Exploring Books Through Articles, Reviews, Announcements, & Lists 2024-1 Jan.-Mar.

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Exploring Books Through Articles, Reviews, Announcements, & Lists 2024-1 Jan.-Mar.

Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 7:36 pm

Michael Dirda. WaPo, 12/29/2023: What can we look forward to in 2024? Books, always books. Re-posting from the previous thread.

Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 8:11 pm

NYRB Jan. 18, 2024


Anahid Nersessian. Transmissions from Another World. Review of: Vexations / Annelyse Gelman -- Grand Tour / Elisa Gonzalez. ("The first collections of Annelyse Gelman and Elisa Gonzalez are haunted by grief and confront the question of whether lyric poetry still offers something no other medium can.")

Anjum Hasan. Even as a Ghost. Review of: Brotherless Night / V.V. Ganeshananthan -- The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida / Shehan Karunatilaka. ("In their new novels, V. V. Ganeshananthan and Shehan Karunatilaka use the “distance of time” to dramatize large chunks, if not the whole, of Sri Lanka’s recent past")


Francine Prose. Chile’s Count Dracula. Review of: El Conde, a film directed by Pablo Larraín (Netflix)

Julian Bell. Bodies That Flow. Review of: Rubens and Women, an exhibition at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, September 27, 2023–January 28, 2024; catalog of the exhibition by Ben van Beneden and Amy Orrock.

David Salle. Follow the Light. Review of: Alex Katz: Gathering, an exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, October 21, 2022–February 20, 2023; catalog of the exhibition edited by Katherine Brinson with Levi Prombaum.

Frances Wilson. Across the Moominverse. Review of: Tove Jansson: Life, Art, Words / Boel Westin, translated from the Swedish by Silvester Mazzarella. (to be published in the US in Mar.)

Philosophy, Science, & Technology

James Gleick. The Fate of Free Wil. Review of: Free Agents: How Evolution Gave Us Free Will / Kevin J. Mitchell.

Ben Tarnoff. Ultra Hardcore. Review of: Elon Musk / Walter Isaacson.

History, Politics & Society

Alvaro Enrigue. The Discovery of Europe. Review of: On Savage Shores: How Indigenous Americans Discovered Europe / Caroline Dodds Pennock.

Katie Trumpener. A Eulogy of Failed Remembrance. Review of: Air Raid / Alexander Kluge, translated from the German by Martin Chalmers, with an afterword by W.G. Sebald.

Fintan O'Toole. Eldest Statesmen. (Article: "As we enter an election year, can the Democrats prevent age from becoming a serious obstacle?")

Matthew Desmond. Tools to End the Poverty Pandemic. Review of: The Pandemic Paradox: How the Covid Crisis Made Americans More Financially Secure / Scott Fulford -- The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide / Steven W. Thrasher -- Poverty in the Pandemic: Policy Lessons from Covid-19 / Zachary Parolin.

Editado: Jan 2, 11:56 am

Stephanie Merry. WaPo, 01/02/2024: When should you give up on a book? Readers weigh in.

Jan 3, 2:13 pm

John Adamson. The Critic (UK), Dec-Jan. 2024: A magnificent update — for good and ill. Review of: Oxfordshire: Oxford and the South-East / Simon Bradley, Nikolaus Pevsner and Jennifer Sherwood.

Editado: Jan 3, 9:28 pm

TLS January 5, 2024|No. 6301


Muireann Maguire. Cherchez la femme: Penguin Classics launches a Crime and Espionage series. (Article)

A.S.G. Edwards. Man with the golden pen: The less than happy life behind the James Bond novels. Review of: IAN FLEMING: The complete man / Nicholas Shakespeare.

John Paul Stonard. All part of the routine: ‘Moments of vision’ in David Hockney’s drawings. Review of the exhibition DAVID HOCKNEY: Drawing from life, National Portrait Gallery, London, until January 21.

Charles Glass. Behind closed doors: A fresh look at Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Review of: THE TRIAL OF JULIAN ASSANGE: A story of persecution / Nils Melzer -- SECRET POWER: WikiLeaks and its enemies / Stefania Maurizi -- STATE OF SILENCE: The Espionage Act and the rise of America’s secrecy regime / Sam Lebovic.


Andrew Neilson. A wound that will not close: Anthony Hecht and the ‘dark tide’ of human history. Review of: LATE ROMANCE: Anthony Hecht – A poet’s life / David Yezzi -- Anthony Hecht: Collected Poems / Edited by Philip Hoy.

Declan Ryan. Resurrection of the author: Terrance Hayes traces his ‘poetic family tree.’ Review of: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE: Visual and literary reflections on a century of American poetry / Terrance Hayes -- SO TO SPEAK / Terrance Hayes.

Janet Todd. Death marches on: Visions of apocalypse in the work of Byron, Mary Shelley and others. Review of: THE LAST MAN / Mary Shelley; edited by Chris Washington -- Late Romanticism and the End of Politics: Byron, Mary Shelley, and the Last Men / John Havard.

Thomas Keymer. Model of the mind: How physical settings have nurtured our sense of self. Review of: MY DARK ROOM: Spaces of the inner self in eighteenth-century England / Julie Park.

Lorna Scott Fox. All the pretty horses: A riotous reimagining of the meeting between Hernán Cortés and Moctezuma II. Review of: YOU DREAMED OF EMPIRES / Álvaro Enrigue; translated by Natasha Wimmer.

Caroline Moorehead. Memory loss: The ‘literary vampirism’ of an exhumer of the past. Review of: YOU, BLEEDING CHILDHOOD / Michele Mari; translated by Brian Robert Moore -- VERDIGRIS / Michele Mari; translated by Brian Robert Moore.

Clare Petitt. The rest is reflex: A dying wife disintegrates before her husband. Review of: THE LIMIT / Rosalind Belben.

Joe Darlington. Unmapped countries: ‘Mid-century mania’ in the fiction of Anna Kavan, Ann Quin and Brigid Brophy. Review of: ANNA KAVAN: Mid-century experimental fiction / Victoria Walker -- THE PRECARIOUS WRITING OF ANN QUIN / Nonia Williams -- HACKENFELLER’S APE / Brigid Brophy.

In Brief Review of: THE FLAME-COLOURED DRESS AND OTHER STORIES / José Régio; translated by Margaret Jull Costa.

In Brief Review of: THE HABIT OF POETRY: The literary lives of nuns in mid-century America / Nick Ripatrazone.

In Brief Review of: THE FACTORY / Hiroko Oyamada.


Lucy Davies. Interior worlds: A Norwegian artist obsessed with the interplay of light and architecture. Review of the exhibition HARRIET BACKER: Every atom is colour, Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, until January 14; then in Stockholm, Paris and Bergen.

Science and Technology

Ian Tattersall. More than a mere brute: How like us were the Neanderthals? Review of: THE NAKED NEANDERTHAL: Understanding the human creature / Ludovic Slimak.

Michele Pridmore-Brown. Chattering with our fingertips: The science behind gestures and social bonding. Review of: TALKING HEADS: The new science of how conversation shapes our worlds / Shane O'Mara -- THINKING WITH YOUR HANDS: The surprising science behind how gestures shape our thoughts / Susan Goldin-Meadow.

In Brief Review of: Beautiful Experiments: an illustrated history of experimental science / Philip Ball.

History, Politics, & Society

June Purvis. She-soldiers: A sweeping history of women’s injustices and achievements. Review of: NORMAL WOMEN: 900 years of making history / Philippa Gregory.

Mary Fulbrook. Fishing village to world city: A distinctive guide to Berlin’s many reinventions. Review of: IN SEARCH OF BERLIN: The story of a reinvented city / John Kampfner.

Bryan Karetnyk. Barrack, zoo, living hell?: Weimar Berlin through Russian eyes. Review of: CHARLOTTENGRAD: Russian culture in Weimar Berlin / Roman Utkin.

Justin Webb. He was there: An ‘unbiddable’ BBC reporter in the right place at the right time. Review of: CHARLES WHEELER: Witness to the twentieth century / Shirin Wheeler.

Richard J. Evans. In need of good chaps: A historian assesses a year of Boris Johnson’s premiership. Review of: LAND OF SHAME AND GLORY: Britain 2021–22 / Peter Hennessy.

Ian Sansom. See to it!: Motivational thoughts for 2024. (Essay)

In Brief Review of: DIARIES OF WAR: Two visual accounts from Ukraine and Russia / Nora Krug.

In Brief Review of: KEYNES IN ACTION: Truth and expediency in public policy / Peter Clarke.

In Brief Review of: ROBERT MICHELS, SOCIALISM, AND MODERNITY / Andrew G. Bonnell.

Jan 3, 3:18 pm

"Utah is a place of paradoxes, full of terrible beauty and complicated history. The writer Terry Tempest Williams recommends books to help you explore the state’s many facets."

Terry Tempest Williams. NYT, 01/03/2024: Read Your Way Through Utah.

Jan 4, 10:25 am

Christopher Tayler. Harper's, 01/2024: Sex and Grue in Ancient Rome. Review of: Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World / Mary Beard.

Jan 4, 10:28 am

Jan 4, 10:30 am

"The “golden years” of publishing were characterised by booze, bullying and amateurishness."

The Secret Author. The Critic (UK), Dec-Jan 2024 issue: The bad old days.

Editado: Jan 4, 10:41 am

Leftovers overlooked from late 2023:

Neil Larsen. Jacobin, 12/29/2023: The Reactionary Jargon of Decoloniality. Review of: The Politics of Decolonial Investigations / Walter D. Mignolo.

Geoff Shullenberger. Compact, 12/29/2023: The Poverty of Anti-Wokeness. Review of: How Elites Ate the Social Justice Movement / Fredrik deBoer -- The Origins of Woke: Civil Rights Law, Corporate America, and the Triumph of Identity Politics / Richard Hanania -- The Identity Trap: A Story of Ideas and Power in Our Time / Yascha Mounk -- No Politics But Class Politics / Adolph Reed Jr. and Walter Benn Michaels -- America’s Cultural Revolution: How the Radical Left Conquered Everything / Christopher Rufo.

Editado: Jan 6, 11:58 am

Andrew van Dam. WaPo, 01/05/2024: How many books did you read in 2023? See how you stack up!

"Of 1,500 Americans surveyed, a less-than-ideal 46 percent finished zero books last year and 5 percent read just one. ... Reading five books put you in the top 33 percent, while reading 10 books put you in the top 21 percent. Those of us who read more than 50 books are the true one-percenters: people who read more books than 99 percent of their fellow Americans.

"About 42 percent of us read physical books in the past year, compared with 22 percent who read digital books or 19 percent who read audiobooks. Digital books are most popular among the heaviest readers, presumably because you run out of shelf space alarmingly fast when you’re plowing through fifty-plus tomes a year."

Emma Sarappo. The Atlantic, 01/05/2024: Against Counting the Books You Read.

Jan 5, 11:18 am

Review of the literature. "Scholars now argue that early nomadic empires were the architects of modernity. But do we have the right measure of their success?"

Manvir Singh. New Yorker, 12/25/2023: The Mongol Hordes: They’re Just Like Us. References include: The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World / Marie Favereau -- Empires of the Steppes: the nomadic tribes who shaped civilization / Kenneth W. Harl -- Nomads: The Wanderers Who Shaped Our World / Anthony Sattin -- The Mongol Storm: Making and Breaking Empires in the Medieval Near East / Nicholas Morton -- Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World / Jack Weatherford -- Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies / Jared Diamond -- Civilization: The West and the Rest / Niall Ferguson -- Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty / Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson -- Why the West Rules―for Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future / Ian Morris. No mention of Peter Frankopan's The Earth Transformed: an untold history & The Silk Roads: a new history of the world??

