Contemporary Literature Sitemap - Page 1 2016-09-26

What Is Poetry? Definition of Literary Terms
Poetry is many things to many people. Homer, John Milton, Christopher Marlowe, and of course Shakespeare have each given us enough to fill textbooks.

Biography of Author Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie, the son a Spokane Indian mother and a Coeur d’Alene Indian father, grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Wellpinit, WA. Alexie is known not only for his novels and short stories, which debunk the notion of the nobly suffering Indian, he is also a songwriter and film-maker, and the recipient of numerous literary awards and honors.

Biography of Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction including A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, You Shall Know Our Velocity, and What is the What. He is the founder of McSweeney's independent publishing house and the 826 Valencia writing lab, which has since expanded to 826 National, writing workshops for teens around the U.S.

Biography of Anne Lamott
Ann Lamott, the daughter of the writer Kenneth Lamott, wrote her first novel, Hard Laughter, when her father was diagnosed with brain cancer. Lamott's novels tend to be about love and loss and real life struggles that touch us all, and in her nonfiction, she has explored parenthood, faith, and the craft of writing.

Jhumpa Lahiri Life and Career Profile
Jhumpa Lahiri is the author most recently of 'Unaccustomed Earth,' a collection of short stories addressing the universal themes of love, loss, and family, as well as the specifics of the Indian-American immigrant experience. Her first collection of short stories, 'Interpreter of Maladies,' won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Biography of Author Marilynne Robinson
Marilynne Robinson is the author of three highly acclaimed novels, 'Housekeeping,' 'Gilead,' and 'Home,' all of which are written in clear, spare prose about the struggles of life in the Midwest.

Author Margaret Atwood Biography and Career
Known for sharp social commentary delivered via science fiction or speculative fiction, Margaret Atwood's books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays.

Author T.C Boyle Life and Career Profile
T.C. Boyle is known for his humor and his biting satire. Over the course of his career as a novelist, he has shown a propensity for writing about famous and fascinating American eccentrics such as sexual-behavior scientist Alfred Kinsey in 'The Inner Circle' (2004), cereal inventor John Harvey Kellogg in 'The Road to Wellville,' and most recently, Frank Lloyd Wright in 'The Women.'

Jonathan Franzen Biography - Bio of Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen's recent novels have been hailed as literary masterpieces. Both The Corrections and Freedom are sprawling, realist novels about the deterioration of the family in suburban, middle class America, as was his 1988 debut novel, The Twenty-Seventh City.

Sue Monk Kidd Biography: Author of the Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd is the author of three spiritual memoirs and the modern classic bestseller, 'The Secret Life of Bees,' the coming-of-age spiritual story of a fourteen-year-old girl in the South in 1964 and her black housekeeper.

Bharati Mukherjee
Mukherjee's earlier works, such as the The Tiger's Daughter and parts of Days and Nights in Calcutta, are her attempts to find her identity in her Indian heritage. The second phase of her writing, works such as Wife, the short stories in Darkness, an essay entitled

Current Events and Politics - Book Reviews of Political and Current Events Books
Reviews of books and authors who unearth and illuminate recent events and their impact on the world today.

Music - Book Reviews of Books about Music
Is writing about music like dancing about architecture? Let's find out: The study of music, the history of music, musical anthropology, and all else relating to music can be found here.

Philosophy and Religion - Book Reviews of Philosophy and Religion Titles
Browse the latest in philosophy and religion books from various belief systems.

Reference Books
Fascinating works of reference in diverse disciplines.

Science Writing - Book Reviews of Science Writing and Nature Books
Science Writing is a broad and fascinating genre. Browse our reviews of science and nature / wildlife books.

Social Sciences - Book Reviews of books in the social sciences
Our book reviews of social science titles include pop-sociology, pscyhology, social issues, self-awareness, self-help, and related subjects.

Books for Writers - Book Reviews of Books for Writers
Book reviews of books specifically about words, language, and writing. Because without words...

Annie Proulx Bio - Biography of Annie Proulx
Annie Proulx is the author of the short-story collection Heart Songs and Other Stories, and the novels Postcards, The Shipping News, Accordion Crimes, and That Old Ace in the Hole. Her books have been translated into twenty languages. She lives and writes in Wyoming.

Creative Nonfiction - Book Reviews of Creative Nonfiction
True stories and narrative craft in the short form comprise these collections of creative essays, the like of which range from McSweeney's to New Yorkeresque and beyond.

History - Book Reviews of Books of History and Historical Topics
We've seen a resurgence of interest in books that explore historical topics. You'll find reviews of our picks here. I've included the broad category of Natural History here as well.

Biography and Memoir - Book Reviews of Biography and Memoir
Reality is often weirder than fiction, and biographies and memoirs are often an excellent escape and an illuminating experience of another's world.

Art and Creativity Books - Books to Move the Creative Spirit
However the creative spirit moves you, whatever form of expression you prefer, here are books to bolster and inspire that.

Salman Rushdie Biography and Career Profile
Born in Bombay in 1947, Salman Rushdie is the author of numerous novels, including 'Midnight's Children,' 'The Satanic Verses,' 'The Moor's Last Sigh,' and 'The Enchantress of Florence.' His numerous literary prizes include the Booker Prize for 'Midnight's Children' and the Whitbread Prize for 'The Satanic Verses.'

Author Malcolm Gladwell Life and Career Profile
Malcolm Gladwell's phenomenal bestseller 'The Tipping Point' (2000) captured the world's attention with its theory that a curiously small change can have unforeseen effect; 'Blink' (2005) is about how we think without thinking; and 'Outliers' (2008) considers the role of environment and cultural heritage in the success of high achievers.

Frank McCourt Bio - Biography of Frank McCourt author of Angela's Ashes
Frank McCourt was the author of Angela's Ashes, his Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir detailing an impoverished Irish childhood at the hands of an alcoholic father. McCourt followed with two memoirs, 'Tis, which picks up where Angela's Ashes left off, and Teacher Man, which recounts McCourt's 30 years as a creative writing teacher in New York City.

Jonathan Ames Bio - Biography of Jonathan Ames
New York humorist Jonathan Ames is the author of numerous novels and essay collections. In much of his work, Ames unabashedly sheds a starkly honest light on his own sexual misadventures, experiences and neuroses. He is recently the creator of the popular HBO series

David Wroblewski Profile - Biography of David Wroblewski, author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
David Wroblewski is the author of the Oprah's Book Club selection 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,' a suspense novel about the adventures of a mute teenager and his faithful companion who, with the sudden death of Edgar's father and the arrival of a conniving uncle, must abandon their idyllic lives on a rural Wisconsin farm.

List of Giller Prize Winners
The Giller Prize is Canada's largest literary prize for fiction, awarding excellence in Candian fiction - long format or short stories - with a purse of $70,000 to the winner and $5,000 to each of the four finalists.

