Contemporary Literature Sitemap - Page 2 2016-09-26

Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon - Book Review
In Thomas Pynchon's latest, it is Spring of 2001 and New York private investigator Maxine Tarnow is at the center of a story about fraud, the Internet and the bleeding edge of both technology and pop culture.

The Cove by Ron Rash - Book Review
Ron Rash, author of the 2009 PEN/Faulkner finalist novel Serena, is back with another historical novel set in North Carolina's Appalachian Mountains. A woman suspected of witchcraft by the local townspeople saves a mysterious mute flutist, unleashing another mesmerizing tale.

The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
Colm Toibin's The Testament of Mary finds the virgin mother in Ephesus years after Jesus' crucifixion, trying to understand the events of her son's life.

The Dinner by Herman Koch - Book Review
Herman Koch's The Dinner finds two couples erecting a wall of small talk as they avoid the subject of an atrocious act committed by their 15-year-old sons.

Norumbega Park by Anthony Giardina - Book Review
Anthony Giardina's Norumbega Park is a family saga centered around the Palumbo family's house.

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Kevin Powers' debut novel is a fictional account of the Iraq war that Powers, an Iraq war veteran, experienced first hand and is able to convey in a way that is at once poetic and real.

It's Fine By Me by Per Petterson - Book Review
Per Petterson's It's Fine By Me is a coming-of-age novel whose 13-18-year-old narrator is attempting to distance himself from his abusive, alcoholic father.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The Round House, Louise Erdich's fourteenth novel and the winner of the 2012 National Book Award for fiction, is the story of a Native American teenager's investigation of his mother's attack on a North Dakota reservation.

Me, Who Dove into the Heart of the World by Sabina Berman - Book Review
Mexican playwright, journalist and poet Sabina Berman's debut novel delivers a brilliant portrait of an autistic savant and her relationship with the world around her.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan - review
In Robin Sloan's debut, a handful of Silicon Valley technophiles collide with the members of an ancient bibliophilic luddite cult to the great amusement of the reader.

Open Door by Iosi Havilio - review
In Iosi Havilio's slim novel, Open Door, a detached and melancholy veterinarian narrator attempts to restructure her life after the mysterious disappearance of her girlfriend and finds herself buffeted by strange occurances in the bizarre Argentinian village of Open Door.

Revenge by Yoko Ogawa - Review
Revenge is an interwovven collection of 11 macabre tales by Shirly Jackson Award winner Yoko Ogawa, an exemplary reminder that traditional

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman - Review
Determined to break the cycle that women in her family have of getting pregnant early and often, Rory Hendrix takes refuge in books in Tupelo Hassman's debut novel,

Umbrella by Will Self - Book Review
Will Self's Umbrella is a novel full of wormholes, a maddening cross between high literature and string theory, and an inspiring and challenging experience, worthy of any supplemental essays, criticism, and charts that might emerge in years to come.

Red Doc> by Anne Carson - Book Review
Ann Carson's Red Doc> is complex work of both poetry and prose that reaches into the mythical past in the creation of a uniquely contemporary story.

The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer - Book Review
Julia, the daughter of a wealthy businessman in Cape Town, falls in love with Abdu, a poor Arab immigrant in Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Africa.

A Hologram For the King by Dave Eggers - Book Review
In A Hologram For the King, Dave Eggers latest novel, Alan Clay, a middle-aged American businessman, shows up in Saudi Arabia to pitch a large IT deal to the king of the country.

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil - Book Review
Jeet Thayil's debut novel Narcopolis recalls the two decades of his life he spent in the opium dens of Bombay.

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
Stephen Kelman's Pigeon English tells the coming-of-age story of a boy from Ghana who has recently emigrated to London's housing projects.

Replacement by Tor Ulven - Book Review
In Replacement, Norwegian novelist Tor Ulven combines the perspectives of fifteen characters as they reflect upon lives that have brought each of them to a place of inertia.

NW by Zadie Smith - Book Review
Zadie Smith's NW, named after the diverse northwest region of London, is a Joycean story of place that centers around four Londoners making their way outside the council estate of their youths.

The Sunshine When She's Gone by Thea Goodman - Book Review
Thea Goodman's The Sunshine When She's Gone tells a story about parenthood and marriage that typically gets swept under the rug.

A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava
Sergio De La Pava originally self-published A Naked Singularity, the story of Casi, a young public defender caught in a surrealistically bizarre justice system in a postmodern novel that is garnering comparisons to Don DeLillo and David Foster Wallace.

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
When Will Schwalbe's mother is diagnosed with aggressive pancreatic cancer, their love of books brings them together and allows them to discuss the hard truths about life.

Travels with Epicurus by Daniel Klein - Book Review
Daniel Klein (Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates) examines the possibilities of old age in this short meditation.

The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
Naoki Hagashida was 13-years-old and suffering from autism that made verbal communication next to impossible when, with the help of others, he wrote The Reason I Jump, a slim book of questions and answers providing previously unavailable insight into the thoughts and experiences of the autistic child.

Remember How I Told You I Loved You by Gillian Linden - Book Review
Remember How I Told You I Loved You? touches on the lives of a central character and her friends in their 20s and 30s, during a time when they are trying to figure out who they are and where they are going.

This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz - Book Review
In This is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz brings back Yunior, the narrator of several stories in his first short story collection, Drown, as the central character in a collection of stories about love.

Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm by Philip Pullman
How do you breathe new life into the old fairy tales. Give them to Philip Pullman. In this volume, Pullman respins 50 of his favorites from the brothers Grimm, including Snow White, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel and 47 more.

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell - Book Review
In Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Karen Russell takes imaginative genre fiction and rustles it awake, shakes off a self-inflicted, impossible fantasy and molds story into something close to reality.

The Secret of Evil by Roberto Bolano - Book Review
The Secret of Evil, published in Spanish in 2007 as El Secreto del Mal, is a collection of short stories and essays, largely unfinished, taken from Roberto Bolano's (The Third Reich, Between Parentheses) papers after his death.

The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Carlos Ruiz Zafón's (The Shadow of the Wind)latest novel, The Angel's Game, is told from the perspective of David Martin, a Barcelona youth who makes his living as a journalist and writer of pulp fiction novels. Martin survives his troubled childhood by taking refuge in stories until — at the age of seventeen — he gets the chance to begin writing his own. Under the patronage of Pedro Vidal, Martin makes a quick rise to fame by telling tales of Barcelona's gritty underworld.

Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Dominion by Eric Van Lustbader
Jason Bourne is pitted against his longtime Russian ally in this, the ninth, of the Bourne thriller series.

The Rich and the Dead by Nelson DeMille - Review of The Rich and the Dead by Nelson DeMille
The Rich and the Dead, the 2011 edition of the Mystery Writers of America’s annual anthology is a killer! This new volume is edited by Nelson DeMille and features 20 new stories by some of the best mystery writers working today.

How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm by Mei-Ling Hopgood
In How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm, Mei-Ling Hopgood questions Western parenting methods and embarks on an anthropological quest to understand how other cultures raise their young.

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler - Book Review
The Future of Us, coauthored by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler is a YA novel about 2 teens who find a way to view their own futures online.

The Land of Painted Caves by Jean Auel
Six books. 3,885 pages. Thirty-four years in the creation. A major key to writing a sustained narrative — and the Children of Earth series is certainly that — is maintaining consistency throughout the process. With The Land of Painted Caves, the final installment in the life of Ayla, Jean Auel has proven that she is the mistress of the pre-history genre.