Jan 5, 11:26 am

Will Mountain Cox. LitHub, 01/05/2024: What Booksellers Can Teach Us About Reading, Writing and Publishing. Unclear to me whether this is an excerpt from his Roundabout.

Jan 6, 11:19 am

Joseph Lelyveld, 1937-2024

Robert D. McFadden. NYT, 01/05/2024, updated 01/06/2024: Joseph Lelyveld, Former Top Editor of The New York Times, Dies at 86.

My introduction to South Africa's apartheid culture was his book Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White; he also wrote: Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India, His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt, and a memoir, Omaha Blues: a memory loop.

Editado: Jan 8, 11:18 am

Michael Barron. WaPo, 01/04/2024: Stalin hated this Soviet masterpiece. You can finally learn why. Review of: Chevengur / Andrey Plantonov; translated by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler.

Anastasia Edel. Atlantic, 01/08/2024: A Vision of Russia as a Country That Runs on Violence. Review of Chevengur / Andrey Plantonov; translated by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler.

Jan 6, 11:30 am

Jan 6, 11:43 am

Recent book reviews from LARB:

Craig Calhoun. 01/06/2024: History as Dissent. Review of: Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and Their Battle for the Future / Ian Johnson -- Red Memory: The Afterlives of China’s Cultural Revolution / Tania Branigan.

Cory Stockwell. 01/04/2024: Houellebecq’s Holy Folly. Review of: Quelques mois dans ma vie: Octobre 2022–Mars 2023 / Michel Houellebecq.

Jan 6, 10:33 pm

Hisham Matar. Guardian, 01/06/2024: ‘We are living in the century of fear’: Hisham Matar on why we need books. "Given that books are made up of words, it is a paradox that one of their abiding concerns is the unsaid and the unsayable. Literature has a passion for silence. It trusts in the vaguest, most subtly made connection. The best stories do this; they bring together seemingly isolated elements and expose the natural affinities between them. This is why one way to define a library is as a collection of surprising bonds, of coincidental attachments, an amalgamation of seemingly disparate points."

Editado: Jan 10, 1:39 pm

Joan Acocella, 1945-2024

Richard Sandomir. NYT, 01/07/2024: Joan Acocella, Dance Critic for The New Yorker, Dies at 78. (She also wrote extensively for NYRB)

"Ms. Acocella (pronounced ack-ah-CHELL-uh) wrote deftly and deeply about dancers and choreographers, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Suzanne Farrell and George Balanchine. She scrutinized the vicissitudes of the New York City Ballet as well as the feats of the ballroom-dancing pros and celebrity oafs of the popular TV series, “Dancing With the Stars.”

Her books included: Mark Morris -- Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints: Essays -- Willa Cather and the Politics of Criticism

Describing a dancer: "Dancing Twyla Tharp’s “Pergolesi” at the Latvian National Opera, Mr. Baryshnikov “gave them double barrel turns, he gave them the triple pirouettes in attitude (and then he switched to the other leg and did two more),” Ms. Acocella wrote in The New Yorker in 1998. “He rose like a piston; he landed like a lark. He took off like Jerry Lee Lewis; he finished like Jane Austen. From ledge to ledge of the dance he leapt, sure-footed, unmindful, a man in love.”

Harrison Smith. WaPo, 01/08/2024: Joan Acocella, erudite cultural critic for the New Yorker, dies at 78.

As a long time staff writer for The New Yorker, she warrants a brief tribute essay,

Alexandra Schwartz. 01/09/2024: Thank Goodness for Joan Acocella

as well as a number of selections from her contributions, including

Joan Acocella. 01/11/1998: The Soloist: At fifty, Mikhail Baryshnikov reflects on how ballet saved him.

Joan Acocella. 08/09/2010: Queen of Crime: How Agatha Christie created the modern murder mystery.

Jan 8, 11:08 am

Arno J. Mayer, 1926-2023

Clay Risen. NYT, 01/06/2024: Arno J. Mayer, Unorthodox Historian of Europe’s Crises, Dies at 97. Best known for his book Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?: the Final Solution in history.

Also posted in the Oct-Dec 2023 thread.

Editado: Jan 8, 11:38 am

Becca Rothfeld. WaPo, 01/04/2024: ‘Equality’ says the path has always been fraught. Review of: Equality: the history of an elusive idea / Darrin M. McMahon.

Becca Rothfeld interviews Samuel Moyn. Boston Review, 01/08/2024: What Happened to Liberalism? On Liberalism Against Itself: Cold War Intellectuals and the Making of Our Times / Samuel Moyn.

Jan 8, 11:15 am

Conor Truax. LARB, 01/08/2024: Decadent Masculinity. Review of: The Fire Within / Pierre Drieu La Rochelle

Jan 8, 11:24 am

"From opposite directions, the revolutionary intellectual and the creator of James Bond saw violence as essential—psychologically and strategically—to solving the crisis of colonialism."

Daniel Immerwahr. New Yorker, What Frantz Fanon and Ian Fleming Agreed On. Discussing: The Rebel's Clinic: the revolutionary lives of Frantz Fanon / Adam Shatz and Ian Fleming: the complete man / Nicholas Shakespeare.

Jan 8, 11:40 am

Matt Hanson. Quillette, 01/07/2024: A Dense Thicket of Contending Visions. Review of: The Auburn Conference / Tom Piazza.

Editado: Jan 10, 1:30 pm

TLS January 12, 2024|No. 6302


Charles Foster. Mind expanding: The uses of psychedelic drugs. Review of: TEN TRIPS: The new reality of psychedelics / Andy Mitchell -- PSYCHEDELICS: The revolutionary drugs that could change your life – a guide from the expert / David Nutt -- I FEEL LOVE: MDMA and the quest for connection in a fractured world / Rachel Nuwer -- PSYCHONAUTS: Drugs and the making of the modern mind / Mike Jay.

Alan Jenkins. Illusions of mastery: Why sailors go solo. Review of: SAILING ALONE: A history / Richard J. King.

Adhaf Soueif. ‘Yellow and wither’: Life under Israeli occupation in the West Bank – and the bombardment of Gaza. Review of: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ABED SALAMA / Nathan Thrall.

Nick Moschovakis. Stolen elegy: Why did Thomas Kyd use someone else’s poem, and where did he find it? (Article)


Linda Grant. The great Oz: An Israeli writer who fought fanaticism. Review of: AMOS OZ: Writer, activist, icon / Robert Alter.

Susie Thomas. Nowhere to run: How the Egyptian novelist Waguih Ghali was rejected by his homeland. (Article)

Boris Dralyuk. A tale of tennis and obsession: Poland’s great modernist subverts the gothic novel. Review of: THE POSSESSED / Witold Gombrowicz; translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

Will Stone. Trapped in the hall of mirrors: A detective novel, horror fiction and anglophile parody. Review of: THE CITY OF UNSPEAKABLE FEAR / Jean Ray; translated by Scott Nicolay.

Benjam Markovits. We are not meant to understand: A group of artists and writers gather in a Manhattan penthouse. Review of: OPEN HOUSE / Robert Coover.

Nick Holdstock. Write for whom you love: Keys to a private world. Review of: INLAND / Gerald Murnane.

Boyd Tonkin. The inheritors: The ‘complicated intimacy’ between three Libyan émigrés in Britain. Review of: MY FRIENDS / Hisham Matar.

In Brief Review of: I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW / Abigail Parry.

In Brief Review of: DANTE’S NEW LIVES: Biography and autobiography / Elisa Brilli and Giuliano Milani.


Mark Bostridge. The King’s Painter: An exhibition of Holbein’s works taken from the Royal Collection. Review of: HOLBEIN AT THE TUDOR COURT / Kate Heard, and the exhibition of the same name, Queen’s Gallery, London, until April 14.

Rod Mengham. Shapes shifting: The thrill of creation, the price of freedom, the need to speak out. Review of the exhibition ANNA MENDELSSOHN, Speak, poetess, Whitechapel Gallery, London, until January 21.

Richard Vinen. Crying all the way to the food bank: A French pop star with a social conscience. Review of: GOLDMAN / Ivan Jablonka.

In Brief Review of: THE CINEMA OF BARBARA STANWYCK: Twenty-six short essays on a working star / Catherine Russell.

In Brief Review of: ASTERIX AND THE WHITE IRIS / Fabcaro; illustrated by Didier Conrad; translated by Adriana Hunter.


Lorrain Daston. Chess masters: The ethical vision that unites three famous figures from different disciplines. Review of: THE RIGOR OF ANGELS: Borges, Heisenberg, Kant, and the ultimate nature of reality / William Egginton.

Angus Nicholls. The History Men: Two German pioneers of interdisciplinary studies, burdened by the legacy of world war. Review of: BRIEFWECHSEL, 1965-1994 / Hans Blumenberg and Reinhart Koselleck; edited by Jan Eike Dunkhase and Rüdiger Zill -- DIE ONTOLOGISCHE DISTANZ: Eine Untersuchung zur Krisis der philosophischen Grundlagen der Neuzeit / Hans Blumenberg; edited by Nicola Zambon -- DER RISS IN DER ZEIT: Kosellecks ungeschriebene Historik /Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann.

Science, Technology, & Medical

Emily Shuckburgh. Global malaise: Zoonotic diseases and climate change combine to deadly effect. Review of: FEVERED PLANET: How diseases emerge when we harm nature / John Vidal.

Daniel M. Davis. Trigger warning: Two billion people suffer from an allergy. Review of: ALLERGIC: How our immune system reacts to a changing world / Theresa MacPhail.

Sarah Boon. Adding spice to life: The beneficial and toxic use of plant poisons. Review of: MOST DELICIOUS POISON: From spices to vices – the story of nature’s toxins / Noah Whiteman.

In Brief Review of: TEN TANTALISING TRUTHS: Why the sky is blue, and other big answers to simple questions / John Gribbin.

History, Politics, & Society

Pratinav Anil. Spiritual snake oil: A century of pseudo-enlightenment. Review of: THE NIRVANA EXPRESS: How the search for enlightenment went west / Mick Brown.

Ethan Pollock. Too loyal by half?: The Medvedev twins and the limits of Soviet dissidence. Review of: ROY AND ZHORES MEDVEDEV: Loyal dissent in the Soviet Union / Barbara Martin.

Michael Beloff. Gold standards: Two contrasting experiences of sporting greatness. Review of: THE RACE TO BE MYSELF / Caster Semenya -- MY STORY / Mary Peters.

In Brief Review of: UNRULY: A history of England’s kings and queens / David Mitchell.

In Brief Review of: UKRAINE: The forging of a nation / Yaroslav Hrytsak; translated by Dominique Hoffman.

Jan 10, 1:44 pm

Ann Helen Petersen. Culture Study (substack), 01/07/2024: A Theory of the Modern Exclamation Point!: Doing the Work of Tone.

Jan 11, 11:45 am

Recent reviews from LARB:

Elizabeth Gonzalez James. 01/09/2024: A Story of What-Ifs. Review of: You Dreamed of Empires / Álvaro Enrigue.

Dinyar Patel. 01/10/2024: Missed Opportunities and Underdevelopment. Review of: India Is Broken: A People Betrayed, Independence to Today / Ashoka Mody.

Jan 11, 11:47 am

"For Álvaro Enrigue, a novelist fascinated with historical detail, the first meeting of the Aztecs and Spanish conquistadors is the obsession of a lifetime. He brings it to life in You Dreamed of Empires.”