List of Giller Prize Winners
The Giller Prize is Canada's largest literary prize for fiction, awarding excellence in Candian fiction - long format or short stories - with a purse of $70,000 to the winner and $5,000 to each of the four finalists.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Punctuation by Lynn Truss
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. If there are only pedants left who care, then so be it. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled.

Lynn Truss' Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. If there are only pedants left who care, then so be it. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. Page 2.

Literary Term Definitions: Resolution
Resolution is the part of the story's plot line in which the problem of the story is resolved or worked out. This occurs after the falling action and is typically where the story ends.

Review of Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
The story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a man of letters and the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and George Edalji, an unfortunate outsider unjustly imprisoned. In Arthur and George, Julian Barnes delivers a fictional retelling of a true story in which the lives of two most disparate individuals are surprisingly woven together.

Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
The story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a man of letters and the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and George Edalji, an unfortunate outsider unjustly imprisoned. In Arthur and George, Julian Barnes delivers a fictional retelling of a true story in which the lives of two most disparate individuals are surprisingly woven together. Page 2.

Review of The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
In 'The Secret Life of Bees,' Sue Monk Kidd wraps a coming-of-age tale around a search for one's mother, plunks it down into the racially-charged South Carolina of the 1960s and sets it all alight with a dose of feminine spirituality. . It is an inspirational feminist tale with strong female characters.

Book Review of The Collected Works of Billy the Kid


Book Review of Plot Against America by Philip Roth
In The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeats incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election and negotiates a cordial

The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
In The Plot Against America by Philip Roth, isolationist Charles A. Lindbergh defeats incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election and negotiates a cordial

The Carolina Way: Lessons From A Life in Coaching
The Carolina Way is an excellent, easily read examination of leadership based on the lessons Smith learned and taught in 36 years of coaching basketball at the University of Kansas (under the legendary Phog Allen), the Air Force Academy and the University of North Carolina. The format is deceptively simple. Coach Smith writes (with the able assistance of John Kilgo) about a particular aspect of leadership as it relates to his coaching philosophy.

The Carolina Way Book Review
The Carolina Way is an excellent, easily read examination of leadership based on the lessons Smith learned and taught in 36 years of coaching basketball at the University of Kansas (under the legendary Phog Allen), the Air Force Academy and the University of North Carolina. The format is deceptively simple. Coach Smith writes (with the able assistance of John Kilgo) about a particular aspect of leadership as it relates to his coaching philosophy. Page 2.

Literary Term Definitions: Falling Action
The falling action in a work of literature is the sequence of events that follow the climax and end in the resolution. This is in contrast to the rising action which leads up to the plot's climax.

Literary Term Definitions: Quest
A quest is an adventurous journey undergone by the main character or protagonist of a story. The protagonist usually meets with and overcomes a series of obstacles, returning in the end with the benefits of knowledge and experience.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - First Chapter, Excerpt
A young Pakistani's rise to success in America is violently interrupted on September 11. Mohsin Hamid delivers this young man's story as a sustained monologue describing how everything in his life turns upside down from 9/11 forward. Read the excerpt.

Oracle Night by Paul Auster Review - Part 2
Paul Auster is one author who likes to write novels about novelists, and continues to be consistently entertaining and provocative in doing so. Auster's latest novel, Oracle Night, is another exploration on why we write, and what kind of power that writing actually holds. Page 2.

Oracle Night by Paul Auster Review
Paul Auster is one author who likes to write novels about novelists, and continues to be consistently entertaining and provocative in doing so. Auster's latest novel, Oracle Night, is another exploration on why we write, and what kind of power that writing actually holds.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid Excerpt
Read the excerpt of The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid - a young Pakistani's rise to success in America, and how everything in his life turns upside on 9/11. Page 2.

The Virgin Suicides - Excerpt
Excerpt from

The Virgin Suicides - Excerpt (page 2)
Excerpt from

The Virgin Suicides - Excerpt (page 3)
Here is an excerpt from

The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Excerpt
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Excerpt

Excerpt from The Five People You Meet In Heaven
Read an excerpt from Mitch Albom's novel

Excerpt: "The Five People You Meet in Heaven"
Excerpt:

Excerpt: "The Five People You Meet in Heaven"
Excerpt:

Excerpt: "The Five People You Meet in Heaven"
Excerpt:

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives. In A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line.

Review of "A Long Way Down" by Nick Hornby
Meet Martin, JJ, Jess, and Maureen. Four people who come together on New Year's Eve: a former TV talk show host, a musician, a teenage girl, and a mother. Three are British, one is American. They encounter one another on the roof of Topper's House, a London destination famous as the last stop for those ready to end their lives. In A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby mines the hearts and psyches of four lost souls who connect just when they've reached the end of the line. Page 2.

Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom
Everyone knows that the queen is the most powerful piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. Born in the 6th century in India, chess first employed a vizier or counsel where the queen now stands. Marilyn Yalom, in Birth of the Chess Queen, takes the reader on an interesting historical journey through the evolution of the game of chess and its queen.

Review of "Birth of the Chess Queen" by Marilyn Yalom
Everyone knows that the queen is the most powerful piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. Born in the 6th century in India, chess first employed a vizier or counsel where the queen now stands. Marilyn Yalom, in Birth of the Chess Queen, takes the reader on an interesting historical journey through the evolution of the game of chess and its queen. Page 2.

Review of "The March" by E.L. Doctorow
In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army pillaged the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, and demolished cities. E.L. Doctorow powerfully and compassionately renders the lives of those who marched in The March.

The March by E.L. Doctorow
In 1864, after Union general William Tecumseh Sherman burned Atlanta, he marched his sixty thousand troops east through Georgia to the sea, and then up into the Carolinas. The army pillaged the Southern plantations, taking cattle and crops for their own, and demolished cities. E.L. Doctorow powerfully and compassionately renders the lives of those who marched in The March. Page 2.

- By Category
An index of categories in the

Book Review of Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Readers who enjoy frightening themselves will enjoy Joe Hill's debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box. The plot suffers from some holes, the writing is invisible more than it is literary, and the story depends upon cheap sentimentalism-but taken together it's still stunningly effective, even if you know exactly what to expect. All of which raises one question: how exactly does that work?

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill Review
Readers who enjoy frightening themselves will enjoy Joe Hill's debut novel, Heart-Shaped Box. The plot suffers from some holes, the writing is invisible more than it is literary, and the story depends upon cheap sentimentalism-but taken together it's still stunningly effective, even if you know exactly what to expect. All of which raises one question: how exactly does that work? Page 2.