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
Lisa See grows more powerful and complex as a writer each time out. Her newest, Dreams of Joy, is a sterling example of her growing stature as a chronicler of Chinese life. More importantly, this sequel to the acclaimed Shanghai Girls, show that her themes of love—whether sister-sister, mother-daughter, wife-husband, family, and country—are universal regardless of how they are expressed.

The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst - Book Review
When Cecil Valance visits the country home of his Cambridge boyfriend George, he pens a poem in George's younger sister's diary, a simple act that becomes the subject of much speculation by the family over the course of the ensuing decades.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson - The Biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Steve Jobs will long be remembered as the luminary central to our current understanding of computers, communication, and the consumption of media, and Walter Isaacson has penned Jobs' definitive biography.

The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka - Book Review
Toshiko Tomura is successful at everything she does. The beautiful stage actress has won design compositions for her architectural work and a prestigious Akutagawa Prize for her recent novel,

The Third Reich by Roberto Bolano - Book Review
The Third Reich, written by Roberto Bolano in 1989 and published posthumously, follows the German national champion of The Third Reich, a WWII-themed board game, and his girlfriend as they enjoy a vacation at a Spanish resort and become involved with a sinister collection of characters.

The Galley Slave by Drago Jancar - Book Review
In Drago Jancar's The Galley Slave, the madness of plague-ridden Europe has spread its sickly tentacles. Can picaresque anti-hero Johannes Ot flee from illness, inquisition, and his own dark identity?

The Map and the Territory by Michel Houllebecq - Book Review
The Map and the Territory, winner of France's Prix Goncourt, is Michel Houellebecq's new postmodern novel about the art market and what it means to be creative in today's mundane society.

Mr. g A Novel About the Creation by Alan Lightman - Book Review
Alan Lightman presents us with a rather young and whimsical God in Mr. g, a being who lives alone in the Void with his aunt and uncle until one day, he decides to experiment with the act of creation. The rest, as they say, is history.

The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus - Book Review
In The Flame Alphabet, Ben Marcus' dark and dystopic novel, children begin speaking a form of speech that is lethal to adults.

Writer, M.D.: The Best Contemporary Fiction and Nonfiction by Doctors
An anthology of medically themed essays and stories written by doctors, Writer, M.D., highlights the decisions, tragedies, and skills that doctors must experience and learn to work through as part of a medical education and career.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach - Book Review
Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding wraps a coming-of-age story within a baseball novel that you don't have to be a sports fan to love.

Aleph by Paulo Coelho - Book Review
In books like The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho speaks of following one's own Personal Legend. In Aleph, Coelho - as the protagonist of this novel - takes his own advice, setting out for a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. But the journey is much larger than even Coelho at first perceives.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides - Book Review
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex) emerges with his long-awaited third novel exploring the realities of love and marriage.

Reamde by Neal Stephenson - Book Review
Neal Stephenson's Reamde begins with a computer virus engineered to squeeze gold pieces from players in a virtual world but soon morphs into a action thriller with Russian mobsters, British operatives, and al-Qaeda terrorists.

Sanctus by Simon Toyne
In Simon Toyne's Sanctus, an ancient order of monks guards a Sacrament so secret that they will die, and even kill, to protect it.

There But For The by Ali Smith - Book Review
In Ali Smith's There But For the, a peculiar character named Miles Garth locks himself in a stranger's extra room during a dinner party, and it's going to require four more charactes and their deftly woven tales to get him out.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami - Book Review
A sexy assassin steps out of a traffic jam and into an alternative world which is seemingly being crafted by a young ghost writer in love with this shadowy heroine. Dual moons fille the sky, little people emerge from the mouth of a goat, and time and space bend altogether in Haruki Murakami's opus 1Q84.

Ape House by Sara Gruen - Review of Sara Gruen's Ape House
Ape House by Sara Gruen Spiegel and Grau, September 2010 4.5 stars John M. Formy-Duval Having read Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen’s previous, nearly perfect novel, I was prepared for a bit of a let down. I was wrong! Ape House has it all. It is a great story. The plot is carefully constructed and works out appropriately. The central characters, including the bonobos, are finely drawn and believable. The writing is sublime.

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray - Review of Skippy Dies
Skippy is a complicated kid. He’s a got a good heart but is growing increasingly bored with his successes in both the classroom and on the swim team. Skippy looks to be a Nintendo-fueled recast of the classic Russian hero — laced with an enigmatic malaise - but as Skippy Dies progresses, we learn in a perfectly plotted series of hints that there’s a lot more trouble behind Skippy’s silent face.

Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer - Review of Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage
Geoff Dyer, the author of “Out of Sheer Rage” is argumentatively one of the whiniest people on the planet. He begins the his 1997 memoir by describing the endless vacillation he experienced in setting out to write a sober, academic study of D.H. Lawrence - the writer who had inspired Dyer to write - and then proceeds to hedge about where he should live in order to write the study. Page 2.

Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel of the Taj Mahal by John Shors
Set at the height of the Mughal Empire, Beneath a Marble Sky recreates the remarkable lives of those responsible for the Taj Mahal's existence. From the famous lovers who inspired it, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, to the architect who designed it to the man who sought to destroy it, Beneath a Marble Sky recounts the stories of those who oversaw the rise of the world’s most famous building.

The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
September 1918. World War I is winding down, and some people are about to lose their jobs to the “more deserving” soldiers. The Great Influenza epidemic is expanding exponentially and killing indiscriminately. The Boston Red Sox, led by their great pitcher Babe Ruth, will defeat the Chicago Cubs 4 games to two. The Boston police are contemplating an historic strike, and everyone is looking for the “Red Menace” who, it is believed, will encourage unionization and blow up the city.

The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama by Pico Iyer - Book Review
Pico Iyer, one of the most acclaimed and perceptive observers of globalism and Buddhism, gives us the first serious consideration—for Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike—of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama’s work and ideas as a politician, scientist, and philosopher in

The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass - Book Review
Drawing on research at the Body Farm—three acres of land in the backwoods of Tennessee, where bodies are left to the elements to illuminate human decomposition — Jefferson Bass has moved fiction to a fascinating new realm, with forensics expertise drawn from his five decades of work as the world's leading forensic anthropologist.

What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn - Book Review of What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn
Catherine O’Flynn’s 'What Was Lost' is a compelling and multifaceted novel. Following the central mystery of a girl’s disappearance, it invokes the spirit of Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Prime Suspect all in one – an intrepid young investigator, a

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow - Book Review
An ancient race of lycanthropes has survived to the present day, and its numbers are growing as the initiated convince L.A.'s down and out to join their pack. Paying no heed to moons, full or otherwise, they change from human to canine at will—and they're bent on domination at any cost.

Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coehlo - Book Review
In Manuscript Found in Accra, Paulo Coelho once again approaches questions of spirit and living.

Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw - Book Review
Set in the bustling, money-driven world of Shanghai, Aw has created not only a compelling story about five characters struggling to adapt socially and financially to China's economy, but has made a novel of unquestionable historical significance.

Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan
'Naked Economics' delivers what it promises to: a basic understanding of core economic principles. And more than that, it’s a good read. If you’re like me and just want to wrap your head around what’s going on in today’s economy, there’s no better place to start than 'Naked Economics.'