Benjamin P. Russell. NYT, 01/11/20224: A Clash of Civilizations Brought to Life.

Jan 11, 11:51 am

"The autofictionist has made the drama of finding and losing the self central to her work. Raising two children during the pandemic prompted a change in focus."

Katy Waldman. New Yorker, 01/11/2024: Kate Zambreno Collects Herself. Profile of the author of The Light Room.

Jan 12, 11:17 pm

Justine McDaniel & Hannah Natanson. WaPo, 01/11/2024: Florida law led school district to pull 1,600 books — including dictionaries.

Jan 13, 1:32 pm

Jan 13, 1:39 pm

Editado: Jan 13, 4:38 pm

Edward Jay Epstein, 1935-2024

Emily Langer. WaPo, 01/12/2024: Edward Jay Epstein, investigative journalist and skeptic, dies at 88. Author of: Inquest: The Warren Commission and the Establishment of Truth -- Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald -- News From Nowhere: Television and the News -- Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA -- The Rise and Fall of Diamonds -- Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer -- The Big Picture: Money and Power in Hollywood -- Between Fact and Fiction: The Problem of Journalism -- How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft -- The Annals of Unsolved Crime -- Assume Nothing: Encounters with Assassins, Spies, Presidents, and Would-Be Masters of the Universe.

Born Edward J. Levinson, he took on the surname of his adoptive father. "Mr. Epstein was raised in privilege and enrolled at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where one of his professors was Vladimir Nabokov, the author of the novel “Lolita.” Mr. Epstein wrote that Nabokov paid him $10 a week to view newly released movies and advise him and his wife on which ones were worth their time ...

"He continued his graduate studies at Harvard, where he received a PhD in government in 1973, and where he was mentored by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then a professor and later a Democratic senator from New York.

"Nicholas Lemann, a former dean of Columbia Journalism School, cited Mr. Epstein’s writings on Watergate as an example of his tendency to “pick apart prevailing liberal narratives about things and dig deep into the evidence and produce a counternarrative.”"

Sam Roberts. 01/11/2024: Edward Jay Epstein, Author and Stubborn Skeptic, Dies at 88.

Jan 13, 1:48 pm

LARB round-up:

Jan Baetans. 01/13/2024: Marjorie Perloff and the Joy of Poetry. Review of: Infrathin: An Experiment in Micropoetics by Marjorie Perloff: Circling the Canon, Volume I: The Selected Book Reviews of Marjorie Perloff, 1969–1994 and Circling the Canon, Volume II: The Selected Book Reviews of Marjorie Perloff, 1995–2017 / Marjorie Perloff.

Mike Rodelli. 01/10/2024: Roadside Attractions. Review of: Following Caesar: From Rome to Constantinople, the Pathways That Planted the Seeds of Empire / John Keahey.

Michael Dango. 01/12/2024: Revisiting Madonna-ology in the Era of Taylor Swift Studies.

Editado: Jan 13, 4:08 pm

Two crime & mystery roundups:

Jeremy Black. The Critic (UK), 01/06/2024: Murders for the New Year. Reviewed: Lost and Never Found / Simon Mason -- Murder on Lake Garda / Tom Hindle -- The Teacher / Tim Sullivan -- Big Ben Strikes Eleven / David Magarshack (the Dostoyevsky translator; a British Library reprint) -- Someone From The Past: A London Mystery / Margot Bennett (another reprint, originally 1958) -- A Frightfully Fatal Affair / Hannah Hendy ("The plot is pleasantly contrived, with credibility so absent it is not really an issue.") -- The Crew / J.M. Hewitt -- The Glass Woman / Alice McIlroy -- Crocodile on the Sandbank / Elizabeth Peters (reprint, orig. 1999) --

Sarah Weinman. NYT, 01/12/2024: Four Fiendish Tales of Murder. Reviewed: EVERYONE ON THIS TRAIN IS A SUSPECT / Benjamin Stevenson -- NORTHWOODS / Amy Pease -- THE EXPECTANT DETECTIVES / Kat Ailes -- THE NUBIAN’S CURSE / Barbara Hambly.

Editado: Jan 18, 11:25 am

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Editado: Jan 17, 1:38 pm

TLS January 19, 2024|No. 6303


Gordon Fraser. What should we read?: The American canon today. Review of: WRITING BACKWARDS: Historical fiction and the reshaping of the American canon / Alexander Manshel -- CULTURAL CAPITAL: The problem of literary canon formation / John Guillory.

Peter Geoghegen. Zero hour: The Conservatives and Labour divide over environmental targets. Review of: MISSION ZERO: The independent net zero review / Chris Skidmore -- CLIMATE CAPITALISM: Winning the global race to zero emissions / Akshat Rathi -- THE PRICE IS WRONG: Why capitalism won’t save the planet / Brett Christophers.

George Berridge. The price of freedom: Yorgos Lanthimos’s big-screen adaptation of an Alasdair Gray novel. Review of the film Poor Things.

Regina Rini. What makes a plagiarist: Stealing, muddying, cheating.


Rory Waterman. A crisis in the humanities: Why academic literary studies are in freefall. Review of: PROFESSING CRITICISM: Essays on the organization of literary study / John Guillory.

Shadi Bartsch. Poetic licence: A woman’s place in Greek literature. Review of: HOW WOMEN BECAME POETS: A gender history of Greek literature / Emily Hauser.

Sarah Davison. A terrible beauty: Radical Irish politics and Joyce’s radical art. Review of: JAMES JOYCE AND THE IRISH REVOLUTION: The Easter Rising as modern event / Luke Gibbons.

Emer Nolan. All this mine alone: Lady Gregory emerges from the shadow of her contemporaries. Review of: LADY GREGORY’S EARLY IRISH WRITINGS 1883–1893 / James Pethica, editor -- LADY GREGORY’S SHORTER WRITINGS: Volume One: 1882–1900 / James Pethica, editor.

Victoria Nelson. Bread, circuses and drama: A tangled web of fiction and reality in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Review of: THE WIZARD OF THE KREMLIN / Guiliano da Empoli; translated by Willard Wood.

Vesna Goldsworthy. Falling short: From the corrupt hospitals of Soviet Ukraine to the queer scene in Berlin. Review of: GLORIOUS PEOPLE / Sasha Salzmann; translated by Imogen Taylor.

George Cochrane. News of a kidnapping: Violent masculinity observed in an exhilarating thriller. Review of: WILD HOUSES / Colin Barrett.

Alev Adil. Systems failure: A Kurdish family relocated to England face precarity and panic. Review of: HYPER / Agri Ismaïl.

Harry Cochrane. The act of adoring: Laurie Lee’s poetic obsessions. Review of: Laurie Lee: COLLECTED POEMS.

Rory Waterman. Harps and timbrels: A lyric memorial for the British West Indies Regiment. Review of: SCHOOL OF INSTRUCTIONS / Ishion Hutchinson.

Miranda France. It’s grim up north London: Nina Stibbe’s latest literary dispatch from lodgings in the capital. Review of: WENT TO LONDON, TOOK THE DOG: A diary / Nina Stibbe.

In Brief Review of: TONE / Sofia Samatar and Kate Zambreno.

In Brief Review of: CHAUCER’S EARLY MODERN READERS: Reception in print and manuscript / Devani Singh.

In Brief Review of: WORD MONKEY / Christopher Fowler.


Llewelyn Morgan. A sour note: The Roman aristocracy thought Greek music effete. Review of: MUSIC, POLITICS AND SOCIETY IN ANCIENT ROME / Harry Morgan.

Paul Griffiths. Music cannot forget: How four composers responded to the Holocaust. Review of: TIME’S ECHO: The Second World War, the Holocaust, and the music of remembrance / Jeremy Eichler.

Anna Picard. Carnage and sacrifice: Antonio Pappano’s final production at the Royal Opera House. Review of Richard Strauss's opera Elektra, Royal Opera House, until January 30.

In Brief Review of: WHO WROTE CITIZEN KANE?: Statistical analysis of disputed co-authorship / Warren Buckland.

In Brief Review of: DAVID BOWIE RAINBOWMAN: 1967–1980 / Jérôme Soligny.

In Brief Review of: MODERN BUILDINGS IN LONDON / Ian Nairn; introduced by Travis Elborough.

Science & Technology

Jonathan Dore. Of ice and men: Thinking big about commodity history and the environment. Review of: A COLD SPELL: A human history of ice / Max Leonard.

Johnjoe McFadden. Gene-eyed: The ‘secret of life’ isn’t reducible to DNA. Review of: HOW LIFE WORKS: A user’s guide to the new biology / Philip Ball.

History & Culture

Henrik Berggren. Doing their thing: What makes Scandinavia tick. Review of: THE STORY OF SCANDINAVIA: From the Vikings to social democracy / Stein Ringen.

Judith Jesch. Fake news: How Greenland was imagined by writers from afar. Review of: THE VANISHED SETTLERS OF GREENLAND: In search of a legend and its legacy / Robert W. Rix.

Ryan Gingeras. Empire and after: The ancient origins of Middle East conflict. Review of: THE LOOM OF TIME: Between empire and anarchy, from the Mediterranean to China / Robert D. Kaplan.

David Armitage. The world in a potato pie: Ireland’s imperial pasts. Review of: MAKING EMPIRE: Ireland, imperialism, and the early modern world / Jane Ohlmeyer.

Simon Goldhill. In the buff: Jewish participation in Hellenistic culture. Review of: A JEW IN THE ROMAN BATHHOUSE: Cultural interaction in the ancient Mediterranean / Yaron Z. Eliav.

In Brief Review of: THESE THOUGHTS OF MINE: Diaries of an Italian Jewish partisan: January 1940–February 1944 / Emanuele Artom; edited by Guri Schwarz; translated by Anthony Shugaar.

Jan 17, 2:07 pm

Rivka Galchen. New Yorker, 01/15/2024: Trials of the Witchy Women. Review of: Witchcraft: A History in Thirteen Trials / Marion Gibson.

Jan 18, 11:05 am

NYRB Online Feb 08 2024


Brenda Wineapple. ‘The Voice of Unfiltered Spirit.’ Review of: God’s Scrivener: The Madness and Meaning of Jones Very / Clark Davis.

Vivian Gornick. Isn't It Interesting? Review of: Ladies’ Lunch: And Other Stories / Lore Segal.

Joan Silber. Playing It Safe. Review of the novel: Absolution / Alice McDermott.

Colin Thubron. Hard Solaces. Review of: Father and Son / Jonathan Raban.

Geoffrey O'Brien. A Craving for Crime. Review of: Perplexing Plots: Popular Storytelling and the Poetics of Murder / David Bordwell -- The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators / Martin Edwards -- The Mysterious Romance of Murder: Crime, Detection, and the Spirit of Noir / David Lehman.


Philip Clark. The Bernstein Enigma. Review of the biopic Maestro, a film directed by Bradley Cooper.

Ben Lerner. The Pain Artist. Review of Ed Atkins with Steven Zultanski, an exhibition at the Gladstone Gallery, New York City, November 17, 2023–January 6, 2024.

Christine Smallwood. Time Unregained. Review of the film La Captive, Chantal Akerman’s adaptation of Marcel Proust’s La Prisonnière.

Science & Culture

Laura Kolbe. Month to Month. Review of: Cash Flow: The Businesses of Menstruation / Camilla Mørk Røstvik -- Period: The Real Story of Menstruation / Kate Clancy -- Womb: The Inside Story of Where We All Began / Leah Hazard.