Mark Helprin Speaks About Freddy and Fredericka
Mark Helprin has authored numerous essays and short stories, three children's books, and several novels, the most celebrated of which are Winter's Tale (1983) and A Soldier of the Great War (1991). In 2005, he published Freddy and Fredericka, his fifth novel. I was fortunate enough to speak with Mr. Helprin during the book tour for Freddy and Fredericka. Page 3.

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter—sometimes all at once. Appallingly entertaining, Haunted is Chuck Palahniuk at his finest—which means his most extreme and his most provocative.

Book Review of Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of them, to be precise. Twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter—sometimes all at once. Appallingly entertaining, Haunted is Chuck Palahniuk at his finest—which means his most extreme and his most provocative. Page 2.

Review of A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz
A few years ago Tony Horwitz found himself at Plymouth Rock amidst a gaggle of tourists who struck him as particularly unknowledgable of our nation's founding. Searching his own memory on the subject, he found an equally sizable chasm, prompting him to set off on a

A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz - Book Review
A few years ago Tony Horwitz found himself at Plymouth Rock amidst a gaggle of tourists who struck him as particularly unknowledgable of our nation's founding. Searching his own memory on the subject, he found an equally sizable chasm, prompting him to set off on a

The Accidental by Ali Smith
Ali Smith's Booker-nominated novel, The Accidental, is in fact about a girl. The seemingly harmless stranger named Amber turns up at the door of an English country house and turns out, to crib a line from a Hollywood film, to be the rock that they broke themselves against. The book, about how people break down and the terrifying possibilities of who they might become, is inevitably fractured by the astonishing, dizzying talent of its writing.

Review of The Accidental by Ali Smith
Ali Smith's Booker-nominated novel, The Accidental, is in fact about a girl. The seemingly harmless stranger named Amber turns up at the door of an English country house and turns out, to crib a line from a Hollywood film, to be the rock that they broke themselves against. The book, about how people break down and the terrifying possibilities of who they might become, is inevitably fractured by the astonishing, dizzying talent of its writing. Page 2.

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
When James Frey checks himself into the world's oldest drug and alcohol treatment facility (undoubtedly Hazelden, though Frey never says), he is disfigured beyond recognition, has spent the preceding weeks in an alcohol and drug induced blackout, and is wanted in 3 states on a variety of charges.

Review of A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
When James Frey checks himself into the world's oldest drug and alcohol treatment facility (undoubtedly Hazelden, though Frey never says), he is disfigured beyond recognition, has spent the preceding weeks in an alcohol and drug induced blackout, and is wanted in 3 states on a variety of charges.

Review of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner is Afghanistani-American novelist, Khaled Hosseini's best-selling debut novel, a tale of betrayal and redemption that rises above time and place while simultaneously remaining firmly anchored against the tumultuous backdrop of modern Afghanistan.

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Winner of 2001's National Book Award, Jonathan Franzen's

Review of The Corrections By Jonathan Franzen
Winner of 2001's National Book Award, Jonathan Franzen's

Excerpt From The Secret Life of Bees
In

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Miriam Toews' darkly funny novel, A Complicated Kindness, is the world according to Nomi Nickel, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist religion. In Nomi's droll, refreshing voice, we're told the story of her eccentric family as it falls apart, each member on a collision course with the only community they have ever known. It is a work of fierce humor and tragedy by a Canadian writer poised to take the American market by storm.

A Complicated Kindness - a Novel by Miriam Toews
Miriam Toews' darkly funny novel, A Complicated Kindness, is the world according to Nomi Nickel, a bewildered and wry sixteen-year-old trapped in a town governed by fundamentalist religion. In Nomi's droll, refreshing voice, we're told the story of her eccentric family as it falls apart, each member on a collision course with the only community they have ever known. It is a work of fierce humor and tragedy by a Canadian writer poised to take the American market by storm. Page 2.

Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler's Wife - Prologue
Audrey Niffenegger's debut novel,

The Time Traveler's Wife - Prologue
Audrey Niffenegger's debut novel, 'The Time Traveler's Wife,' is one part science fiction and one part love story. It is the compelling tale of Henry DeTamble, a man afflicted with a genetic disorder which causes him to slip sporadically through time, without warning and naked. It is also the story of Clare Abshire, the woman who loves him. Read the prologue.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell - Excerpt
In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work?

"Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell - Excerpt
In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work? Page 2.

"Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell - Excerpt
In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work? Page 3.

"Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell - Excerpt on the Theory of Thin Slices
In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work? Page 4.

Excerpt From Blink By Malcolm Gladwell
In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work? Page 5.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood’s new novel, Oryx and Crake, is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it. With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood Review
Margaret Atwood’s new novel, Oryx and Crake, is so utterly compelling, so prescient, so relevant, so terrifyingly-all-too-likely-to-be-true, that readers may find their view of the world forever changed after reading it. With breathtaking command of her shocking material, and with her customary sharp wit and dark humour, Atwood projects us into an outlandish yet wholly believable realm populated by characters who will continue to inhabit our dreams long after the last chapter. Page 2.

Mark Helprin, Author of Winter's Tale
Mark Helprin has authored numerous essays and short stories, three children's books, and several novels, the most celebrated of which are Winter's Tale (1983) and A Soldier of the Great War (1991). In 2005, he published Freddy and Fredericka, his fifth novel. I was fortunate enough to speak with Mr. Helprin during the book tour for Freddy and Fredericka.

Mark Helprin, Author of Freddy and Fredericka
Mark Helprin has authored numerous essays and short stories, three children's books, and several novels, the most celebrated of which are Winter's Tale (1983) and A Soldier of the Great War (1991). In 2005, he published Freddy and Fredericka, his fifth novel. I was fortunate enough to speak with Mr. Helprin during the book tour for Freddy and Fredericka. Page 2.

Interview with Mark Helprin
Mark Helprin has authored numerous essays and short stories, three children's books, and several novels, the most celebrated of which are Winter's Tale (1983) and A Soldier of the Great War (1991). In 2005, he published Freddy and Fredericka, his fifth novel. I was fortunate enough to speak with Mr. Helprin during the book tour for Freddy and Fredericka. Page 4.

Mark Helprin Interview (2005) - Author of Freddy and Fredericka
Mark Helprin has authored numerous essays and short stories, three children's books, and several novels, the most celebrated of which are Winter's Tale (1983) and A Soldier of the Great War (1991). In 2005, he published Freddy and Fredericka, his fifth novel. I was fortunate enough to speak with Mr. Helprin during the book tour for Freddy and Fredericka. Page 5.

Review of At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
At First Sight needs two grades. The first, 2.5 stars, is for its literary merit. The second, 4.0 for it's appeal to Sparks' legion of fans.

At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks brings back two characters from his bestseller, True Believer. New Yorker, Jeremy Marsh is living in the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, married to Lexie Darnell, the love of his life, and anticipating the birth of their daughter. But, just as his life seems to be settling into a blissful pattern, an unsettling and mysterious message reopens old wounds and sets off a chain of events that will forever change the course of this young couple's marriage. Page 2.