The Other Side of Desire by Daniel Bergner - Review of The Other Side of Desire
It would be easy to pick up 'The Other Side of Desire' voyeuristically, enticed by the word “desire” and the beautiful, possibly slightly bruised, blossom on the cover. However, Daniel Bergner is a journalist with a knack for drawing readers into the lives of the people he portrays. You may begin with a sense of titillation and danger, but you’ll end with a far more complex view of human desire and the ways it can draw people in like a moth to flame.

Simplexity by Jeffrey Kluger - Review of Simplexity oby Jeffrey Kluger
Jeffrey Kluger introduces us to the new scientific discipline of 'Simplexity' - the notion that seemingly complex things can be more simple than they appear and that, alternately, seemingly simple things can be more complex than they appear. Kluger draws on research in fields including economics, biology, cosmology, chemistry, psychology, politics, and the arts to see patterns that make our world both full of complexity and reducible — with the right point of view — to simplicity.

The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw - Review of The Girl With Glass Feet
It’s not revealing too much to say that Ali Shaw’s magical debut novel, The Girl With Glass Feet concerns a young woman who faces what is indeed a most unusual malady. Ida Maclaird has come to the icy archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land seeking a man – one she’d met while in the mysterious islands six months prior, before the glass.

Tinkers by Paul Harding - Review of Tinkers by Paul Harding
Paul Harding’s Tinkers is the story of George and Howard, of fathers and sons, of existence and the end of existence. It is a poetic meditation in which Harding, with rich and evocative language, weaves the lives of three generations of Crosby men into a tapestry of life and death.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan - Review of The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief is the first in Rick Riordan’s five-book Percy Jackson and the Olympians young adult series; think of it as Harry Potter with Greek gods rather than wizards. A seemingly ordinary young man of unknown parentage discovers he has abilities beyond those of your average 12-year-old, packs off to a school for children of his kind, and is soon facing really scary, powerful bad guys with the help of his chums.

Momo by Michael Ende - Book Review
Momo is a young-adult novel about an orphaned girl who must save her town from The Grey Men, an organization of time-stealing businessmen who adamantly sap away any extra hours that could be spent enjoying a daydream, small talk or a story.

The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
At once a coming of age story and a comic novel of race and class, Hanif Kureishi's The Buddha of Suburbia will lift you from wherever your spacio-temporal circumstances find you and transport you - instantly - to London during the 1970s.

Long Division by Kiese Laymon - Book Review
A fusion of magical realism, Southern literature and time-travel, Kiese Laymon's Long Division is a novel like no other and one of the best you'll read this year.

Lexicon by Max Barry - Book Review
Lexicon, the latest in a series of satirical thrillers from Australian author Max Barry, revolves around the existence of an ancient language discovered by a society of

The Age of the Image by Stephen Apkon
In The Age of Image, Stephen Apkon argues that in a world in which 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, we must embrace and teach a new literacy for storytelling.

The Humanity Project by Jean Thompson - Book Review
In The Humanity Project, Jean Thompson explores what it means to be charitable, and human.

Lotería by Mario Alberto Zambrano - Book Review
Mario Alberto Zambrano's debut novel is masterpiece of design that unfortunatel neither lies up to its packaging nor the conceit that drives it.

Tune: Still Life by Derk Kirk Kim and Les McClaine
Tune: Still Life is the second installment in a series featuring Andy Go, a hapless Korean-American art student who, through a series of bad decisions, blusters his way into a job as a specimen in a pan-dimensional zoo.

The Best American Comics 2013 - Book Review
The Best American Comics 2013 compiles work from graphic novels, anthologies and webcomics from the past year into a single, full-color hardcover edition.

Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky
From Noam Chomsky, author of numerous bestselling works, from

Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky
From Noam Chomsky, author of numerous bestselling works, from

Jessica Gribble
Jessica Gribble is an acquisitions editor at an academic book publishing company in Boulder, Colorado. When she’s not editing, she mountain bikes, hikes, caves, backpacks, and climbs ice with her husband. In the occasional minute or two left over, she rides her Honda Shadow, roots for the Cleveland Browns, and reads books in the bathtub.

Author Interviews - Interviews with authors of contemporary fiction and nonfiction
Author interviews - Enjoy interviews of your favorite authors or learn more about authors you may know little about.

Literary / Book Awards and Prizes - Backlists of winners of Literary / Book Awards and Prizes
Read about ten years' of winners in each of these book awards.

Author Bios - Brief Author Biographies
Read brief author biographies, learn more about each of these contemporary authors, their personal backgrounds and their writing.

Literary Terms - Definitions of Literary Terms in this Literary Glossary
Do you know your epigrams from your epithets? Paradox from parody? Can you give an example of irony? This is your literary lexicon.

Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art by Jennifer New
Who hasn't, at one time or other, kept a journal? The impulse to record our daily lives is universal. Still, only a few of us have the discipline to make it past the first few entries, and fewer still manage to create diaries whose insight can inspire any but their authors. Drawing from Life: The Journal as Art is an exploration of these exceptions-books of obsessive wonder filled to their borders with drawings, sketches, watercolors, graphs, charts, lists, collages, portraits, and photographs.

The Rock Bottom Remainders - The All Author Band
The Rock Bottom Remainders are a rock band composed mainly of writers including Dave Barry, Sam Barry, Stephen King, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turrow, Amy Tan, Matt Groening, James McBride, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount, Jr., Kathi Kamen Goldmark, and Greg Iles.

David Rees Interview
David Rees caught the public's attention shortly after 9/11, when he began posting Get Your War On, a clipart based comic strip featuring cubicle employees talking on the telephone about the bombing of Afghanistan. Prior to GYWO, Rees was a relative-unknown. He'd gotten some attention while self-publishing My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable, and later My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable. David Rees's Get Your War On now appears weekly in Rolling Stone Magazine.

David Rees Interview
David Rees caught the public's attention shortly after 9/11, when he began posting Get Your War On, a clipart based comic strip featuring cubicle employees talking on the telephone about the bombing of Afghanistan. Prior to GYWO, Rees was a relative-unknown. He'd gotten some attention while self-publishing My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable, and later My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable. David Rees's Get Your War On now appears weekly in Rolling Stone Magazine. Page 2.

David Rees Interview
David Rees caught the public's attention shortly after 9/11, when he began posting Get Your War On, a clipart based comic strip featuring cubicle employees talking on the telephone about the bombing of Afghanistan. Prior to GYWO, Rees was a relative-unknown. He'd gotten some attention while self-publishing My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable, and later My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable. David Rees's Get Your War On now appears weekly in Rolling Stone Magazine. Page 3.

David Rees Interview
David Rees caught the public's attention shortly after 9/11, when he began posting Get Your War On, a clipart based comic strip featuring cubicle employees talking on the telephone about the bombing of Afghanistan. Prior to GYWO, Rees was a relative-unknown. He'd gotten some attention while self-publishing My New Fighting Technique is Unstoppable, and later My New Filing Technique is Unstoppable. David Rees's Get Your War On now appears weekly in Rolling Stone Magazine. Page 4.

Jennifer Government by Max Barry
Jennifer Government by Max Barry is electrifying with its fast-paced narrative of our consumer culture gone terribly wrong.. Once you pick it up, you won't put it down, and I guarantee you'll never look at your Nikes the same again.

London Orbital by Iain Sinclair
Iain Sinclair, author, chronicler, narrative sociologist, political essayist, collector of all things Anglo, sets out to circumnavigate London's M25 highway, not by car, the way in which it was intended to be circumnavigated, but by foot, all the while mapping the psychogeography of London and its surrounding environs.