History, Politics, & Culture

Peter Brown. Charged Wonders. Review of Africa and Byzantium, an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, November 19, 2023–March 3, 2024; and the Cleveland Museum of Art, April 14–July 21, 2024; catalog of the exhibition edited by Andrea Myers Achi.

Ian Frazier. The Plunder and the Pity. Review of: Common Phantoms: An American History of Psychic Science / Alicia Puglionesi -- In Whose Ruins: Power, Possession, and the Landscapes of American Empire / Alicia Puglionesi. "Alicia Puglionesi explores the damage white supremacy did to Native Americans and their land."

Christopher R. Browning. Fragile, Resilient Weimar. Review of: Germany 1923: Hyperinflation, Hitler’s Putsch, and Democracy in Crisis / Volker Ullrich, translated from the German by Jefferson Chase -- 1923: The Crisis of German Democracy in the Year of Hitler’s Putsch / Mark William Jones -- In Hitler’s Munich: Jews, the Revolution, and the Rise of Nazism / Michael Brenner, translated from the German by Jeremiah Riemer.

Tamsin Shaw. Ethical Espionage. Review of: Spies: The Epic Intelligence War Between East and West / Calder Walton -- Spying Through a Glass Darkly: The Ethics of Espionage and Counter-Intelligence / Cécile Fabre.

David Cole. Who’s Canceling Whom? Review of: The Canceling of the American Mind: Cancel Culture Undermines Trust and Threatens Us All—But There Is a Solution / Greg Lukianoff and Rikki Schlott.

Jan 18, 11:19 am

"Mira Rosenthal and Tomasz Różycki Reflect on Two Decades of Literary Collaboration." With reference to To the Letter by Tomasz Różycki and translated by Mira Rosenthal.

LitHub, 01/17/2024: The Music of Other Tongues: On Translating Rhyme and Rhythm in Poetry.

Jan 18, 11:23 am

Nick Romeo. New Yorker, 01/17/2024: An Economics Lesson from Tolstoy.

Jan 19, 11:02 am

Megan Ulu-Lani Boyanton. Smithsonian, 01/17/2024: A Brief History of the United States’ Accents and Dialects.

Jan 21, 11:59 am

Lev Rubinstein, 1947-2024

Valerie Hopkins. NYT, 01/20/2024: Lev Rubinstein, Russian Poet and a Critic of Putin, Is Dead at 76.

Masha Gessen. New Yorker, 01/19/2024: Lev Rubinstein, a Devoted and Defiant Lover of Language.

Jan 21, 12:11 pm

Recently on LARB:

Isabella Trimboli. 01/21/2024: The Path of Cheerful Despair. Review of: My Cinema: Writings and Interviews / Marguerite Duras.

Jason Christian. 01/21/2024: The Failed Saint: On George Orwell’s India.

T.M. Brown. 01/19/2024: Drowning in Mediocre Data. Review of: Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture / Kyle Chayka.

Ellie Eberlee. 01/19/2024: Sadness and Strange Beauty. Review of: The Last Fire Season: A Personal and Pyronatural History / Manjula Marti.

Jan 22, 8:10 pm

Recent book reviews from The New Yorker:

Jill Lepore. 01/22/2024: The Architect of Our Divided Supreme Court. Review of: The Taft Court: Making Law for a Divided Nation, 1921-1930 / Robert Post.

Margaret Talbot. 01/22/2024: When America First Dropped Acid. Review of: Tripping on Utopia: Margaret Mead, the Cold War, and the Troubled Birth of Psychedelic Science / Benjamin Breen.

Parul Seghal. 01/22/2024: The Twins Obsession. Review of: How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins / Helena de Bres.

Jan 22, 8:12 pm

Jan 23, 2:08 pm

Arno Penzias, 1933-2024

Katie Hafner. NYT, 01/22/2024: Arno A. Penzias, 90, Dies; Nobel Physicist Confirmed Big Bang Theory. Author of: Ideas and Information.

"Dr. Penzias (pronounced PEN-zee-as) shared one-half of the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics with Robert Woodrow Wilson for their discovery in 1964 of cosmic microwave background radiation, remnants of an explosion that gave birth to the universe some 14 billion years ago. That explosion, known as the Big Bang, is now the widely accepted explanation for the origin and evolution of the universe."

Editado: Jan 24, 11:56 am

TLS, January 26, 2024|No. 6304


Ferdinand Mount. Uncommon wealth: Citizenship, globalism and the super-rich. Review of: AS GODS AMONG MEN: A history of the rich in the West / Guido Alfani -- THE INEQUALITY OF WEALTH: Why it matters and how to fix it / Liam Byrne -- LIMITARIANISM: The case against extreme wealth / Ingrid Robeyns -- THE OLIGARCHS’ GRIP: Fusing wealth and power / David Lingelbach and Valentina Rodríguez Guerra -- THE GOLDEN PASSPORT: Global mobility for millionaires / Kristin Surak.

Eric Naiman. Tech babble: AI meets Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. (Essay)

Pragya Agarwal. Playing with trolls: The coffee-loving, man-eating creations of Egill Sæbjörnsson. Review of the exhibition EGILL SÆBJÖRNSSON: Infinite friends of the universe, Listasafn Íslands (National Gallery of Iceland), Reykjavik, until February 25.

Henry Hitchings. Buyers’ remorse: The case for slow shopping. Review of: STUFF: Humanity’s epic journey from naked ape to nonstop shopper / Chip Colwell.


Guy Stevenson. The tricks played by English: Thomas Pynchon as a harbinger of American world literature. Review of: PLANETARY PYNCHON: History, modernity, and the Anthropocene / Tore Rye Andersen.

Stephen Romer. Killing the author: How Valéry’s literary criticism anticipated Derrida and Barthes. Review of: COURS DE POÉTIQUE / Paul Valéry; Two volumes, edited by William Marx.

Natasha Lerner. Beyond victimhood: An account of childhood abuse that became a Goncourt contender. Review of: TRISTE TIGRE / Neige Sinno.

Craig Raine. To his coy mistress: The violence of literary passion. (Essay)

Norma Clarke. Spoils of war: How Tipu Sultan of Mysore became a British folk hero. Review of: LOOT / Tania James.

Lily Herd. Words and lives: A Euripidean drama is staged in the aftermath of the doomed Sicilian Expedition. Review of: GLORIOUS EXPLOITS / Ferdia Lennon.

James Cahill. Three days in April: Family breakdown in a universal novel of the pandemic. Review of: DAY / Michael Cunningham.

Beejay Silcox. The one about the parrot: Crisis of purpose in a Manhattan flat during lockdown. Review of: THE VULNERABLES / Sigrid Nunez.

Claire Harman. Once and future: Continuing the revival of Sylvia Townsend Warner. Review of: WINTER IN THE AIR: And other stories / Sylvia Townsend Warner -- T. H. WHITE: A biography / Sylvia Townsend Warner.

Jean Louis-Quaintin. Saved from the rubbish heap of history: The discovery of a new Traherne manuscript. (Article)

In Brief Review of: COUNT LUNA / Alexander Lernet-Holenia; translated by Jane B. Greene.

In Brief Review of: EVERY WRONG DIRECTION: An émigré’s memoir / Dan Burt.

In Brief Review of: DREAMER OF DUNE: The biography of Frank Herbert / Brian Herbert.

In Brief Review of: THE PENSIVE CITADEL / Victor Brombert.

In Brief Review of: PINK SLIME / Fernanda Trias; translated by Heather Cleary.


Sophie Oliver. Black majesty: The mischievous power of the artist’s monochrome sculptures. Review of: LOUISE NEVELSON'S SCULPTURE: Drag, color, join, face / Julia Bryan-Wilson.

Lamorna Ash. Class struggle: A musical version of an era-defining teen movie. Review of the 2023/24 film Mean Girls.

Larry Wolff. Bohemian rhapsody: Prague’s on-off love affair with Mozart. Review of: MOZART'S OPERAS AND NATIONAL POLITICS: Canon formation in Prague from 1791 to the present / Martin Nedbal.

Sarah Hill. No pale imitation: A moving history of Cambodian pop. Review of: AWAY FROM BELOVED LOVER: A musical journey through Cambodia / Dee Peyok.

History, Politics, & Culture

Francine Hirsch. To tell or not to tell: Western observers ignored the crimes of the Soviet system. Review of: BLISSFUL BLINDNESS: Soviet crimes under western eyes / Dariusz Tolczyk; translated by Jarek Garliński.

Catriona Kelly. Swinging after Stalin: Youth culture in the ‘Thaw.’ Review of: THE SOVIET SIXTIES / Robert Hornsby.

Tristram Hunt. Legacy issues: Shaping the conversation about Britain’s colonial past. Review of: EMPIREWORLD: How British imperialism has shaped the globe / Sathnam Sanghera.

Eric Foner. Dividing lines: The violent boundary between slavery and freedom in the US. Review of: MASON-DIXON: Crucible of the nation / Edward G. Gray.

Desirée Baptiste. Fire starters: An enslaved people’s path to revolution. Review of: A SECRET AMONG THE BLACKS: Slave resistance before the Haitian Revolution / John Garrigus.

A.N. Wilson. The royal we: A portrait of the new King. Review of: CHARLES III: New king, new court – the inside story / Robert Hardman.

In Brief Review of: JULIAN: Rome’s last pagan emperor / Philip Freeman.

In Brief Review of: THE LION WHO NEVER ROARED: Jack Leslie: the star robbed of England glory / Matt Tiller (soccer bio).

Jan 24, 12:26 pm

Crispin Sartwell. LARB, 01/20/2024: What Happened to David Graeber? (i.e. late co-author of The Dawn of Everything)

Jan 25, 12:48 pm

LARB roundup:

Deborah R. Coen. 01/25/2024: What’s Next for Histories of Climate Change.

Josh Billings. 01/25/2024: The Real Unrealists. Review of: Chevengur by Andrey Platonov.

Adam Sobsey. 01/24/2024: W. G. Sebald’s Deepfakes. Review of: Shadows of Reality: A Catalogue of W. G. Sebald’s Photographic Materials by W. G. Sebald / Clive Scott & Nick Warr, editors.

Jan 25, 9:40 pm

Fred Chappell, 1936-2024

Clay Risen. NYT, 01/25/2024: Fred Chappell, Writer Who Celebrated the Carolina Mountains, Dies at 87. "He wrote lyrical poetry and novels about rural life in the Appalachian Piedmont, and was considered the South’s “premier contemporary person of letters.”"

"... he wrote in a wide variety of genres — including 12 novels, 18 books of poetry and two books of criticism — and was widely considered at the top of the game in all of them; among other major recognitions, he won the prestigious Bollingen Prize for poetry in 1985, alongside John Ashbery."

Books include: The Fred Chappell Reader -- I Am One of You Forever -- Brighten the Corner Where You Are -- Midquest: a poem -- Dagon -- Moments of Light -- More Shapes Than One: a book of stories -- Familiars: poems -- Spring Garden: new and selected poems -- C: Poems -- A Shadow All of Light -- Farewell, I'm Bound to Leave You: Stories

Jan 29, 10:36 am

Vanessa Ogle. LitHub, 01/29/2024: On Book Hoarding and the Perilous Paradox of Clutter.

Jan 29, 8:06 pm

N. Scott Momaday, 1934-2024

John Motyka. NYT, 01/29/2024: N. Scott Momaday, Pulitzer-Winning Native American Novelist, Dies at 89.