The Secret Life of Bees - excerpt
In

Excerpt from The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
In

Contemporary Literature Classics Reading List
Ten books that have withstood the test of time, yet are recent enough to be called Contemporary Literature, these Contemporary Classics are a bare-bones reading list, essentials or must-reads. Any such list is purely subjective, of course, and one must soon choose for him or herself what makes the top ten, but this list would start you on your way to a solid background in Contemporary Literature.

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
This Christmas every member of the Quinn family is experiencing personal tragedy, from the cheating wife to the insider trader on Wall Street, and they all descend upon the patriarch's bed and breakfast in Nantucket for support, laughter, and good food.

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
The story of the American 20th century, with its striving, materialism, sentimentality, culture clashes and suburban promise, are written in the day-to-day struggles of Thomas's protagonist.

The First Bad Man by Miranda July
Miranda July's novel is about an odd woman whose search for love is fruitless until an unexpected house-guest is thrust upon her.

J by Howard Jacobson
Howard Jacobson's outstanding dystopian novel J (shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize) spirals around the suppression of an unspoken cultural atrocity.

Mystery, Suspense and Thriller
The latest and greatest mystery, suspense and thriller novels.

Mystery and Suspsense
Mystery and Suspsense. Contemporary Literature.

The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia
Amidst disillusioned saints hiding in wrestling rings, mothers burnt by glowing halos, and a Baby Nostradamus who sees only blackness, a gang of flower pickers heads off to war, led by a lonely man who cannot help but wet his bed in sadness. Part memoir, part lies, The People of Paper by Salvador Plascencia is a book about the wounds inflicted by first love and sharp objects.

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud - Excerpt
Ben Sherwood's The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is one of those books that reveals the mysteries of the unseen world around us, gently transforming the pain of loss into hope, healing and even laughter. Romantic and deeply moving, its startling climax reminds us that sometimes tragedies bring about miracles if we simply open our hearts. Read an excerpt from The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud - Excerpt
Ben Sherwood's The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is one of those books that reveals the mysteries of the unseen world around us, gently transforming the pain of loss into hope, healing and even laughter. Romantic and deeply moving, its startling climax reminds us that sometimes tragedies bring about miracles if we simply open our hearts. Read an excerpt from The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. Page 2.

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud - Excerpt
Ben Sherwood's The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is one of those books that reveals the mysteries of the unseen world around us, gently transforming the pain of loss into hope, healing and even laughter. Romantic and deeply moving, its startling climax reminds us that sometimes tragedies bring about miracles if we simply open our hearts. Read an excerpt from The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. Page 3.

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud - Excerpt
Ben Sherwood's The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is one of those books that reveals the mysteries of the unseen world around us, gently transforming the pain of loss into hope, healing and even laughter. Romantic and deeply moving, its startling climax reminds us that sometimes tragedies bring about miracles if we simply open our hearts. Read an excerpt from The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. Page 4.

Neal Stephenson Interview
Bestselling author Neal Stephenson's latest book, Quicksilver, follows the fortunes of an unforgettable cast of vagabonds and geniuses in the 17th and 18th centuries. Quicksilver is a funny, smart, and engaging historical novel, part of the larger story of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle.

Neal Stephenson Interview
Bestselling author Neal Stephenson's latest book, Quicksilver, follows the fortunes of an unforgettable cast of vagabonds and geniuses in the 17th and 18th centuries. Quicksilver is a funny, smart, and engaging historical novel, part of the larger story of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Page 2.

Neal Stephenson Interview
Bestselling author Neal Stephenson's latest book, Quicksilver, follows the fortunes of an unforgettable cast of vagabonds and geniuses in the 17th and 18th centuries. Quicksilver is a funny, smart, and engaging historical novel, part of the larger story of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Page 3.

Neal Stephenson Interview
Bestselling author Neal Stephenson's latest book, Quicksilver, follows the fortunes of an unforgettable cast of vagabonds and geniuses in the 17th and 18th centuries. Quicksilver is a funny, smart, and engaging historical novel, part of the larger story of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Page 4.

Neal Stephenson Interview
Bestselling author Neal Stephenson's latest book, Quicksilver, follows the fortunes of an unforgettable cast of vagabonds and geniuses in the 17th and 18th centuries. Quicksilver is a funny, smart, and engaging historical novel, part of the larger story of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Page 5.

Blog


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr's language and characters are gripping and pull you quickly into their world as the build-up to World War II looms on the horizon.

Contemporary Literature: Book Reviews, Author Recommendations
Read reviews of newly-released novels, biographies, memoirs, short story collections and creative nonfiction. Check out our best book lists and author bios.

Aquarium by David Vann
A young girl waits each day for her mother to pick her up at Seattle's aquarium, where she befriends an old man whose appearance will have devastating consequences.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
Read Emma Hooper's debut noverl about an octogenarian who one morning sets out to walk 2000 miles from her home in Saskatchewan to the ocean.

Galapagos Regained by James Morrow
A struggling young actress lands a job as the menagerie keeper for Charles Darwin and decides to go to the Galapagos to disprove the existence of God.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Helen Macdonald's memoir of manning a goshawk in the wake of her father's death, woven together with T.H. White's story of training a goshawk. Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize.

Letter to a Future Lover by Ander Monson
Letter to a Future Lover is a collection of essays, monologues on life and reading and responses to marginalia left in library books.

Selected Letters of Langston Hughes
A portrait of Langston Hughes emerges from this first-ever collection of complete letters - 325 in all - to such 20th century luminaries as Zora Neale Hurston. Martin Luther King, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, and Muhammed Ali.

Sweetland by Michael Crummey
Most of the residents of Sweetland, the wind-battered island outpost off of Newfoundland, are happy to accept the Canadian government's offer to relocate. All of them except one.

Thomas Cromwell by Tracy Borman
meticulous research and felicitous writing, Tracy Borman delivers the good and the bad of Thomas Cromwell, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men during the reign of Henry VIII.

The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James
The Tusk that Did the Damage combines the stories of a family of Indian elephant poaches, a team of documentary filmmakers, and an elephant named Gravedigger.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell - Book Review
In 'Blink,' Malcolm Gladwell revolutionizes the way we understand the world within. 'Blink' is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant - in the blink of an eye - that actually aren't as simple as they seem.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand Book Review
When Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner and an American pilot in World War II, crashes his bomber in the Pacific Ocean, he had know idea that he was about to embark on one of the most extraordinary oddyseys ever recounted.

Narrative Arc - What is the Narrative Arc in Literature?
Learn more about narrative arcs, also called story arcs, and the four components that make up the chronological construction of the plot.