London Orbital by Iain Sinclair
Iain Sinclair, author, chronicler, narrative sociologist, political essayist, collector of all things Anglo, sets out to circumnavigate London's M25 highway, not by car, the way in which it was intended to be circumnavigated, but by foot, all the while mapping the psychogeography of London and its surrounding environs. Page 2.

Review: Fluke, Or I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings
Moore has a knack for addressing otherworldly, bizarre, or supernatural phenomenon with unparalleled wit

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
Jon Krakauers Into Thin Air was a narrative tour de force chronicling the disastrous 1996 Everest expeditions, and should be considered a classic of modern journalism. Measured against this awesome standard, Under the Banner of Heaven, a tour of mainstream Mormonism and its fundamentalist offspring, is a failure. It is a lucid and sometimes compulsively readable failure, but it lacks the narrative drive and cohesive perspective of Into Thin Air. Page 2.

Bringing Down the House
Backed by anonymous investors and armed only with their audacity and their intellect, a team of MIT math students cleaned Vegas out of more than $3 million in a couple of years. They used published card-counting techniques and worked in teams like secret agents. They ate statistics for breakfast, and they raked in millions of dollars before getting caught. They were a dream team. So why did they get caught? Page 2.

Global Village Idiot by John O’Farrell
John OFarrell is a columnist with the Guardian as well as a writer for the TV show Spitting Image and a joke writer for Tony Blair (not the one that is a fake puppet on Spitting image, but the one that is the real puppet of George W. Bush). Global Village Idiot is a reprinting of many of his Guardian columns over the period of time beginning with George W. Bush on the campaign trail and ending on the desert trails leading to Baghdad. Page 2.

Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky
From Noam Chomsky, the world's foremost intellectual activist,

Lies (and the Lying Liars who Tell Them) by Al Franken
For the first time since his own classic Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken trains his subversive wit directly on the contemporary political scene. Now, the

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the series, and 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. Page 2.

She Plays with the Darkness by Zakes Mda
In a remote mountain village, the beautiful Dikosha lives for dancing and for song. Her twin brother, Radisene, works in the lowland capital of Maseru, struggling amid political upheaval to find a life for himself away from the hills. As the years pass, Radisene's fortunes rise and fall in the city, while Dikosha remains in the village, never leaving and never aging. And through it all, the community watches, comments, and passes judgment.

Villa Incognito byTom Robbins
On one level, Tom Robbins' Villa Incognito is a book about identity, masquerade and disguise--about “the false mustache of the world�--but neither the mists of Laos nor the smog of Bangkok, neither the overcast of Seattle nor the fog of San Francisco, neither the murk of the intelligence community nor the mummery of the circus can obscure the linguistic phosphor that illuminates the pages of Villa Incognito. Page 2.

DisneyWar by James B. Stewart
When Roy Disney, chairman of Walt Disney Animation and nephew of founder Walt Disney, abruptly resigned in November 2003 and declared war on chairman and chief executive Michael Eisner, he sent shock waves through the entertainment industry, corporate boardrooms, theme parks, and living rooms around the world-everywhere Disney does business and its products are cherished. DisneyWar is the inside story of what drove America's best-known entertainment company to civil war. Page 2.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Susanna Clarke's breakthrough novel,

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster
A retired insurance salesman, estranged from his family and diagnosed with lung cancer, returns to Brooklyn to die. Instead, he reacquaints himself with his long-lost nephew, a spiritual seeker working in a used bookstore. Despair is swept away in favor of discovery, in Brooklynite, Paul Auster's

Eve’s Apple by Jonathan Rosen
Jonathan Rosen's Eve's Apple on the surface appears to be a story about a man obsessed with his girlfriends' eating disorder. What it turns out to be is something much more intriguing; a mystery novel where the crime is both the eating disorder and the obsession to solve it. The internal unknown of a disease still incurable by both medicine and psychology is for Joseph Zimmerman both a source of deep distress and his raison-d'etre. Page 2.

The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III - Book Review of The Garden of Last Days
'The Garden of Last Days' is the best novel of the year. Instantly interesting and engaging, it grabs one's attention and holds it to the last page. It is compelling, thought-provoking reading that requires the reader to bring a

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
In

Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis's new novel, Lunar Park, is a feat of literary sleight-of-hand, a bait and switch game that finds Ellis addressing his controversial work and his relationship to it in a fictionalized confession. Its first spellbinding chapter relates the lurid story of Ellis's rise to stardom, exactly the sort of tell-all that readers have craved. Ellis blames his abusive, manipulative father for the bleak worldview that would inform his writing. Page 2.

The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd, author of the bestselling Secret Life of Bees, is back with her second novel, The Mermaid Chair. Jessie Sullivan returns to Egret Island,off the coast of South Carolina, to care for her mother and finds herself attracted to a young monk at a Benedictine Monastery where

The Sea of Tears by Nani Power


Transmission by Hari Kunzru
Transmission, Hari Kunzrus new novel of love and lunacy, immigration and immunity, introduces a daydreaming Indian computer geek whose luxurious fantasies about life in America are shaken when he accepts a California job offer. Award-winning novelist Hari Kunzru was hailed as a

Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames
What kind of book has Jonathan Ames written this time? Well, think of Cervantes' Don Quixote, except that

Watchmen and the Birth of Respect for the Graphic Novel
The October 24, 2005 issue of Time Magazine named

Arrogance by Joanna Scott
In Joanna Scott's breakthrough novel the Austrian artist Egon Schiele comes to prismatic life in a narrative that defies convention, history, and identity. A self-professed genius and student of August Klimt, Scott's Schiele repeatedly challenges the boundaries of early twentieth-century Europe. Told from a crosscurrent of voices, viewpoints and times, this stunning novel won Scott a nomination for the 1991 PEN/Faulkner Award.

Arrogance by Joanna Scott
In Joanna Scott's breakthrough novel the Austrian artist Egon Schiele comes to prismatic life in a narrative that defies convention, history, and identity. A self-professed genius and student of August Klimt, Scott's Schiele repeatedly challenges the boundaries of early twentieth-century Europe. Told from a crosscurrent of voices, viewpoints and times, this stunning novel won Scott a nomination for the 1991 PEN/Faulkner Award. Page 2.

Amsterdam by Geert Mak
From a twelfth-century settlement of wooden huts at the mouth of the River Amstel, Amsterdam had become by the late sixteenth century one of the great cultural capitals of Europe and a major financial center. In this gracefully written examination of Amsterdam's soul, part history, part travel guide, the Dutch writer Geert Mak depicts the lives of early Amsterdammers and traces the city's progress from a small town of merchants, sailors, farmers, and fishermen to a thriving metropolis. Page 2.

The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death


Rats by Robert Sullivan
With a notebook and night-vision gear, Robert Sullivan sits in the streamlike flow of garbage and searches for fabled rat kings, sets out to trap a rat, and eventually travels to the Midwest to learn about rats. Sullivan looks deep into the largely unrecorded history of the city and its masses -- its herd-of-rats-like mob. Funny, wise, sometimes disgusting yet always compulsively readable,

The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth - Book Review
The Long March is Communist Chinas founding myth, the heroic tale that every Chinese child learns in school. Seventy years after the historical march took place, Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the marchers steps and unexpectedly discovered the true history behind the legend. Page 2.

Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs
Monday Mourning is Kathy Reichs' seventh Temperance Brennan novel. It is as chillingly good as her first, Deja Dead, a NY Times bestseller which won the 1997 Edgar Award for best first novel. One of the book blurbs for Monday Mourning says she is as

Silverfin by Charlie Higson
What does it take to become the greatest secret agent the world has ever known? In this thrilling prequel to the James Bond series, readers meet a thirteen-year-old schoolboy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will one day take him all over the world, in pursuit of the most dangerous criminals known to man. Acclaimed British writer Charlie Higson has written a tale that ingeniously uncovers the story of a boy who became one of the most iconic figures of our time. Page 2.

State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton's techno-thriller State of Fear takes the reader from the glaciers of Iceland to the volcanoes of Antarctica, from the Arizona desert to the deadly jungles of the Solomon Islands, from the streets of Paris to the beaches of Los Angeles. Like Crichton's previous works,

The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser
Recently appointed as the new U. S. Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser has been writing and publishing poetry for more than forty years. In the pages of The Poetry Home Repair Manual, Kooser brings those decades of experience to bear. Here are tools and insights, the instructions (and warnings against instructions) that poetsaspiring or practicingcan use to hone their craft, perhaps into art. Page 2.

Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver has been writing poetry for nearly five decades, and in that time she has become America's foremost poetic voice on our experience of the physical world. This collection presents forty-two new poems, all written within the last two years. This volume includes poems on crickets, toads, trout lillies, bears; on greeting the morning, watching deer, and, finally, on lingering in happiness. Page 2.

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach - Book Review of Bonk
Why is nasal congestion is like an erection inside your nose? What are the nonsexual health benefits of orgasm? And why, pray tell, are the rats in Dr. Ahmed Shafik's laboratory all wearing polyester pants? The answers to these questions and many more (yet unasked) questions are offered up in Mary Roach's recent work of scientific inquiry, 'Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex,' a riveting and often hilarious romp in the world of sex.

Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life by Dacher Keltner
In 'Born to Be Good,' Dacher Keltner marries Eastern notions of kindness and reverence with evolutionary science in order to get at the answer to three salient questions: How can we be happy? What are the origins of kindness? How can we be good? Read more.

Men and Cartoons by Jonathan Lethem
Jonathan Lethem is the author of six novels, including the bestsellers The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named novel of the year by Esquire. Sparkling with off-beat humor and subtle insights that have made Lethem one of today's most highly praised writers, the stories in MEN AND CARTOONS will delight Lethem's legion of fans and appeal to a host of new readers. Page 2.

Oblivion by David Foster Wallace Review - Book Review of David Foster Wallace's Oblivion
One of the most prodigiously talented and original writers at work today returns with his first new fiction in five years. In the stories that make up Oblivion, David Foster Wallace joins the rawest, most naked humanity with the infinite involutions of self-consciousness-a combination that is dazzlingly, uniquely his. These are worlds undreamt-of by any other mind. Page 2.

The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
In an extraordinary debut novel, based on a remarkable true story, Robert Hicks draws an unforgettable, panoramic portrait of a woman who, through love and loss, found a cause. Known throughout the country as

Cross-X: A Turbulent, Triumphant Season With an Inner-city Debate Squad by Joe Miller
In Cross-X, Joe Miller tells the compelling story of an inner city high school debate squad that in spite of overwhelming educational, economic, and racial odds, excels in a game dominated historically by privileged students with prep school backgrounds. Page 2.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
In Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller delivers her memory of an African childhood fraught with hardship, loss, and danger. She became accustomed to armed guerrillas and landmine-littered roads; hunger, drought, and malaria were never far off; and her family was both guilty of and victim to the racism that consumed colonial Africa in the late 20th century. Page 2.

In His Own Words by Nelson Mandela
The most stirring voice to come out of South Africa, Nelson Mandela has brought his message of freedom, equality, and human dignity to the entire world. Now his most eloquent and important speeches are collected in a single volume. From the eve of his imprisonment to his release 27 years later, from his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize to his election as South Africa's first black president, these speeches span some of the most pivotal moments of Mandela's life and of his countrys history. Page 2.

Love Is A Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time by Rob Sheffield
In

Strom: The Complicated Personal and Political Life of Strom Thurmond
The announcement of an African-American child sired by the late segregationist and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond shook the American political and social establishment. A steady re-examination of race relations - especially Sen. Thurmond's attitudes - soon followed. Authors Jack Bass and Marilyn Thompson carefully articulate the historical, personal, and political elements that defined the life of Strom Thurmond. Page 2.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Joan Didion's journalistic skills are displayed as never before in this story of a year in her life that began with her daughter in a medically induced coma and her husband unexpectedly dead due to a heart attack. This powerful and moving work is Didion's

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage


Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the stuff and riddles of everyday life, and his conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
The Oakland Athletics have a secret: a winning baseball team is made, not bought.Billy Beane, general manager of the Athletics, is putting into practice on the field revolutionary principles garnered from statisticians. In

Linchpin by Seth Godin - Review of Seth Godin's Linchpin
In Linchpin, Seth Godin traces the evolution of the workplace, discusses how your own brain sometimes conspires against you, and enlightens us as to the nature of art and gifts.

Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It by Geoff Dyer
Geoff Dyer is a man who

Vanishing Point by Ander Monson - Review of Vanishing Point by Ander Monson
Beyond its wildly captivating surface elements, the essays in Vanishing Point all return to themes of writerly ownership and its limitations. Vanishing Point attempts to find functionality in memoir without narration, all while searching for the appropriate place to situate that extracted

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson - Review of Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson
The connection between an abundant coral reef that Charles Darwin explores on his Beagle voyage and recent technological developments such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube might not be immediately apparent. But in his latest book, Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson builds the compelling case that these disparate aspects of history are more closely related than we might think.

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy - Review of My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
In My Reading Life, Pat Conroy presents a straightforward spiritual and psychological autobiography, in which he gives his readers insight to the books that shaped him as both a writer and a person.

Sixkill by Robert B. Parker - Review of Sixkill by Robert B. Parker
It is entirely appropriate that one of the best and most prolific writers of detective novels should go out with a big bang. With Sixkill, his final Spenser novel, Robert Parker proved that he still had what it takes to captivate his fans when he died in January 2010.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
In her impressive literary debut, Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, author Danielle Evans emerges as a smart, funny and strong new voice in fiction. Readers of this story collection will find themselves alternating between laughing out loud and trying to fight off tears as Evans's characters navigate through the rough waters of their existence.

The Empty Family by Colm Toibin - Review of Colm Toibin's The Empty Family
In Colm Toibin's The Empty Family, emptiness is more of a distance, a space between. In nearly all of the short stories included in this collection, characters face a chasm, either emotional or geographical, and struggle with adjusting their lives around it. Some fight to reconnect with a distant homeland, some with distant friends and family, while others try to embrace the rift and grow stronger despite its presence.

Pulse by Julian Barnes - Review of Pulse by Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes' Pulse is a well-tempered anthology of subtle dramatics. By dividing the stories in Pulse between two distinctly different sections, Barnes reminds readers that a short story collection can have a remarkable amount of craft in its structuring.

Embassytown by China Mieville - Book Review
China Mieville's Embassytown takes place in a distant future in which humans have colonized a planet that is already home to the Ariekei, whose language only a few altered humans can speak and which the very presence of the human colonists changes.

Townie by Andre Dubus III - Review of Andres Dubus III's memoir Townie
Townie is Andre Dubus III's no-holds barred memoir of poverty, drugs and violence in the mill towns of Massachusetts. Here, the author lets the reader into the story of his dysfunctional youth and the solace he found in fighting and later, writing.