Author of: House Made of Dawn (Pulitzer Prize for fiction, 1969) -- The Way to Rain Mountain ("He drew on ethnology, history and personal recollection to reimagine the southward migration of his nomadic Kiowa forebears from the headwaters of the Yellowstone River to their ultimate home near a small rise called Rainy Mountain in Oklahoma.") -- The Man Made of Words: essays, stories, passages -- In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems, 1961-1991 -- The Names: A Memoir (b. in Lawton Okla. as Navarre Scott Mammedaty)

"The Native American writer Sherman Alexie called Mr. Momaday “one of the primary foundations for all Native American literature” and credited his Pulitzer with bringing Native writing into the mainstream.

“Momaday was a multigenre writer — poetry, fiction, nonfiction — as were nearly all the Native writers of his era,” Mr. Alexie said in an email. “I write multigenre because Momaday made it seem like it was the thing that Native American writers do. Like it was a natural part of our identity.”

Editado: Jan 31, 2:01 pm

TLS February 2, 2024|No. 6305


Ritchie Robertson. Liberty in danger: The failure of enlightened hopes. Review of: THE END OF ENLIGHTENMENT: Empire, commerce, crisis / Richard Whatmore.

Costica Bradatan. Against the current: How Thoreau challenged our understanding of work, technology and the natural world. Review of: THOREAU’S AXE: Distraction and discipline in American culture / Caleb Smith -- HENRY AT WORK: Thoreau on making a living / John Kaag and Jonathan van Belle -- HENRY DAVID THOREAU: Thinking disobediently / Lawrence Buell.

Adam Mars-Jones. Breaking a taboo: Andrew Haigh’s drama of youth and haunted adulthood. Review of the film ALL OF US STRANGERS.

June Sawyers. He walked the line: In praise of Johnny Cash’s songwriting. Review of: JOHNNY CASH: The life in lyrics: Personal commentary by John Carter Cash / Johnny Cash with Mark Stielper.

Literature & Bibliography

A.S.G. Edwards. Living on paper: G. Thomas Tanselle at ninety. (Article)

Andrew Scull (not a joke, apparently). The skull beneath the skin: The nineteenth-century craze for phrenology. Review of: MARK TWAIN, DR. OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES, AND THE HEAD READERS: Literature, humor, and faddish phrenology / Stanley Finger.

Pablo Scheffer. Court confession: A deluded abuser addresses his victim. Review of: MY HEAVENLY FAVOURITE / Lucas Rijneveld; translated by Michele Hutchison.

Kate Webb. Hear my name: A target of racist bullying finds herself in a juvenile offenders’ unit. Review of: CONFRONTATIONS / Simone Atangana Bekono; translated by Suzanne Heukensfeldt Jansen.

Sheena Joughin. Having a PVC ball: A late-life whirlwind love affair, with no warts at all. Review of: WHAT WILL SURVIVE OF US / Howard Jacobson.

Rhoda Feng. Eavesdropping: An ethically dubious academic yearns for new material. Review of: COME AND GET IT / Kiley Reid.

In Brief Review of: HOUSE ON THE A34 (poems) / Philip Hancock.

In Brief Review of: NEAR DISTANCE / Hanna Stoltenberg; translated by Wendy H. Gabrielsen.


Graham Daseler. God, the film director: The disaster-filled making of Apocalypse Now. Review of: THE PATH TO PARADISE: A Francis Ford Coppola story / Sam Wasson.

Georgie Carr. Hero of his own epic: A German auteur’s memoir rendered cinematically. Review of: EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND GOD AGAINST ALL / Werner Herzog; translated by Michael Hofmann.

Nat Segnit. Arrested developments: The director of Sideways takes another look at bourgeois discontent. Review of Alexander Payne's film The Holdovers.

Science & Technology

Richard Lea. The best of all universes?: Stephen Hawking’s cosmology and its critics. Review of: ON THE ORIGIN OF TIME: Stephen Hawking’s final theory / Thomas Hertog.

History, Politics, & Society

Sarah Foot. Venerable but not omniscient: The intellectual limitations of Anglo-Saxon England’s foremost scholar. Review of: BEDE AND THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING / Michelle P. Brown.

Clifford Ando. Europe’s micromanager: An emperor who inserted himself into every aspect of government. Review of: JUSTINIAN: Emperor, soldier, saint / Peter Sarris.

Duncan Kelly. The big picture: The long shadow of Arthur Lovejoy. Review of: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF IDEAS (vol. 1-6) / Sophia Rosenfeld and Peter T. Struck, anthology editors.

Jan Machielson. The male gaze on boys: Renaissance same-sex relations in north and south. Review of: FORBIDDEN DESIRE IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE: Male-male sexual relations, 1400–1750 / Noel Malcolm.

Dean Godson. Who won the war?: The Brighton bombing and Britain’s secret conduit to the Provisional IRA. Review of: KILLING THATCHER aka There Will Be Fire: Margaret Thatcher, the IRA, and Two Minutes That Changed History / Rory Carroll -- OPERATION CHIFFON: The secret story of MI5 and MI6 and the road to peace in Ireland / Peter Taylor.

Tyler Cowen. When the going was good: The balance sheet of the Clinton administration. Review of: A FABULOUS FAILURE: The Clinton presidency and the transformation of American capitalism / Nelson Lichtenstein and Judith Stein.

Chad Orzel. Counting the hours: Timepieces and their makers. Review of: HANDS OF TIME: A watchmaker’s history of time / Rebecca Struthers.

Marcus Colla. Sentimental journey: How nostalgia became a term of abuse. Review of: YESTERDAY: A new history of nostalgia / Tobias Becker.

Ian Sansom. Round and round we go: When entertainment goes global. (Essay)

In Brief Review of: LETTER FROM NEW YORK / Helene Hanff.

In Brief Review of: FORGED IN SPAIN / Richard Baxell. ("Tracing the British volunteers in the Spanish Civil War")

In Brief Review of: MIGRANT FRONTIERS: Race and mobility in the Luso-Hispanic world / Anna Tybinko, Lamonte Aidoo and Daniel F. Silva, editors.

In Brief Review of: WALKING ON THIN AIR: A life’s journey in 99 steps / Geoff Nicholson.

Jan 31, 2:12 pm

Kevin Mims. Quillette, 01/31/2024: Here Comes the Bite: Peter Benchley’s ‘Jaws’ turns 50.

Fev 2, 2:21 pm

Fev 2, 2:28 pm

"This essay is adapted from his introduction to “The Essential Harlem Detectives,” by Chester Himes, which Everyman’s Library will publish this month."

S.A. Cosby. NYT, 02/02/2024: The Crime Novelist Who Was Also a Great American Novelist. On Chester Himes.

Fev 2, 2:36 pm

On the Mary McCarthy novel.

A.O. Scott. NYT, 01/31/2024: There’s Always Been Trouble in ‘The Groves of Academe’: How a 1950s novel explains the crisis in higher education..

Fev 2, 3:42 pm

NYRB, Feb. 22, 2024


Natasha Wimmer. Scrupulous Extravagance. Review of: Explosion in a Cathedral / Alejo Carpentier, translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West, with a foreword by Alejandro Zambra -- The Lost Steps / Alejo Carpentier, translated from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West, with an introduction by Leonardo Padura.

David S. Reynolds. ‘A Fiendish Fascination.’ Review of: Sensationalism and the Jew in Antebellum American Literature / David Anthony.


Jenny Uglow. In Search of the Rare and Strange. Review of: Dürer’s Lost Masterpiece: Art and Society at the Dawn of a Global World / Ulinka Rublack.

David A. Bell. An Unlikely Life. Review of: Napoleon, a film by Ridley Scott.

Robyn Creswell. Reimagining al-Andalus. Review of: On Earth or in Poems: The Many Lives of al-Andalus / Eric Calderwood.

Larry Wolff. Rebel Without a Cause. Review of: Carmen, an opera by Georges Bizet, directed by Carrie Cracknell, at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, December 31, 2023–May 25, 2024 -- Fanfare for a City: Music and the Urban Imagination in Haussmann’s Paris / Jacek Blaszkiewicz.

Science, Natural History, Medicine

Emily Raboteau. A New Environmental Canon. Review of: Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden / Camille T. Dungy -- The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth / Elizabeth Rush.

Natalie de Souza. The Dark Tangle of Alzheimer’s. Review of: How Not to Study a Disease: The Story of Alzheimer’s / Karl Herrup.

Rachel Nolan. The Forest Eaters. Review of: Banzeiro Òkòtó: The Amazon as the Center of the World / Eliane Brum, translated from the Portuguese by Diane Whitty.

History, Politics, & Culture

Gary Saul Morson. Russian Exceptionalism. Review of: Foundations of Eurasianism / translated from the Russian and edited by Jafe Arnold and John Stachelski -- The Gumilev Mystique: Biopolitics, Eurasianism, and the Construction of Community in Modern Russia / Mark Bassin -- Osnovy geopolitiki: Geopoliticheskoe budushchee Rossii = Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia / Aleksandr Dugin -- Eurasian Mission: An Introduction to Neo-Eurasianism / Aleksandr Dugin -- The Fourth Political Theory / Aleksandr Dugin -- Black Wind, White Snow: Russia’s New Nationalism / Charles Clover.

Ava Kofman. Open Secrets. Review of: Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs: A Journey Through the Deep State / Kerry Howley.

Andrew O'Hagan. The Talented Mr. Santos. Review of: The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos / Mark Chiusano.

Sean Wilentz. The Case for Disqualification. (Article: "The Supreme Court must decide if it will honor the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment and bar Donald Trump from holding public office or trash the constitutional defense of democracy against insurrections.")

Fev 5, 11:49 am

"The fantasy genre is afflicted by a dull and tedious obsession with adolescent cynicism, prurient scenes and one dimensional anti-heroes."

Sebastian Milbank. Critic (UK), 02/04/2024: Grimdull.

Fev 5, 1:53 pm

Robie Harris, 1940-2024

Adam Nossiter. 02/05/2024: Robie Harris, Often-Banned Children’s Author, Is Dead at 83.

"Ms. Harris wrote more than 30 children’s books, including Don’t Forget to Come Back (1978); I Hate Kisses (1981); “It’s So Amazing!: A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families” (1999); and “It’s NOT the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends” (2006).

"But it was “It’s Perfectly Normal,” with its illustrations by Michael Emberly, that drew the most attention. Ms. Harris explained to LibrarySparks that her publisher had asked for a children’s book about H.I.V. and AIDS, and that she responded by saying she would write a book on “healthy sexuality” that included both."

Fev 7, 10:41 am

Tom Zoellner. LARB, 02/06/2024: Sands of an Hourglass. Review of: Walking on Thin Air: A Life’s Journey in 99 Steps / Geoff Nicholson.

Fev 7, 10:44 am

Graciela Mochkofsky. New Yorker, 02/06/2024: The Second Death of Pablo Neruda.

Adam Kirsch. New Yorker, 02/05/2024: Baruch Spinoza and the Art of Thinking in Dangerous Times.

Fev 7, 11:02 am

Selections from the Winter 2024 Bookforum. Some of the article titles leaning a bit too much into the dad jokes.

Eric Banks. Prairie Swooner: The hardscrabble origins and unique vision of novelist Willa Cather. Review of: CHASING BRIGHT MEDUSAS: A LIFE OF WILLA CATHER / BENJAMIN TAYLOR.

Mitch Therieu. Page Against the Machine: Dan Sinykin’s history of corporate fiction. Review of: BIG FICTION: HOW CONGLOMERATION CHANGED THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY AND AMERICAN LITERATURE / DAN SINYKIN.

Carl Wilson. Algorithm and Blues: Kyle Chayka looks at our supposedly flat new world. Review of: FILTERWORLD: HOW ALGORITHMS FLATTENED CULTURE / KYLE CHAYKA.