Recommended Reading - What to Read Next
Browse our reading recommendations and pick out your next book.

New and Upcoming Book Releases
What to read now and what new and upcoming book releases to watch for.

Important Contemporary Authors
While it is impossible to rank the most important authors in contemporary literature, here is a list of ten important (English language) authors with some biographical notes and links to more information about them and their work.

Thomas Cromwell by Tracy Borman
Some see Thomas Cromwell as the devil that did great harm to Henry VIII and England; others see him as the shining light in England's Reformation. Tracy Borman expertly outlines the good and the bad.

Sweetland by Michael Crummey
Michael Crummey's Sweetland is an elegy for a dying way of life, and the haunting, haunted character who fights for it.

The Seventh Day by Yu Hua
Born on a train and lost by his mother, Yu Hua's Yang Fei lives to be 41, but unable to afford a burial plot he must wander the afterlife for seven days.

West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan
In the late 1930s, F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary star had already set and he tries to make it as a Hollywood screenwriter.

Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda
The seemingly idyllic life of a successful mathematics professor comes unraveled with the return of a troubled son in Buwalda's Bonita Avenue.

The First Bad Man by Miranda July
High-strung Cheryl has her life turned upside down when her employer's 21-year-old daughter moves in with her in Miranda July's first novel.

Galapagos Regained by James Morrow
Contemporary Literature.

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
Horowitz imagines the aftermath of that famous battle between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls.

Sweetland by Michael Crummey
The Newfoundland government has offered resettlement packages to move the residents of a remote island, but there is one holdout - Moses Sweetland.

The Big Seven by Jim Harrison
A little r and r in the UP is just what the doctor ordered, but it's not to be for Detective Sunderson in Jim Harrison's sequel to The Great Leader.

Frog by Mo Yan
A playwright named Tadpole proposes a play about his Aunt's one-woman enforcement of China's one-child policy in Mo Yan's Frog.

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby
A small town girl hits it big in 1960s London when she lands a role in a hit BBC comedy. Nick Hornby's characteristic wit abounds in Funny Girl.

Aquarium by David Vann
At the Seattle aquarium, an old man reveals a secret that alters 12-year-old Caitlin's life.and relationship with her mother forever.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant is a tale about memory, set in post-Roman Britain and replete with knights, monks and even a little magic.

The Discreet Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa
The discreet heroes of Mario Vargas Llosa's novel are a small businessman who is being blackmailed and an insurance salesman whose sons want him dead.

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Macdonald's Costa Prize-winning memoir weaves the stories of the author's father's death and her deep dive into the life and training of a goshawk.

The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle
In a novel that explores issues of both violence and powerlessness, an aging ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran becomes embroiled in a manhunt for his own son.

Man at the Helm byMan at the Helm by Nina Stibbe Nina Stibbe
In the wake of their parents' divorce, Lizzie and her siblings are packed off to the English countryside with their mother.

The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James
James' novel is about the ivory trade in South India, where poachers exploit the elephants, one of whom takes matters into his own hands... er, tusks.

Galapagos Regained by James Morrow
James Morrow spins an hilarious narrative that creates an astonishing sense of place in a world inhabited by the ridiculous and the sublime.

Book reviews of fiction
Enjoy these reviews of fiction. You'll find the most recent novels in general or literary fiction below as well as links to genre fiction.

Poker Nation by Andy Bellin
Poker Nation is a mesmerizing journey into the odd rites and traditions of the game, and might even give you a few tips for your own rounds of the tables.

Kingdom of Fear by Hunter S. Thompson
I really wanted to like Kingdom of Fear, but in the end there just really wasn't much to it. If you want to check it out anyway, I recommend starting on page 241 and reading through page 316.

Dramatic Irony - Definition
Dramatic irony is when the words and actions of the characters of a work of literature have a different meaning for the reader than they do for the characters. This is the result of the reader having a greater knowledge than the characters themselves.

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin - Quotations
Mark Helprin's epic story of time, love and justice is chock full of quote-worthy passages. Here are a few that I pulled out during my second reading of this masterpiece.

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin - Book Review
Mark Helprins Winter's Tale is the story of love, larceny and flying horses during New York’s Belle Epoque,a tale of criminal gangs, indigenous marsh-dwelling tribes and immortal architects delivered inimitably by one of the best storytellers of our time.

Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World that Made Him
In Furious Cool, David and Joe Henry spin a paean to Richard Pryor, whose unflinching commitment to authenticity in his comedy crossed racial boundaries and turned comedy on its head.

Lamentation by C. J. Sansom
C.J. Sansom weaves a multitude of plots into a coherent, fast-moving novel depicting England in 1546, a breeding ground of religious turmoil, entangled with politics at their most vicious.

Mystery, Suspense, Thriller - Book Reviews of Mystery, Suspense, and Thriller
The latest and greatest mystery, suspense and thriller fiction.

Historical Fiction - Book Reviews of Historical Fiction
Read reviews of recently published and diverse historical fiction from such authors as Lisa See, Ken Follett, Tracy Chevalier, A.S. Byatt, and much much more.

Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller
Alexandra Fuller again draws on her unsettling African childhood as she wrestles with the challenges of marriage, motherhood and meaning.

The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates
When a 14-year-old black girl is found ravaged, beaten and left for dead, she points the finger at the white cops who surround her.

Short Fiction - Book Reviews of Short Fiction and Short Stories
Short fiction provides quick immersion into story when you don't have time for a novel. Check out the newest releases available in this tightly packed form.

Frog by Mo Yan
Frog, by 2012 Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan, is a multi-generational novel about childbirth in China in the 20th Century.

The Seventh Day by Yu Hua
The Seventh Day is a scathing social commentary of contemporary China that skewers its twenty-first century crowdedness by exploring the

How to be both by Ali Smith
Ali Smith's How to be both is more of a diptych than a novel, connecting a girl, her mother, and their love of Italian frescos with the woman who painted them centuries earlier.

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz has hit the mark splendidly in his Sherlock Holmes novel, the only approved Sherlock Holmes novel in the 125-year history of the Conan Doyle Estate.

Discontent and its Civilizations by Mohsin Hamid
Mohsin Hamid's collection of short essays on life, art and politics is a collection to be savored, to be thought about, to be discussed with others.

First Chapters and Excerpts - First Chapters from recently published books
Try before you buy! Read first chapters and excerpts from the latest contemporary literature offerings.

Harry Potter Book Reviews and Trivia Questions - Test your Harry Potter knowledge
Reviews and quizzes for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books to refresh and test your knowledge of this epic series!

Poetry - Reviews of Poetry defining poetry through criticism
Poetry: hard to define, easy to enjoy. Here are some recommendations for the latest in poetry offerings.

Sports Books - A List of Sports Books For Sports Fans
Winning sports book picks for both the athlete and the spectator sports fan in your life.