Half a Life by Darin Strauss - Review of Darin Strauss' Half a Life
Darin Strauss was driving with his friends to a miniature golf course when a sixteen year-old girl veered her bicycle across two lanes and into the path of his Oldsmobile. Celine Zilke's death that night changed eighteen-year old Strauss forever; the grief and guilt that afflicts Strauss throughout his memoir is impossible to reason with; it is at once crass and elegant, both simple and relentlessly complicated.

The Belief Instinct by Jesse Bering - Review of The Belief Instinct by Jesse Bering
In The Belief Instinct, evolutionary psychologist Jesse Bering uses science, popular culture, and a dash of humor to illustrate why belief in God is not a delusion, as Richard Dawkins would have us believe, but a useful illusion, an adaptive trait that we humans have evolved over time.

The Clockwork Universe by Edward Dolnick - Review of The Clockwork Universe by Edward Dolnick
Edward Dolnick's The Clockwork Universe is the story of a group of scientists who set out to read God's mind. These geniuses - Gallileo, Newton, Kepler, and a host of others - wanted to find the key that would unlock God's laws. These laws, many of them thought, had been written in mathematical code. If they could discover the code, they could prove the existence of God.

Animalinside by Laszlo Krasznahorkai and Max Neumann - Review of Animalinside
In Animalinside, the 14th installment in the Cahiers series of short, intellectual pamphlets, Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai and German artist Max Neumann collaborate to create a slim collection of pieces that address the animal inside all of us.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan - Review of A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
A Visit from the Goon Squad is an utterly unique work of fiction in which Jennifer Egan extracts episodes from the lives of a colorful array of characters to weave an atemporal tapestry of narrative that stretches into both past and future.

When the Killing's Done by T.C. Boyle - Review of When the Killing's Done by T.C. Boyle
T.C. Boyle is a dynamic writer with an expansive vocabulary. He chooses controversial topics and then weaves chatty novels around them; his characters are modern and the language in his writing feels instantly familiar. When the Killing's Done is no exception: the topic is how humans interact with the environment, and while the scenarios feel a bit stale, they do represent both sides of this divisive issue.

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie - Review of Salman Rushdie's Luka and the Fire of Life
Luka and the Fire of Life is the second children's novel by Salman Rushdie, coming twenty years after the publication of Haroun and the Sea of Stories in 1990. Although set in the same World of Magic and with the same cast of characters, those who have read Haroun will find Luka a wildly different sort of novel.

Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
As elusive as Bob Dylan when it comes to responding to questions about his personal history, J.M. Coetzee designs a fictional autobiography in Summertime in which an unnamed biographer lifts illustrative passages from Coetzee's diaries and interviews significant persons from the Nobel Laureate's past, now that Coetzee (in the novel, though not in real life) has passed away.

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk - Review of Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red
My Name is Red was originally published in Turkish in 1998. The first English translation came in 2001 and won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2003. The novel was burned publicly in Turkey when Orhan Pamuk was accused of

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer
Geoff Dyer has always blurred the edges between fiction and nonfiction, but his celebration of the sublime in both the mundane and the exotic is made palatable if not delicious by his facile hand. The best parts of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi are beautifully written and incisive.

Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen - Review of Rivka Galchen's Atmospheric Disturbances
In Atmospheric Disturbances, Rivka Galchen dishes up an amalgam of psychiatry, meteorology, and poetic prose in a story about a psychiatrist who finds his lovely young wife has disappeared and been replaced by an exact replicate at the same time that his patient, who believes that he is secretly employed to control the weather, has also gone missing.

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell - Review of Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Hilola Bigtree, matriarch of the Bigtree Clan and star of the alligator wrestling show at the family-operated Swamplandia! alligator park, has passed away.

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht - Review of The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Tea Obreht's outstanding debut novel, The Tiger's Wife, captivates with both awe and understanding. With a flawless synthesis of politics, folklore, and tradition, Obreht has created such a perfectly private book that readers will feel grateful for her exquisite prose.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley
Consider that you are very old and beginning to sink into the abyss of dementia, but you are still at a point that you know that something is happening to you. You have a choice. You can continue along your current path and slowly become more disoriented, perhaps over a few weeks or years. Or, you can take an experimental new drug that will guarantee that you have some weeks with a clear, penetrating mind and renewed physical vigor. Such is the dilemma of Ptolemy Grey.

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
Michael Cunningham's novel By Nightfall features a a middle-aged SoHo art dealer whose world is shaken by the arrival of his wife's younger brother, a recovering drug addict who wants to pursue a career in the arts.

Nemesis by Philip Roth - Review of Philip Roth's Nemesis
In Nemesis, Philip Roth's thirty-first novel, a Jewish community in Newark is crippled with paranoia surrounding the polio outbreak during the summer of 1944. Yet, twenty-three year old Bucky Cantor, the summer's playground director for the Weequahic neighborhood, is afflicted with a different sort of inaction: unable to enlist due to his bad eyes, he's stuck at home with a heart teeming with unrequited love for his country.

How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu - Review of Dinaw Mengestu's How to Read the Air
Dinaw Mengestu's How to Read the Air is a brilliantly written, literary elegy that holds the reader's close attention from the first paragraph until the end. Mengestu's facility with language is reflected on every page; his ability to astound with a turn of phrase, a metaphor is usual. Yet, in its elegiac exploration of how the bonds between Ethiopian exiles are dissolved by dislocation and turmoil, it is ultimately one of the most depressing stories of the year.

The Petting Zoo by Jim Carroll - Review of Jim Carroll's The Petting Zoo
As both editor Paul Slovak and rocker Patti Smith note in their forewords to Jim Carroll's posthumously published novel The Petting Zoo, Carroll died of a heart attack at his writing desk on September 11, 2009 while putting the finishing touches to this swan song, which he'd been working on since the 1990s. Smith says Carroll wrote The Petting Zoo

Trespass by Rose Tremain - Review of Rose Tremain's Trespass
Rose Tremain's Trespass is a cautionary tale of sorts. At once about boundaries both emotional and familial, Trespass tells the story of five aging characters as they struggle balancing independence with imposition.

Great House by Nicole Krauss - Review of Nicole Krauss' Great House
In Great House, Nicole Krauss has built a monument to the art of the novel. She reminds readers of the limitless restraints of a novelist, and in four connected stories manages to break down all notions of form and expectation to create a work that is so exceptional and ambitious that it is nothing short of a triumph.

Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman - Review of Ayelet's Waldman's Red Hook Road
Khaled Hosseini calls Red Hook Road

Aesop's Mirror: A Love Story by Maryalice Huggins - Review of Aesop's Mirror
In 'Aesop's Mirror,' antiques restorer Maryalice Huggins sets out to track down the origins of an unusual rococo antique mirror, a quest that takes her on a mystery that is all the more compelling because it is true.

The Thing About Life is That One Day You'll Be Dead by David Shields
David Shield's book is a strange animal: bits of memory - recollections of boyhood sports and reflections upon his father's late-life vigor - interspersed with statistical notations on the human body's journey from cradle to grave. It's disjointed, but somehow the pieces of this odd book coalesce in the end to affect the reader with an appreciation of life's impermanence.