Catherine Lacey. Nonlinear Thought: Sheila Heti’s soft imperatives. Review of: ALPHABETICAL DIARIES / SHEILA HETI.


Editado: Fev 7, 5:41 pm

TLS February 9, 2024|No. 6306


Carol Tavris. The ghost of Joe McCarthy: Why universities have surrendered on free speech again. Review of: THE CANCELING OF THE AMERICAN MIND: How cancel culture undermines trust, destroys institutions, and threatens us all / Greg Lukianoff and Rikki Schlott -- TRIGGERED LITERATURE: Cancellation, stealth censorship and cultural warfare / John Sutherland.

Jonathan Egid. Tract for our times: Two translations of Wittgenstein’s seminal work. Review of 2 new translations of Ludwig Wittgenstein's TRACTATUS LOGICO-PHILOSOPHICUS, by Michael Beaney (Oxford World's Classics) & Alexander Booth (Penguin Classics).

Henry Hitchings. Succeeding with excess: The combustible relationship of Hollywood’s First Couple. Review of: EROTIC VAGRANCY: Everything about Richard Burton (& Elizabeth Taylor) / Roger Lewis.

Peter Stothard. Letters home: Soggy socks, bad fish, overdue promotions: a soldier’s life in the Roman Empire. Review of LEGION: Life in the Roman army / Richard Abdy, catalog of the exhibition of the same name, as well as the exhibition, British Museum, until June 23.

Literature & Bibliography

Irina Dumitrescu. Crying out loud: On the irritating suffering of others. (Essay)

Kathryn Murphy. Mutual envy: Writers from the Other Europe and America. Review of: THE NONCONFORMISTS: American and Czech writers across the Iron Curtain / Brian K. Goodman.

Lindsey Hilsum. Going for the krill: A novelist’s whale-like hunger for everyday experience. Review of: THE MIRROR AND THE ROAD: Conversations with William Boyd / Alistair Owen, editor.

Lisa Hilton. How to commune with ghosts: A French intellectual whose books sell in their millions. Review of: PSYCHOPOMPE / Amélie Nothomb.

Michael LaPointe. And so we bought a condo: A couple compromise their youthful ideals, one by one. Review of: Wellness / Nathan Hill.

Chloë Ashby. Shower gel and noodles: The rootlessness of life as a serial renter. Review of: THE LODGERS / Holly Pester.

Catherine Taylor. ‘Our friend’, the killer: A thriller set in Ripper-terrorized Yorkshire. Review of: WHAT DOESN’T KILL US / Ajay Close.

Sean O'Brien. Men in love: Identity and concealment in a former pit town. Review of: PITY / Andrew McMillan.

Paul Binding. The university of oblivion: Sweden’s leading postwar poet. Review of: THE BLUE HOUSE: Collected works of Tomas Tranströmer / translated by Patty Crane; introduction by Yusef Komunyakaa.

In Brief Review of: THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY / Iegor Gran; translated by Ruth Diver ("A fictionalized portrait of a dissident Russian novelist").

In Brief Review of: MONICA / Daniel Clowes ("An intelligent graphic novel that refuses its protagonist a happy ending").

In Brief Review of: SPORTS AND SOCIAL / Kevin Boniface.

In Brief Review of: WOUND IS THE ORIGIN OF WONDER: poems / Maya Popa.

In Brief Review of: MEMENTO MORI: MEMENTO VIVERE / Graham Moss. The author's memorial to his wife & partner in Incline Press, Kathy Whalen. "There is no denying this book’s intense concentration on Whalen’s last year, or indeed escaping the sense of being personally touched once you discover that the ink used in this book incorporates a unique ingredient: “Her ashes … for books are always the best custodians of memories”."


Keith Miller. Pictures perfect: A series of encounters with the art of Venice. Review of: VENICE: City of pictures / Martin Gayford.

Hettie Judah. Artobiography: Two critics locate themselves in seventeenth-century Netherlandish painting. Review of: THUNDERCLAP: A memoir of art and life and sudden death / Laura Cumming -- THE UPSIDE-DOWN WORLD: Meetings with the Dutch masters / Benjamin Moser.

Flora Willson. A trill caught in the breeze: A glimpse into the working life of one composer. Review of: BECOMING A COMPOSER / Errollyn Wallen.

History, Politics, & Culture

Raphael Cormack. Drenched in honey and tears?: A cosmopolitan city in history and the imagination. Review of: ALEXANDRIA: The city that changed the world / Islam Issa.

Imogen Marchant. On the road: Medieval travellers’ tales of pilgrimages, trades and conflicts. Review of: A TRAVEL GUIDE TO THE MIDDLE AGES: The world through medieval eyes / Anthony Bale.

Emile Chabal. Le French-bashing: The latest in national self-flagellation. Review of: FIXING FRANCE: How to repair a broken republic / Nabila Ramdani -- PARIS ISN'T DEAD YET: Surviving gentrification in the city of light / Cole Stangler.

Bradley A. Gorski. Kremlin he-man: Vladimir Putin’s camp homophobia. Review of: RUSSIAN STYLE: Performing gender, power, and Putinism / Julie A. Cassiday.

Toby Lichtig. A map of hell: Auschwitz and its satellite camps, as described by a survivor. Review of: COLD CREMATORIUM: Reporting from the land of Auschwitz / József Debreczeni; translated by Paul Olchváry.

Jeffrey Veidlinger. The Jew who saved Gentiles: Janina Mehlberg’s heroic story. Review of: The Counterfeit Countess: The untold story of the Jewish heroine who defied the Holocaust / Elizabeth B. White and Joanna Sliwa.

Declan Ryan. Maximum chaos: A writer reflects on his brother’s life, and death by suicide. Review of: O BROTHER / John Niven.

In Brief Review of: FROM WINDHOEK TO AUSCHWITZ?: Reflections on the relationship between colonialism and National Socialism / Jürgen Zimmerer.

In Brief Review of: SUFFERAH: Memoir of a Brixton reggae head / Alex Wheatle.

Fev 8, 6:16 pm

Ralph Leonard. Quillette, 02/05/2024: Understanding the Jewish Catastrophe. Review of : The Holocaust: An Unfinished History / Dan Stone.

Fev 8, 6:18 pm

Peter McDonald. The Critic (UK), 02/2024: Learning in the round. Review of: The Globemakers: The Curious Story of an Ancient Craft / Peter Bellerby.

Fev 9, 3:58 pm

Literary Review (UK), Feb 2024, featured reviews:

Stuart Jeffries. Anatomist of Evil. Review of: We Are Free to Change the World: Hannah Arendt’s Lessons in Love and Disobedience / Lyndsey Stonebridge.

Richard V. Reeves. Why Some Are More Equal Than Others. Review of: Equality: The History of an Elusive Idea / Darrin M. McMahon.

Norma Clarke. Sue Bridehead Revisited. Review of: Hardy Women: Mother, Sisters, Wives, Muses / Paula Byrne.

Jeremy Harte. They Ploughed the Fields & Scattered. Review of: Remembering Peasants: A Personal History of a Vanished World / Patrick Joyce.

John Burnside. Rebels in Arms. Review of: My Friends / Hisham Matar.

Editado: Fev 11, 8:00 pm

Recent book news on WaPo:

Lauri Rozsa. WaPo, 02/10/2024: How anarchists in North Carolina rescued books banned in Florida.

Sarah Wendell. WaPo, 02/11/2024: What is romantasy? The best-selling book trend, explained.

Editado: Fev 14, 2:48 pm

TLS February 16, 2024|No. 6307


Michael Wooldridge. Modelling the mind: Why AI fails to crack the code of human consciousness. Review of: A BRIEF HISTORY OF INTELLIGENCE: Why the evolution of the brain holds the key to the future of AI / Max Bennett -- PUTTING OURSELVES BACK IN THE EQUATION: Why physicists are studying human consciousness and AI to unravel the mysteries of the universe / George Musser.

Richard Lea. Sitting in a tin can: Tales of heroism ­and sexism from space. Review of: SPACE: The human story / Tim Peake -- THE SIX: The untold story of America’s first women astronauts / Loren Grush.

Margaret Drabble. Districts and circles: A literary game of consequences remembered. (Essay)

Madoc Cairns. One nation under God?: Church and the American state. Review of: AMERICAN IDOLATRY: How Christian nationalism betrays the Gospel and threatens the Church / Andrew L. Whitehead -- THE CHURCH OF SAINT THOMAS PAINE: A religious history of American secularism / Leigh Eric Schmidt -- MAKING CATHOLIC AMERICA: Religious nationalism in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era / William S. Cossen.

Literature & Bibliography

Anna Aslanyan. Finding the source: Essays on fairy tales, fables and storytelling. Review of: THE UNFORGIVABLE: And other writings / Cristina Campo; translated by Alex Andriesse.

Min Wild. God gave him brains: Daniel Defoe, novelist and prophet of British world domination. Review of: DANIEL DEFOE IN CONTEXT / Albert J. Rivero and George Justice, editors.

Devoney Looser. Bolters: Women in early English fiction who repudiated the role of victim. Review of: GONE GIRLS, 1684–1901: Flights of feminist resistance in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novel / Nora Gilbert.

Sebastian Dows-Miller. Metamorphosis: A translation of an influential French translation. Review of: THE MEDIEVAL FRENCH OVIDE MORALISÉ: An English translation / K. Sarah-Jane Murray and Matthieu Boyd.

Timothy Chesters. Brightest stars in the Pléiade: A selection of poetry by du Bellay and Ronsard. Review of: SELECTED POEMS / Joachim Du Bellay and Pierre de Ronsard; translated by Anthony Mortimer.

David Gallagher. Rescuing the novel: Letters between four giants of Latin American literature. Review of: LAS CARTAS DEL BOOM / Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa; edited by Carlos Aguirre, Gerald Martin, Javier Munguía and Augusto Wong Campos.

Muireann Maguire. Such pretty letters: Sex, spirituality and despair in Russia. Review of: THE BODY OF THE SOUL / Ludmila Ulitskaya; translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

George Berridge. Tenderness paints it large: Gentle rapture and unseized opportunities. Review of: FLOAT UP, SING DOWN / Laird Hunt.

Lucy Scholes. Men and martinis: An impartial witness to New York life. Review of: THE LONG-WINDED LADY / Maeve Brennan.

Kyle Wyatt. Transmission: A multi-authored novel set in the early days of the pandemic. Review of: FOURTEEN DAYS: A collaborative novel / Margaret Atwood and Douglas Preston, editors.

Natasha Randall. Crazy country, crazy problem: Two child refugees from the Georgian civil war revisit their past. Review of: HARD BY A GREAT FOREST / Leo Vardiashvili.

In Brief Review of: I GIVE THESE BOOKS: The history of Yale University Library, 1656–2022 / David Alan Richards.

In Brief Review of: THE HISTORY OF MY SEXUALITY / Tobi Lakmaker; translated by Kristen Gehrman.

In Brief Review of: HYDE PARK / James Shirley; edited by Eugene Giddens. ("A Caroline play about haut-monde London")

In Brief Review of: 18: Jewish stories translated from 18 languages / Nora Gold, editor.


Laura Tunbridge. Four play: A week-long celebration of the string quartet. Review of STRIJKKWARTET BIËNNALE AMSTERDAM, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam.

Toby Lichtig. Everyday reckonings: A new play about a family gathering, in a great dramatic tradition. Review of Beth Steel's play TILL THE STARS COME DOWN, National Theatre, London, until March 16.