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America
Confrontational, angry, smart and funny, Hand to Mouth is an important book that conveys a personal and accurate description of the plight of America's working poor.

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
Harry (Hieronymus) Bosch is approaching 65 and retirement in Michael Connelly's twenty-seventh novel, a must-read for fans.

Glyph by Percival Everett
With an IQ of 500, Ralph is a baby who is continuously kidnapped by those who would exploit his genius.

Science Fiction - Book Reviews of Science Fiction
Whether speculative fiction, alternate history, cyberpunk, or traditional Science Fiction, you can browse the latest offerings here.

Superman Comes to the Supermarket by Norman Mailer
Superman Goes to the Supermarket is an enormous, lavishly illustrated book of photojournalism inspired by Norman Mailer's Esquire article about Kennedy's presidential race.

Syllabus by Lynda Barry
Get out your crayons, your Staedtler non-photo blue pencil and flair pens, crack open that composition book and get creative with Lynda Barry.

Contributors
I am no speed reader and consequently rely upon a number of contributors around the country who share with me a love of books and a dedication to reading. These are the individuals whose reviews, in addition to my own, you will find on this website.

Best Literature of 2014
About.com book reviewers have sorted through the best literary fiction published in 2014 to give you their picks.

Review of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho's 'The Alchemist' is a short and inspirational parable about the importance of pursuing one's dreams. Originally published in 1988 in the Brazillian author's native Portugese, it has since been translated in close to 70 languages and has become one of the best-selling books in history.

Beautiful Eyes by Paul Austin
Paul Austin's compelling and transformative memoir about parenting a child with Down syndrome is also a provocative book about parenting any child.

Nonfiction Book Reviews - Book reviews of nonfiction including biography, memoir, essays, and creative nonfiction
Read about the latest releases in biography, history, social science, philosophy, popular science and more. Select the links below to browse these nonfictions genres.

Suzy Bishop's books in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom
Contemporary Literature.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Oprah Winfrey has chosen Cormac McCarthy's spare and glorious novel, The Road, for her book club, and McCarthy will soon appear on her show. This is quite a departure for both of them. The Road is an enormous departure from Oprah's last selection, Sidney Poiter's

Graphic Novels - Reviews of Graphic Novels
The red-headed step children of literature, graphic novels are claiming their due as a genre of note.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
David Mitchell's gloriously ambitious novel follows 60 years of Holly Sykes's life, from 1980 to the 2040, and tells a larger story about mortality and controlling one's destiny.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan - Book Review
In Ian McEwan's twelfth novel, Serena Frome, a beautiful Cambridge graduate, math whiz, and lover of literature, is recruited by the British secret service as a Cold War spy.

David Mitchell Bio - Biography of David Mitchell
British novelist David Mitchell is known for his non-linear, structurally experimental novels such as Cloud Atlas and number9dream , both shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His 2010 novel, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is an historical novel set at a Dutch East Indies Company trading post in early nineteenth century Japan.

Haruki Murakami Bio
Haruki Murakami is known for his blending of the fantastic realism in his novels, and it's this magical realism, in combination with his flowing use of language, that gives Murakami's novels an ethereal, dreamlike quality.

Anthony Doerr Biography
Anthony Doerr is an award-winning American writer whose short stories and essays have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. His second story collection, Memory Wall, was selected as a finalist for the 2010 Story Prize.

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
What The Office brought to television, what Office Space brought to the movies, and what Dilbert brought to comics, Then We Came to the End brings to literature.

Zadie Smith's On Beauty - Book Review
Zadie Smith made a literary splash as a twenty-five-year-old with her debut novel White Teeth. Five years and two novels later, Smith has all but solidified herself a spot among the modern literary canon as one of a handful of truly important young novelists at work today. Smith's latest is On Beauty, a modern twist on E. M. Forster's Howard's End, updated to the still-stiff-collared world of twenty-first-century ivy-league academia.

Best Books for Dad on Father's Day
Looking for a good gift for dad? You know what he wants - a sea kayak, a gas grill, or one of those Segway personal transport devices. But you're too cheap to get him any of those gifts. How about a nice book? Even if he doesn't read it, you can!

Divine Justice by David Baldacci - Book Review
'Divine Justice' is the fourth in David Baldacci's Camel Club series of novels that have enjoyed immense popularity. Each novel has asked what secrets the federal government is keeping from citizens? It is not paranoia if there really are secrets, and any one of us who has served in certain governmental agencies is very well aware that secrets do exist, some benign, some malignant.

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake - Book Review
Sarah Blake's debut novel is composed of intertwined stories of three woman during World War II - a Cape Cod postmistress, a radio gal in London, and a young bride who awaits her husband's return from the war.

Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Monica Ali's novel, Brick Lane, was resoundingly praised. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Ali was named as one of the best young British writers. I suspect that everyone's enthusiasm for the novel is, in part, that Ali is like a magician revealing all her secrets. IN a time when every Western country is facing off with its Muslim populations, this book provides its readers a look at a community that, frankly, frightens them; it is, in short, an education. Page 2.

"Brick Lane" by Monica Ali - Book Review
Monica Ali is like a magician revealing all her secrets. In a time when every Western country is facing off with its Muslim populations, Brick Lane provides its readers a look at a community that, frankly, frightens them. It is, in short, an education.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell: Book Review
In 'The Tipping Point,' Malcolm Gladwell dissected the phenomena of social epidemics; and in 'Blink,' he discussed the nature of split-second decision-making. In 'Outliers,' Gladwell, the founding father of pop-sociology, examines high-achieving individuals and questions what makes them different from everyone else.

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks (Book Review)
A review of Nicholas Spark's novel of a life-long bachelor who fears falling in love with a woman who moves in next door.

The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta - Book Review
In Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers, it is distinctly Rapture-like when millions of people suddenly disappear from the Earth all at once, and those left behind must account for and deal with their disappearance.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Review
Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind seems born of a different time. An ode to its own genre, a love song to itself, the story of a boy who is shown the power of a book, one so powerful that it threatens to destroy everything and everyone he loves.

Man Booker Prize Award Winners List
The Man Booker Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. It is not only one of literature's highest honors but quite lucrative as the winner takes home Ł50,000. Here are the past ten years' Booker Prize Winners.

Man Booker Prize Award Winners List
The Man Booker Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the British Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. It is not only one of literature's highest honors but quite lucrative as the winner takes home Ł50,000. Here are the past ten years' Booker Prize Winners.

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix Book Review
'Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix' (Harry Potter 5) may be the most anticipated after the last cliffhanger ending. The fourth book marked a turning point, as Lord Voldemort (think Darth Vader meets Hitler) returned to human form to rebuild his army and start a second uprise to power, determined to let only pure blood wizards remain. Compared to the first three books, the fourth was much darker, more compelling, and only led to the greatness of book five.