Broken: A Love Story by Lisa Jones - Review of Broken by Lisa Jones
In Broken, Lisa Jones tells the incredible life story of a man named Stanford Addison, a quadriplegic Arapahoe who breaks - or rather gentles - wild horses. But Broken is as much about this author's journey through brokenness and healing as it is about Stanford Addison, the man who prompts it all.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
'A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again,' a collection of essays that David Foster Wallace wrote for various publications during the early 1990's. It's a mixed bag of compositions, two of which are absolute must-reads.

On Writing by Stephen King - Review of Stephen King's On Writing
Stephen King's On Writing is half memoir, half instruction to writers, and all love for the craft of writing. As good now in its 10th Anniversary edition as it was when King penned it in 2000, On Writing recounts King's childhood writing efforts and his initial successes, and within its pages, King lays open a toolbox full of advice for writers.

Point Omega by Don DeLillo - Review of Don DeLillo's Point Omega
Don DeLillo's Point Omega is about Richard Elster, a secret defense intellectual who has retreated to solace in the desert southwest. Elster is sought out by a young filmmaker and then by his daughter Jessie. The three proceed to train discussion on points philosophical.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen - Review of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom
In Freedom, the mom is an ex-athlete who still carries a torch for her husband's rock star best friend, the dad is a corporate progressive who fights Big Coal, the son actually moves out of the house and into the neighbor's, and the author, Jonathan Franzen, once again proves mastery at mining the suburban experience for both comedy and tragedy.

Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu by Laurence Bergreen - Book Review
As the most celebrated European to explore Asia, Marco Polo was the original global traveler and the earliest bridge between East and West. A universal icon of adventure and discovery, he has inspired six centuries of popular fascination and spurious mythology. Here is the first fully authoritative biography of one of the most enchanting figures in world history.

The Long March: The True History of Communist China's Founding Myth by Sun Shuyun - Book Review
The Long March is Communist Chinas founding myth, the heroic tale that every Chinese child learns in school. Seventy years after the historical march took place, Sun Shuyun set out to retrace the marchers steps and unexpectedly discovered the true history behind the legend.

Book Review of The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France by David Andress
Book Review of The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France by David Andress

Why Birds Sing by David Rothenberg
Why Birds Sing is a lyric exploration of bird song that blends the latest scientific research with a deep understanding of musical beauty and form. Whether playing the clarinet with the white-crested laughing thrush in Pittsburgh, or jamming in the Australian winter breeding grounds of the Albert's lyrebird, David Rothenberg journeys to the heart and soul of bird song.

Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin IV (33 1/3 series)
In this wickedly entertaining and thoroughly informed homage to one of rock music's towering pinnacles, Erik Davis investigates the magic black or otherwise that surrounds this album. Carefully peeling the layers from each song, Davis reveals their dark and often mystical roots and leaves the reader to decide whether Led Zeppelin IV is some form of occult induction or just an inspired, brilliantly played rock album.

Blonde Faith: An Easy Rawlins Novel by Walter Mosley - Book Review
Easy Rawlins, L.A.'s most reluctant detective, comes home one day to find Easter, the daughter of his friend Chrismas Black, left on his doorstep. Easy knows that this could only mean that the ex-marine Black is probably dead, or will be soon. Easter's appearance is only the beginning, as Easy is immersed in a sea of problems. The love of his life is marrying another man and his friend Mouse is wanted for the murder of a father of 12.

An Incomplete Revenge: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear - Book Review
Set in 1931 England, An Incomplete Revenge begins with a deceptively simple quest for psychologist and investigator Maisie to explore a rural town in Kent for a prospective land buyer, who is concerned about a series of thefts, fires, and vandalism in the area. Though the countryside is lovely and the village looks inviting, Maisie soon realizes that the secrets at stake are far more sinister than petty crime.

Robert Ludlum's The Arctic Event by James H. Cobb - Book Review
On an island in the Canadian Arctic, researchers discover the wreckage of a Soviet bomber that disappeared with its crew more than fifty years ago while carrying two tons of weaponized anthrax. Desperate to prevent a political firestorm, the U.S. dispatches a Covert-One team led by Lieutenant Colonel Jon Smith to the crash site. As for the Russians, they are lying: a second, even deadlier secret rests within the hulk of the lost bomber, a secret the Russians are willing to kill to protect.

The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
With tommy guns, hot cars, speakeasies, cops and robbers, and a former lawman who believes in vigilante justice, all played out against the flapper period of gun molls and Prohibition,

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke - Review of The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
As James Lee Burke's novel The Tin Roof Blowdown begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed, New Orleans reduced to the level of a lawless medieval society. In the midst of all this, Detective Dave Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city.

The Poetry Home Repair Manual by Ted Kooser
Recently appointed as the new U. S. Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser has been writing and publishing poetry for more than forty years. In the pages of The Poetry Home Repair Manual, Kooser brings those decades of experience to bear. Here are tools and insights, the instructions (and warnings against instructions) that poetsaspiring or practicingcan use to hone their craft, perhaps into art.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage


'American Nerd' by Benjamin Nugent - Book Review of 'American Nerd'
In 'American Nerd,' Benjamin Nugent delves into the subculture and history of the nerd, from 'Pride and Prejudice' through the debate and anime nerds of the present day. Nugent walks a fine line between sociological study and personal memoir as he recalls the Dungeons and Dragons sessions of his youth. 'American Nerd' is an engaging exploration into the archetype, for those who care to make the trip.

Emergence by Steven Johnson - Book Review
Emergence is the ability of low-level components to self-organize into a higher-level system of sophistication and intelligence. Known by many names - collective phenomenon, bottom-up behavior, self-organization, and decentralization - it is a fascinating phenomenon that Steven Johnson approaches from numerous angles in his 2001 book,

Microtrends by Mark J. Penn - Book Review
Mark Penn is known for his ability to detect relatively small patterns of behavior in our culture - microtrends that are wielding great influence on business, politics, and our personal lives. Only one percent of the public, or three million people, is enough to launch a business or social movement. In Microtrends, Penn identifies more than 70 microtrends in religion, leisure, politics, and family life that are changing the way we live.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
The Oakland Athletics have a secret: a winning baseball team is made, not bought.Billy Beane, general manager of the Athletics, is putting into practice on the field revolutionary principles garnered from statisticians. In

The Marino Mission: One Girl, One Mission, One Thousand Words
Learn SAT vocabulary words the easy way! Instead of trying to memorize word lists, students can pick up

A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs - Book Review
In 'A Wolf at the Table,' Augusten Burroughs returns to the story of his dysfunctional family, a subject that he mastered in his bestseller, 'Running with Scissors' (2003). If 'Running with Scissors' is Burroughs' family comedy of sorts, then 'A Wolf at the Table' is its tragedy. None of the zany humor present in his earlier book surfaces in this one, which is poignantly rendered and at times heart-breaking.

Cross-X: A Turbulent, Triumphant Season With an Inner-city Debate Squad by Joe Miller
In Cross-X, Joe Miller tells the compelling story of an inner city high school debate squad that in spite of overwhelming educational, economic, and racial odds, excels in a game dominated historically by privileged students with prep school backgrounds.

Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
In Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller delivers her memory of an African childhood fraught with hardship, loss, and danger. She became accustomed to armed guerrillas and landmine-littered roads; hunger, drought, and malaria were never far off; and her family was both guilty of and victim to the racism that consumed colonial Africa in the late 20th century.