Science & Technology

Regina Rini. Cell culture wars: The symbolism of real meat. (Essay)


Guy Stagg. Story of a troubled soul: Harsh lessons from twelve years in a Carmelite monastery. Review of: CLOISTERED: My years as a nun / Catherine Coldstream.

In Brief Review of: DIVINE MIGHT: Goddesses in Greek myth / Natalie Haynes.

History, Politics, & Culture

Fernando Cervantes. The right to be heard: The Spanish crown’s solicitude for its Amerindian subjects. Review of: WE, THE KING: Creating royal legislation in the sixteenth-century Spanish New World / Adrian Masters -- SEPÚLVEDA ON THE SPANISH INVASION OF THE AMERICAS: Defending empire, debating Las Casas / edited and translated by Luke Glanville, David Lupher and Maya Feile Tomes.

Miranda France. Thought crimes: A former war reporter finds terror in everyday objects. Review of: SPENT LIGHT / Lara Pawson.

Ramachandra Guha. The Big Few: Britain’s wartime prime minister seen through his contemporaries. Review of: MIRRORS OF GREATNESS: Churchill and the leaders who shaped him / David Reynolds.

Nicholas Murray. Freddy Mush: Private secretary to Winston Churchill and éminence grise to poets and painters. Review of: EDWARD MARSH: A life of poets, painters and players / Sharon Mather.

In Brief Review of: THE WILD MEN: The remarkable story of Britain’s first Labour government / David Torrance.

In Brief Review of: HOW THEY BROKE BRITAIN / James O’Brien. ("O’Brien’s ire is directed towards a set of people and publications (many of whom this writer respectively knows and has contributed to) that he holds accountable for Britain’s vote to leave the EU.")

Fev 15, 10:18 am

Adam Kotsko. Slate, 02/11/2024: The Loss of Things I Took for Granted. "Ten years into my college teaching career, students stopped being able to read effectively."

Editado: Fev 17, 3:43 pm

Amy Hawkins. Guardian, 02/15/2024: Authors ‘excluded from Hugo awards over China concerns.’

"In January the Hugo awards published the statistics behind the 2023 awards, which were held as part of the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) in the Chinese city of Chengdu in October. The data showed that the New York Times bestseller RF Kuang and the young adult author Xiran Jay Zhao were among authors who had received enough nominations to be on the ballot in their respective categories but were deemed “not eligible” by the award’s administrators, without further explanation."

Alexandra Alter. NYT, 02/17/2024: Some Authors Were Left Out of Awards Held in China. Leaked Emails Show Why. "When some books, including best sellers, were conspicuously absent from the science fiction Hugo Awards last year, writers and fans became suspicious."

Fev 18, 3:09 pm

Fev 18, 3:23 pm

Recent topical recommendations from fivebooks.com:

Charlotte Lydia Riley, interviewer Samira Shackle. 02/15/2024: The best books on British Colonialism. Riley is the author of: Imperial Island: An Alternative History of the British Empire:

Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830-1867 / Catherine Hall -- The White Man's World (Memories Of Empire) / Bill Schwarz -- Time's Monster: History, Conscience and Britain's Empire / Priya Satia -- BLACK TEACHER / Beryl Gilroy -- Wide Sargasso Sea / Jean Rhys.

James MacManus, interviewer Cal Flynn. 02/14/2024: The Best Books by War Correspondents:

The Face of War / Martha Gellhorn -- Mollie and Other War Pieces / A. J. Liebling -- On the Front Line: The Collected Journalism of Marie Colvin / Marie Colvin -- 3 Para / Patrick Bishop -- Looking for Trouble: The Classic Memoir of a Trailblazing War Correspondent / Virginia Cowles.

Fev 20, 10:57 am

"Nazis burned books; the U.S. shipped them to its troops; Alexander the Great, Hitler, and Stalin were keen bibliophiles. How to make sense of all this?"

Claudia Roth Pierpont. New Yorker, 02/19/2024: From Homer to Gaza, the History of Books in Wartime. Review of: The Book at War: How Reading Shaped Conflict and Conflict Shaped Reading / Andrew Pettegree.

Fev 20, 11:06 am

Jonathan Bolton. LARB, 02/20/2024: Prove You’re Not a Robot. On R.U.R. and the Vision of Artificial Life / Karel Čapek; translated by Štěpán S. Šimek; with essays on the play, edited by Jitka Čejková.

Fev 20, 11:13 am

Patrice McDonough. crimereads, 02/20/2024: 9 HISTORICAL MYSTERIES THAT HAVE BEEN ADAPTED TO CINEMA.

Editado: Fev 20, 11:33 am

Recent book reviews & book related articles from The Critic (UK):

Tista Austin. 02/18/2024: Four women seers in a time of strife. Review of: The Visionaries: Arendt, Beauvoir, Rand, Weil and the Salvation of Philosophy / Wolfram Eilenberger; translated by Shaun Whiteside.

Malcolm Forbes. 02/19/2024: Josephine Tey, woman of mystery. (Essay)

Theodore Nash. 02/20/2024: There is a lushness to this expanded Letters. Review of: The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Revised and Expanded edition / edited & selected by Humphrey Carpenter, with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien.

Simon Evans. 02/15/2024: The other Camus. Reflections on the recent translation of Enemy of the Disaster – Selected Political Writings / Renaud Camus & his oeuvre in general.

John Ritzema. 02/13/2024: Recasting the Crown for modern Britain. Review of: After Elizabeth: Can the Monarchy Save Itself? / Ed Owens.

Christopher Sylvester. 02/10/2024: Giants and pygmies. Review of: The Not Quite Prime Ministers: Leaders of the Opposition 1783–2020 / Nigel Fletcher.

Fev 21, 10:16 am

NYRB Online Mar. 7, 2024


Jé Wilson. Ducks in the Drawing Room. Review of: Barbara Comyns: A Savage Innocence / Avril Horner.

Edward Mendelson. ‘She Talk Her Mind.’ Review of the play: The Wife of Willesden / Zadie Smith.

Merve Emre. What’s Your Type? Review of: Beautiful World, Where Are You / Sally Rooney -- Birnam Wood / Eleanor Catton.


Matthew Aucoin. Alone in Paradise. Review of: Picture a day like this, an opera with music by George Benjamin and text by Martin Crimp, directed by Daniel Jeanneteau and Marie-Christine Soma at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, September 22–October 10, 2023.

Dan Nadel. Cartoon Rules. Review of: Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller, the Man Who Created Nancy / Bill Griffith.

Dennis Zhou. Filming and Forgetting Taipei. Review of: Desire/Expectations: The Films of Edward Yang, a series at Film at Lincoln Center, New York City, December 22, 2023–January 9, 2024 -- Chronicles of Changing Times: The Cinema of Edward Yang, a series at the Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 29–May 22, 2024 -- A One and a Two: Edward Yang Retrospective, an exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, July 22–October 22, 2023; catalog of the exhibition edited by Wang Jun-jieh, Sing Song-yong, and Chen Yeng-ing.

Science & Technology

Tim Flannery. Ready to Rumble. Review of: Mountains of Fire: The Menace, Meaning, and Magic of Volcanoes / Clive Oppenheimer.

Politics & Society, History & Culture

Josephine Quinn. The Thrill of Late Antiquity. Review of: Journeys of the Mind: A Life in History / y Peter Brown.

Mary Wellesley. Her Infinite Variety. Review of: The Once and Future Sex: Going Medieval on Women’s Roles in Society / Eleanor Janega.

Lynn Hunt. A New Force Set Loose. Review of: The Revolutionary Temper: Paris, 1748–1789 / Robert Darnton.

John Banville. ‘Live All You Can.’ Review of: Three Roads Back: How Emerson, Thoreau, and William James Responded to the Greatest Losses of Their Lives / Robert D. Richardson, with a foreword by Megan Marshall.

Kristen Martin. The Parent Trap Review of: The School for Good Mothers / Jessamine Chan -- Investigating Families: Motherhood in the Shadow of Child Protective Services / Kelley Fong.

Robert Pogue Harrison. At Ease Amid the Ruins. Review of: In Praise of Failure: Four Lessons in Humility / Costica Bradatan -- The Last Days of Roger Federer and Other Endings / Geoff Dyer.

Jeffrey Toobin. Circuit Breakers. (Article: "Judges on the Fifth Circuit, many of them Trump appointees, are attempting to transform the law and challenge the very structure of American government.")

Fev 21, 10:20 am

Brian Attebery. LARB, 02/21/2024: Through a Herne’s Eye. Review of: Five Novels: The Lathe of Heaven / The Eye of the Heron / The Beginning Place / Searoad / Lavinia / Ursula K. Le Guin (Library of America).

Editado: Fev 21, 11:44 am

TLS February 23, 2024|No. 6308


Lawrence Freedman. War without end: How Russian atrocities stymied peace negotiations. Review of: THE SHOWMAN: The inside story of the invasion that shook the world and made a leader of Volodymyr Zelensky / Simon Shuster -- OUR ENEMIES WILL VANISH: The Russian invasion and Ukraine’s war of independence / Yaroslav Trofimov.

Ian Sansom. In the prime of youth: A coming-of-age novel rich in zooms, swoops and flashbacks. Review of: LUBLIN / Manya Wilkinson.

Trevor Pateman. Sly intrigues: A newly discovered extortion letter from the courtesan Harriette Wilson. (Article)

Boyd Tonkin. Dancing over borders: John Lavery: a sensual artist of delights. Review of: LAVERY ON LOCATION, Ulster Museum, Belfast, until June 9; then Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, July 20 to October 27, and its catalog.


Richard Hunter. Mere creatures of a day: The search for permanence in archaic and classical poetry. Review of: GREEK POETRY IN THE AGE OF EPHEMERALITY / Sarah Nooter.

Tom Cook. Phantom author: The unknowability of Shakespeare. Review of: WHAT WAS SHAKESPEARE REALLY LIKE? / Stanley Wells.

Laura Kolb. Defamatory petitions: When libel was sedition. Review of: LIBELS AND THEATER IN SHAKESPEARE’S ENGLAND: Publics, Politics, & Performance / Joseph Mansky.

Rosemary Ashton. Curiosity shop: In search of Dickens’s ‘secrets.’ Review of: THE LIFE AND LIES OF CHARLES DICKENS / Helena Kelly.

Philip Ross Bullock. Orphan in a dream: A new translation of a brilliant Soviet stylist. Review of: CHEVENGUR / Andrey Platonov; translated by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler.

Rüdiger Görner. Before the firestorm: A docufiction set in Dresden. Review of: DER KOMET / Durs Grünbein.

Frances Lindemann. A gift or a curse: Learning to live with second sight. Review of: THE ROAD FROM BELHAVEN / Margot Livesey.

Philip Womack. Colour revolution: A satirical socialist utopia. Review of: RED SIDE STORY / Jasper Fforde.

Maria Johnston. Seeing is believing: The poet communicates ‘what we felt at what we saw.’ Review of: THE VAST EXTENT: On seeing and not seeing further / Lavinia Greenlaw -- Selected Poems / Lavinia Greenlaw.

Linda Kinstler. Death is local: War comes to Ukraine’s ‘rock-star poet.’ Review of: HOW FIRE DESCENDS: New and selected poems / Serhiy Zhadan; translated by Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps -- SKY ABOVE KHARKIV: Dispatches from the Ukrainian front / Serhiy Zhadan; translated by Reilly Costigan-Humes and Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler.

Craig Raine. Theft and variations: Literary borrowings and returns. (Essay)

In Brief Review of: LITTÉRATURE ET RÉVOLUTION / Joseph Andras and Kaoutar Harchi.