World Without End by Ken Follett - Book Review
Ken Follett is a master of the engaging tale, and in 'World Without End' there is plenty going on. If you liked 'The Pillars of the Earth,' you'll love this sequel. Follett is terrific at drawing characters who are compelling, funny, sexy, dramatic, and very human. Although the book is set in the fourteenth century, modern readers will immediately identify with the emotions and goals of its characters.

He's Just Not That Into You - Book Review
'He's Just Not That Into You' is not a guide to dating. Aimed at women of a certain class and lifestyle and filling a slim 165 pages, the book serves merely as a calling card for its authors, five-years-out-of-the-dating-pool Sex and the City consultant Greg Behrendt and 41-years-old-and-single SatC] executive story editor Liz Tuccillo.

He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
He's Just Not That Into You is not a guide to dating. Aimed at women of a certain class and lifestyle and filling a slim 165 pages, the book serves merely as a calling card for its authors, five-years-out-of-the-dating-pool Sex and the City consultant Greg Behrendt and 41-years-old-and-single SatC] executive story editor Liz Tuccillo. Presumably their participation in the creation of that over-praised HBO television series is what qualifies Greg and Liz to offer relationship guidelines. Page 2.

How to Write a Book Review or Report for English Class
The book review falls somewhere between a critical analysis of literature, which tends toward the dry and academic, and the book report, which we associate with the simple book summaries we may have turned in in our younger years. The book review has elements of both of these but is neither. Here are some simple guidelines to crafting a book review.

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood - Book Review
Margaret Atwood is famous for dystopic novels, including the Booker Prize-Winning 'The Handmaid's Tale.' Fans of Atwood's won't be disappointed by 'The Year of the Flood,' which explores environmental and Biblical themes. The plot follows a religious group called the Gardeners who are waiting for what their scripture calls the Waterless Flood.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Book Review
In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky tells the story of a single year in the life of Charlie, a 15-year-old boy, through the poignant letters that he writes to an anonymous friend.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - Book Review
One night Meggie's father, Mo, reads aloud from a book called 'Inkheart,' and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books.

Definition of Poetry
Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. Poetry has been known to employ meter and rhyme, but this is by no means necessary. Poetry is an ancient form that has gone through numerous and drastic reinvention over time. The very nature of poetry as an authentic and individual mode of expression makes it nearly impossible to define.

Serena by Ron Rash - Book Review
Set in Waynesville, North Carolina during the depression, Ron Rash's novel 'Serena' traces the story of a wealthy lumber baron and his ruthlessly ambitious wife. Think Lady Macbeth in Appalachia.

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami: Review
After Toru Okada loses his cat, his job, and his wife, things go from bad to weird. Surreal visitations from beautiful women, gruesome stories from wartime Japan, and an entryway into a different world deep at the bottom of a well combine with the usual lost cats, jazz music and enigmatic characters in Haruki Murakami's The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

Novel Review: "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami
In Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami delivers a tour de force of metaphysical reality, powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.

Review: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, Mark Haddon's dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debut novels in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Narrated by a fifteen-year-old autistic savant obsessed with Sherlock Holmes, Mark Haddon's dazzling novel weaves together an old-fashioned mystery, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a fascinating excursion into a mind incapable of processing emotions. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is one of the freshest debut novels in years: a comedy, a tearjerker, a mystery story, a novel of exceptional literary merit that is great fun to read. Page 2.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Book Review
In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's fourth novel, a young Nigerian woman finds reinvention in America, where she learns what it means to be a Nigerian immigrant.

December 2011 Books - New Books in December 2011
December, typically a light month in publishing, has a few gems to boast about this year. Robert Bolano's The Third Reich, serialized in the pages of The Paris Review, is being published in one volume. Similarly, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials (The Golden Compass, The Amber Spyglass, The Subtle Knife), is being published in a single omnibus edition this month.

Nobel Prize in Literature - Nobel Laureates in Literature since 1997
The Nobel Prize for Literature is granted not for a single book, but for an author’s entire body of work, and hence usually goes to a well-established writer. Here are the most recent winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature along with the Nobel Foundation's description of the writer.

Nobel Prize in Literature - Nobel Laureates in Literature since 1997
The Nobel Prize for Literature is granted not for a single book, but for an author’s entire body of work, and hence usually goes to a well-established writer. Here are the most recent winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature along with the Nobel Foundation's description of the writer.

Holiday Gift Books - Give books to everyone on your holiday gift list!
A cornucopia of books to give as gifts for friends, family or for yourself. Avoid the mall - give a book from this eclectic selection!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) Review
In 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter 7) Voldemort's followers have been released from Azkaban as have the Dementors, who now serve the Dark Lord's purposes as well. The Ministry of Magic, now controlled by Death Eaters, has instituted a campaign against muggle-borns that smacks of Nazi Germany, and Harry Potter is dubbed

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell Book Review
Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller, 'The Tipping Point,' has exhibited such enormous staying power on the bestseller lists that one supposes that Gladwell harnessed the very principles of social epidemics that he outlines therein. 'The Tipping Point' purports to answer two questions,

Ten Funny Novels, Memoirs and Collections
These ten funny books will have you laughing out loud, laughing the milk right through your nose.

Room by Emma Donoghue
Seven years ago, Jack's mother was kidnapped and held captive in a man's soundproof garden shed. Equipped with little more than an analog television, the room, measuring eleven feet square, is her prison - but to Jack, her son (now five years old), it is the whole world. Told from the perspective of precocious Jack, Emma Donoghue's Room tells the story of him and his mother as they try to cope and grow in a room that seems to shrink further as they continue to age.

The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
Mislabeled boxes, problems with visiting nurses, and confusing notes --such are the obstacles in the way of the unnamed narrator of The End of the Story as she attempts to organize her memories of a love affair into a novel. With compassion, wit, and what appears to be candor, she seeks to determine what she actually knows about herself and her past, but we begin to suspect, along with her, that given the elusiveness of memory and understanding, any tale retrieved from the past must be fiction. Page 2.

The End of the Story by Lydia Davis
Mislabeled boxes, problems with visiting nurses, and confusing notes - such are the obstacles of an unnamed narrator as she tries to organize her memories of a love affair into a novel.

Book Review of the Game by Neil Strauss
In cities around the world, men meet in underground

Young Adult (YA) Literature - Book Reviews of Young Adult (YA) Literature
Often written with a teen audience in mind, much YA literature penned today has significant crossover appeal for adults. Check out titles from Suzanne Collins, Jasper Fforde, Jay Asher, and more.

Books to Read - What to read next
Browse the categories on this page for great books to read. No matter what your reading inclinations are, you are bound to find something to read next here.

