebrittante and lead pleonast of The Magnetic Fields, published a snide little report on Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See for The Morning News’ Tournament of Books. I’ll not take issue (overmuch) with the post’s critical content, mostly because I don’t believe it to be a piece of literary criticism. It’s more just a tedious procession of half-formed and not-argued judgments masquerading as likeable cantankerousness, or a bunch of casuistic setups for one-liners unworthy of a Comedy Central Roast. … Read More

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The New Censorship: Clean Reader and the Dystopian Future of Reading

Clean Reader, a new censorship app dreamed up by a couple of despotically hokey parents from Idaho, is now facing a backlash. If you’ve somehow missed the story up to this point, it’s fairly straightforward: Jared and Kirsten Maughan from Twin Falls came up with the idea for the app after their daughter complained about some swear words in a book she was reading. So they did what any healthy Christian family would do: they tried to cash in. The product? An app with three censorship settings: clean, cleaner, and squeaky-clean. … Read More

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