Farm City : The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter - Review of Farm City
When Novella Carpenter moves to an Oakland ghetto,

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - Book Review
Each year at a series known as The Last Lecture, a Carnegie Mellon faculty member is asked to deliver what would hypothetically be a final speech to their students before dying. For Randy Pausch, it wasn't hypothetical. The 47-year-old father of three has been diagnosed with cancer and given just a few months to live. Randy Pausch's inspirational last lecture has been viewed over 10 million times and is now a best-selling book elaborating on the theme

Love Is A Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time by Rob Sheffield
In

Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season by Jonathan Eig, Book Review
April 15, 1947. It was an ordinary day for an ordinary baseball player. It was an extraordinary day for an extraordinary man. Jack Roosevelt Robinson went 0-4 that day, scoring the winning run, but he changed the face of baseball. Some said he changed the face of America...

The Perfectionist: Life and Death in Haute Cuisine by Rudolph Chelminski - Review of The Perfectionist by Rudolph Chelminski
Bernard Loiseau was one of only twenty-five French chefs to hold Europe's highest culinary award, three stars in the Michelin Red Guide, and only the second chef to be personally awarded the Legion of Honor by a head of state. Despite such triumphs, he shocked the culinary world by taking his own life in February 2003. In 'The Perfectionist,' Journalist Rudolph Chelminski gives us a rare tour of this hallowed culinary realm.

Radical Simplicity: Creating an Authentic Life by Dan Price
Radical Simplicity speaks directly to that craving we all have for the simple life. Radical Simplicity is filled with practical tips for living more simply. It includes instructions for making a sauna, a compost bin, and other aids to the natural life.

Strom: The Complicated Personal and Political Life of Strom Thurmond
The announcement of an African-American child sired by the late segregationist and Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond shook the American political and social establishment. A steady re-examination of race relations - especially Sen. Thurmond's attitudes - soon followed. Authors Jack Bass and Marilyn Thompson carefully articulate the historical, personal, and political elements that defined the life of Strom Thurmond.

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn
Nick Flynn met his father when he was twenty-seven years old, working as a caseworker in a homeless shelter in Boston. Nick, his own life unsettled, was living alternatively in a ramshackle boat and in a warehouse that was once a strip joint. Another Bullshit Night in Suck City tells the story of two lives, the story of Nick's boyhood in Scituate, Massachusetts, with his brother and young mother who struggled to keep the family together and that of his father who refused to play by the rules.

On Agate Hill by Lee Smith
On her thirteenth birthday, Molly, an orphaned daughter of a Confederate soldier, writes in her diary

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist-books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks


A Convergence of Birds: Original Fiction and Poetry Inspired by Joseph Cornell
Inspired by Cornell's avian-themed boxes, and suspecting that they would be similarly (and diversely) inspiring to others, Jonathan Safran Foer began to write letters. From Joyce Carol Oates to Robert Pinsky, Rick Moody to Lydia Davis, twenty writers have generously contributed original pieces of prose and poetry that are as eclectic as they are imaginative. Accompanied by tipped-on plates, this volume is a soaring tribute - not only to the work of Joseph Cornell, but to the spirit of creation.

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower - Review of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
In his outstanding debut story collection, 'Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,' Wells Tower captures a variety of experience that is as far-ranging as it is close to home. These stories of Viking marauders, teenage girls, and fractured families are violent and tender. They're stories told with the kind of honesty that makes us see our worst selves in the best possible light.

Animals of the Ocean, In Particular the Giant Squid by Dr. and Mr. Doris Haggis-On-Whey
Animals of the Ocean, In Particular the Giant Squid, advances many heretofore unexplored discoveries and opinions, including squid dating dos and don'ts, why squid are not at all able to watch television in black and white, the ways in which people who don't know any better might think fish are not animals, the long-term effects of salt water on musical theater, and also the adventure of Gnther.

In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders
In Persuasion Nation is the latest collection of stories from acclaimed writer, George Saunders.

The Best American Short Stories 2009 - Review of The Best American Short Stories 2009
If you don't read any other fiction this year, read this book of short stories. If you are recovering from heart failure and are not sure if your heart is still working properly, then read this book of short stories. If you can't remember the last time you cried alone in a room with nothing but a book and a ticking clock, then read this book of short stories, and remember what it is to be alive, to laugh out loud, to be a member of the human race, the animal who tells stories.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace - Review of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men
These short pieces incorporate the stylistic pyrotechnics for which David Foster Wallace is famous - a usage lexicon from 100 years in the future that sheds light on the deterioration of male-female sexual relations, a series of pop quizzes that degrades into a meta-fiction in which the author debates the utility of such a form, and the brief interviews of the title in which a variety of self-absorbed male figures speak candidly with a female interviewer.

Oblivion by David Foster Wallace Review - Book Review of David Foster Wallace's Oblivion
One of the most prodigiously talented and original writers at work today returns with his first new fiction in five years. In the stories that make up Oblivion, David Foster Wallace joins the rawest, most naked humanity with the infinite involutions of self-consciousness-a combination that is dazzlingly, uniquely his. These are worlds undreamt-of by any other mind.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon's simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. So begins Book 1 of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy.

Global Village Idiot by John O’Farrell
John OFarrell is a columnist with the Guardian as well as a writer for the TV show Spitting Image and a joke writer for Tony Blair (not the one that is a fake puppet on Spitting image, but the one that is the real puppet of George W. Bush). Global Village Idiot is a reprinting of many of his Guardian columns over the period of time beginning with George W. Bush on the campaign trail and ending on the desert trails leading to Baghdad.

Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner
In his new book, Brad Warner explores Buddhism and metaphysics through a philosophy he dubs

Lies (and the Lying Liars who Tell Them) by Al Franken
For the first time since his own classic Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations, Al Franken trains his subversive wit directly on the contemporary political scene. Now, the

Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer - Review of Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage
Geoff Dyer is, arguably, one of the whiniest people on the planet. He begins this memoir by describing the endless vacillation he experienced in setting out to write a sober, academic study of D.H. Lawrence - the writer who had inspired Dyer to write - and then proceeds to hedge about where he should live in order to write the study.

Working Fire by Zac Unger
Zac Unger didn't feel like much of a firefighter at first. His fellow recruits seemed to have planned for the job all their lives; he was an Ivy League grad responding to a help-wanted ad. He couldn't keep his boots shined, and he looked horrible in his uniform. Working Fire is the story of how Zac Unger came to feel at home among this close-knit tribe, came to master his work's demands, and came to know what it is to see the city of Oakland through a firefighter's eyes.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter 3) by J.K. Rowling
For Twelve long years, the dread fortress of Azkaban held an infamous prisoner named Sirius Black. Convicted of killing thirteen people with a single curse, he was said to be the heir apparent to the Dark Lord, Voldemort. Now he has escaped, leaving only two clues as to where he might be headed: Harry Potter's defeat of You-Know-Who was Black's downfall as well. Harry Potter isn't safe, not even within the walls of his magical school.

Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin
At 74, Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of more than sixty books and is most famous for the books in her Earthsea Cycle (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore), which have sold millions of copies and have been translated into sixteen languages. Gifts is her first YA novel in fourteen years and a rich and compelling novel not just for young adult readers, but for readers of all ages.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - Review of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Oskar Schell, the precocious nine year old narrator from Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, is an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his father, who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Fluke by Christopher Moore
Nathan Quinn's obsession with the meaning of humpback whale song has gotten him into trouble in the past, but never like this. A chance encounter with a whale with disturbingly peculiar markings on its flukes begins a bizarre adventure that can only culminate in a showdown with the origins of life itself.