Book Review: Double Negative by Ivan Vladislavic
In Double Negative Ivan Vladislavic tells the story of Neville Lister, a Johannesburg college dropout whose early association with a great photographer informs his own story.

February 2010 New Book Releases - New Books in February 2010
An acclaimed book of short stories from Australia, a couple of promising debuts, and new novels from John Banville, Don DeLillo, and Peter Straub.

April 2010 Book Releases - Books Coming in April 2010
Yann Martel's follow-up to 'Life of Pi,' new novels from Anne Lamott and Isabel Allende, entomologist E.O. Wilson's 'Anthill,' a new biography (in five days) of David Foster Wallace, and more.

February 2011 Book Releases - New Books in February 2011
New novels from T.C. Boyle and Kevin Brockmeier and memoirs from Joyce Carol Oates and Andre Dubus III are highlights in February, as is the hotly anticipated debut novel from Karen Russell, Swamplandia!

2011 New Book Releases - Books Coming in 2011
Annie Proulx, David Vann, Kevin Brockmeier, Kate Christensen, Ann Patchett, and Paul Theroux are just a handful of our best loved authors with new work in 2011. Unpublished work from David Foster Wallace and the English translation of Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 pile on top to make 2011 a banner year for literature.

August 2011 Book Releases - New Books in August2011
In August we see new novels from Tom Perrotta, Julie Otsuka, Nicholson Baker, Robert Olen Butler and DBC Pierre plus a sequel to Alexandra Fuller's Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight.

Best Books of the Decade (2000-2009)
Our end of the decade special lists the 25 best books of the decade (2000-2009).

Best Books of the Decade (2000-2009)
Our end of the decade special lists the 25 best books of the decade (2000-2009).

Best Books of the Decade (2000-2009)
Our end of the decade special lists the 25 best books of the decade (2000-2009).

Travel Books - A Selection of Travel Books and Travelogues - Books About Traveling
Travel books guaranteed to satisfy the wandering minds of wayfaring readers.

Books For Writers - Writing Books For Writers
These books for writers are written specifically to help you hone your craft.

Green Books - Environment Focused Green Books - Nature and Environmental Books
Green books bring the Earth and environment back into the forefront of our minds - for environmentalists, naturalists, wildlife lovers.

Women's History Month Books - Books about Women's History
Both real and imagined, these ten titles are excellent works each in their own way relating notable stories of women in history.

July 2010 Book Releases - Books Coming in July 2010
July's offerings include futuristic absurdist comedies from both Rick Moody and Gary Shteyngart, literary offerings from Allegra Goodman and Ayelet Waldman, and Science magazine reporter Sam Kean's memoir of the Periodic Table of the Elements.

Contemporary Literature Reading List (1-10 of 20)
Twenty contemporary literature must-reads, essentials! If you've read all of these, you are well on your way to an honorary contemporary literature degree. This contemporary literature reading list is comprised largely of titles published since 1970. Please visit my Contemporary Classics Reading List for older and more classic contemporary titles.

Books for Moms on Mother's Day - Mother's Day Gift Books
Mom loves to read! This Mother's Day, choose a book from our Mother's Day 2010 books for a gift that will outlast the candy and flowers (please be sure to give her those as well).

Books about Love
Books about Love including The 50 Greatest Love Letters of All Time, A Natural History of Love, Geek Love, Love in the Time of Cholera, and The Map of Love.

Spiritual Books - A List of Spiritual Books to Uplift and Inspire - Spiritual and Inspirational Reading
A list of spiritual books to turn the eye inward and inspire the spirit.

Contemporary Literature Essentials (11-20 of 20)
Twenty contemporary literature must-reads, essentials! If you've read all of these, you are well on your way to an honorary contemporary literature degree. This contemporary literature reading list is comprised largely of titles published since 1970. Please visit my Contemporary Classics Reading List for older and more classic contemporary titles.

Book Review: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri's first novel covers territory similar to that of her Pulitzer-Prize-winning debut, namely the experiences of immigrants who have left their home in India for a new start in America.

Book Review: The Bear by Claire Cameron
When her parents are attacked by a bear on a camping trip, 5-year-old Anna and her younger brother are left to fend for themselves in the wild.

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir
Mars astronaut Mark Watney awakens to find that he has been left for dead by his crew. Now he must find a way to survive on Mars until the arrival of Ares 4 in four years.

Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin
Freddy is the Prince of Wales, Fredericka his troublesome wife. An overeducated, bumbling anachronism, Freddy commits one gaffe after another, for which he is massacred daily in the press. Fredericka, frivolous and empty headed, is particularly fond of wearing spectacular clothing with revealing necklines. Because of the public relations disasters caused by these heirs to the throne, they are sent, in a little-known ancient tradition, on a quest to colonize a strange and barbarous land: America.

Identical by Scott Turow - Book Review
Scott Turow has created a complex puzzler in which permutations expand and contract and purported facts unfold so that the clues are buried in a crush of innuendo and long-standing family feuds.

The Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini - Book Review
Like something from the mind of Salvador Dali or M.C. Escher, the images contained within the Codex Seraphinianus challenge readers' notions of what is real and what is possible.

The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer - Book Review
A murderous illusionist from Victorian London chases his mutinous teen protege through time to the 21st century where the aforementioned malevolent magician becomes a real problem for nineteen-year-old FBI agent, Chevron Savano.

Pure by Julianna Baggott - Book Review
The first of a trilogy, Julianna Baggott's dystopic Pure occurs after The Detonations, when bombings caused the fusing of objects to survivors' bodies and those who escaped this grizzly fate are the Pures, who live safely in the Dome.

The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio - Book Review
Well-known Japanese manga author Moto Hagio delivers a deeply complex shonen-ai story in The Heart of Thomas.

Virtual Light by William Gibson - Book Review
Virtual Light, the first book in William Gibson's Bridge Trilogy, finds an out-of-work cop on the run with a Bridge-dwelling bicycle messenger who has pickpocketed the wrong pair of sunglasses.

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride - Book Review
In The Good Lord Bird, James McBride follows abolitionist John Brown through the last half of the 1850s, culminating in Brown’s raid of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - Book Review
In book two of the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen finds herself challenged by President Snow himself to live up to the star-crossed lovers act she and Peeta played in The Hunger Games, and everyone is caught off guard by an unexpected twist in the games that follow.

Temple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors - Book Review
In Temple of a Thousand Faces John Shors tells the story of the Cham invasion of Angkor and the attempt by the Khmer people to retake Angkor Wat.

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond
From Jared Diamond comes a fascinating first-hand account of the lifestyes, traditions and social workings of primitive societies in The World Until Yesterday.

Guests on Earth by Lee Smith - Book Review
Lee Smith's Guests on Earth revisits the infamous 1948 fire at Asheville's Highland Hospital which took the lives of seven female patients, including Zelda Fitzgerald.