In Brief Review of: HERE IN THE DARK / Alexis Soloski.

Arts & Architecture

Robert Bevan. Design for living?: A manifesto for architectural populism. Review of: HUMANISE
A maker’s guide to building our world
/ Thomas Heatherwick.

Maria Margaronis. Sister act: A play full of turns: emotional, musical, theatrical. Review of Jez Butterworth's play THE HILLS OF CALIFORNIA, Harold Pinter Theatre, London, until June 15.

In Brief Review of: WE THE PARASITES / A. V. Marraccini.

Natural History

In Brief Review of: THE MAN WHO LOVED SIBERIA: The adventures of a natural historian / Fritz Dörries; transcribed and translated by Roy Jacobsen and Anneliese Pitz into Norwegian, then by Seán Kinsella into English.


Steven Nadler. The other Moses: A Jewish philosopher who influenced Aquinas and Spinoza. Review of: MAIMONIDES: Faith in reason / Alberto Manguel.

Mark Hannam. Defending democracy: The threat to the public sphere from social media. Review of: ALSO A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY: Volume 1: The project of a genealogy of postmetaphysical thinking / Jürgen Habermas; translated by Ciaran Cronin -- A NEW STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE AND DELIBERATIVE POLITICS / Jürgen Habermas; translated by Ciaran Cronin.

History, Politics, & Society

James Uden. Ancient automata: Mechanized humans in the Greek and Roman imagination. Review of: BODY AND MACHINE IN CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY / Maria Gerolemou and George Kazantzidis.

Nick Romeo. Granny’s guide to antiquity: An American writer of popular books on Greece and Rome. Review of: AMERICAN CLASSICIST: The life and loves of Edith Hamilton / Victoria Houseman.

Ros Taylor. Home truths: Busting the immigration myths. Review of: HOW MIGRATION REALLY WORKS: A factful guide to the most divisive issue in politics / Hein de Haas.

Justin Smith-Ruiu. A journey round my room: Distraction is a form of attention. Review of: THE POWER OF DISTRACTION: Diversion and reverie from Montaigne to Proust / Alessandra Aloisi.

In Brief Review of: THE CONSPIRACY TOURIST: Travels through a strange world / Dom Joly.

In Brief Review of: SHAME: The politics and power of an emotion / David Keen.

In Brief Review of: EXHAUSTED: An A-Z for the weary / Anna Katharina Schaffner.

Fev 21, 11:50 am

Recent book reviews from Quillette:

Stephen Akey. 02/21/2024: Beginning in Gladness, Ending in Madness: 1900–1950 was a golden age of literary eccentricity. On the 1996 World Authors: 1900-1950, Four-Volume Set (Wilson Authors Series) / edited by Martin Seymour-Smith and Andrew C. Kimmens (Akey was one of the contributors).

Brian Stewart. 02/21/2024: A Revolution on Race? Review of: The End of Race Politics: Arguments for a Colorblind America / Coleman Hughes.

Fev 22, 11:35 am

Adam Gopnick. New Yorker, 02/19/2024: Did the Year 2020 Change Us Forever? Review of two pandemic of 2020 related books: 2020: One City, Seven People, and the Year Everything Changed / Eric Klinenberg -- Fourteen Days: A Collaborative Novel / The Authors Guild; and, for historical context: Pandemic Re-Awakenings: The Forgotten and Unforgotten 'Spanish' Flu of 1918-1919 / Guy Beiner.

Fev 22, 11:37 am

"Over a weekend in 1995, a small group gathered in Ohio to unleash the power of the internet by making it navigable."

Monica Westin. Aeon, 02/22/2024: Indexing the information age.

Fev 22, 11:40 am

John Plotz, interviewer Elizabeth Ferry. Public Books, 2/21/2024: JOHN PLOTZ ON EARTHSEA, ANARCHISM, AND URSULA K. LE GUIN. Plotz talks about his book Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea: My Reading / John Plotz.

Fev 25, 3:33 pm

Olivia Allen. Dazed Digital, 02/14/2024: Why are we all so obsessed with book clubs now?

Fev 25, 3:41 pm

Hillary Kelly. New Yorker, 02/21/2024: A Memoirist Who Told Everything and Repented Nothing. On Diane Anthill's Instead of a Letter and others.

Fev 26, 11:31 am

Bill Thompson. LARB, 02/24/2024: Life and Form. Review of: A Year and a Day: An Experiment in Essays / Phillip Lopate.

Fev 28, 1:50 pm

TLS March 1, 2024|No. 6309


Elizabeth Lowry. Women much missed: Thomas Hardy had a profound sympathy for his female characters, but not his wives. Review of: HARDY WOMEN: Mother, sisters, wives, muses / Paula Byrne.

Rosemary Waugh. Cycles of violence: Yaël Farber’s elegiac Shakespeare. Review of Farber's production of King Lear, Almeida Theatre, London, until March 30.

Damon Galgut. A talent built to last: Childlike naivety meets hard political reality in the segregated South. Review of: NEIGHBORS: And other stories / Diane Oliver.

Libby Purves. Idealism and hard cash: The story of the Silver Moon Women’s Bookshop. Review of: A BOOKSHOP OF ONE’S OWN / Jane Cholmeley.


Peter Brooks. Bound by a contract: Henry James’s moral universe. Review of: HENRY JAMES AND THE PROMISE OF FICTION / Stuart Burrows.

Jeremy Dauber. How Yiddish lives: What ‘the language of martyrs’ means to us. Review of: IN THE LAND OF THE POSTSCRIPT: The complete short stories of Chava Rosenfarb / Chava Rosenfarb; translated by Goldie Morgentaler -- WRITINGS ON YIDDISH AND YIDDISHKAYT: The war years, 1939–1945 / Isaac Bashevis Singer; translated by David Stromberg.

Karen Leeder. His Geiger counter heart: Eco-poetry, essays and fiction inspired by the last days of East Germany. Review of 3 translations of books by Lutz Seiler: STAR 111 / translated by Tess Lewis -- IN CASE OF LOSS / translated by Martyn Crucefix -- PITCH AND GLINT / translated by Stefan Tobler.

Estelle Shirbon. Magic and terror: Same-sex love in a hostile Nigeria. Review of: BLESSINGS: a novel / Chukwuebuka Ibeh

Hal Jensen. The Deep East: A novel of 1950s Norfolk, with echoes of Tennessee Williams. Review of: THE GALLOPERS / Jon Ransom.

In Brief Review of: FROM SCARSDALE: A childhood / Dan O'Brien.

In Brief Review of: LA DANSEUSE / Patrick Modiano.


Emily May. Fatal attraction: The choreographer Ben Duke’s witty, wry meditations on mortality. Review of the dance company Rambert's Death Trap, On tour until April 25.


Jessie Munton. What’s it like to be you?: The importance of the individual perspective in philosophy. Review of: MORAL FEELINGS, MORAL REALITY, AND MORAL PROGRESS and ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY AND HUMAN LIFE, both by Thomas Nagel.

Paula Keller. Alternative facts: Hannah Arendt for today. Review of: WE ARE FREE TO CHANGE THE WORLD: Hannah Arendt’s lessons in love and disobedience / Lyndsey Stonebridge.

Edith Hall. Plato and his world: Employing the Socratic method to unpick his greatest disciple. Review of: HOW PLATO WRITES: Perspectives and problems / Malcolm Schofield.

Science & Technology

Wendy Moore. Woman in a white coat: A pioneering scientist dismissed as ‘that crazy mRNA lady.’ Review of: BREAKING THROUGH: My life in science / Katalin Karikó.

Kathleen Taylor. Thinking about mental health: Three different approaches to the epidemic of depression. Review of: BREAKING THROUGH DEPRESSION: New treatments and discoveries for healing / Philip Gold -- THE ANXIETY PROJECT: A journey to the centre of our deepest fears / Daan Heerma van Voss; translated by David Doherty -- THE PERFECTION TRAP: The science of why we never feel enough / Thomas Curran.

In Brief Review of: THE LAST OF ITS KIND: The search for the great auk and the discovery of extinction / Gísli Pálsson; translated by Anna Yates.

History, Politics, Society, & Culture

Peter Coates. The big freeze: Global cooling and the fall of the Ming dynasty. Review of: THE PRICE OF COLLAPSE: The Little Ice Age and the fall of Ming China / Timothy Brook.

Nick Holdstock. Red letter days: Private missives from the Mao era. Review of: THE BOOK OF SECRETS: A personal history of betrayal in red China / Xinran.

Stephen Platt. A light that never goes out: The ‘counter-historians’ battling the Party’s version of events. Review of: SPARKS: China’s underground historians and their battle for the future / Ian Johnson.

Michael Vatikiotis. Bandung file: How Indonesia pioneered a postcolonial third way. Review of: REVOLUSI: Indonesia and the birth of the modern world / David Van Reybrouck; translated by David Colmer and David McKay.

Martin Vander Weyer. Low finance: The wolves of Wall Street and the City. Review of: PRIVATE EQUITY: a memoir / Carrie Sun -- THE TRADING GAME: A confession / Gary Stevenson.

Ian Sansom. The enemy within: From Margaret Thatcher to Umberto Eco. (Essay)

In Brief Review of: HOW FINLAND SURVIVED STALIN: From Winter War to Cold War / Kimmo Rentola; translated by Richard Robinson.

In Brief Review of: THE FUTURE OF FOREIGN POLICY IS FEMINIST / Kristina Lunz; translated by Nicola Barfoot.

In Brief Review of: STUFFED: A history of good food and hard times in Britain / Pen Vogler.

In Brief Review of: LEARNING TO THINK / Tracy King.

Fev 29, 8:09 pm

"The Museo Bodoniano in Parma, Italy, is a mecca for one of the world’s most enduring, and ubiquitous, typefaces. Meet Giambattista Bodoni, the “prince of typography.”

Molly Young. NYT, 02/29/2024: He’s Probably in Your House, Lurking on Your Bookshelf.

Mar 1, 11:16 am

Especially if the main title has already been used by 100 other authors on LT.

Tajja Isen. LitHub, 02/29/2024: The Art of the Mini Sales Pitch: How to Subtitle Your Book So People Will Read It.

Mar 1, 11:32 am

W.H. Auden & religion.

Helen Rouner. Commonweal, 02/26/2024: Poetry for a world marked by death.

Mar 1, 11:33 am

Whatever happened to ...

Colin Ainsworth. Paris Review, 02/29/2024: Fixer Upper: Larry McMurtry’s Library.

Mar 2, 5:19 pm

Noah Sparkes. LARB, 03/02/2024: The Butcher, the Brewer, the Opium Smuggler. Review of: Smoke and Ashes: Opium’s Hidden Histories / Amitav Ghosh.

Editado: Mar 3, 11:54 am

Recent books & reading at The New Yorker:

Anthony Lane. 02/26/2024: Lord Byron Was More Than Just Byronic.

Helen Oyeyemi, interviewer Jennifer Wilson. 03/03/2024: Helen Oyeyemi Thinks We Should Read More and Stay in Touch Less. "The author talks about travel, letters you shouldn’t open, and how she chose Prague as the setting for her latest novel."

Michelle Orange. 03/01/2024: How the Village Voice Met Its Moment. Review of: The Freaks Came Out to Write: The Definitive History of the Village Voice, the Radical Paper That Changed American Culture / Tricia Romano.

Maggie Doherty. 02/26/2024: The Arrested Development of Carson McCullers. Review of: Carson McCullers: A Life / Mary V. Dearborn.

Manvir Singh. 02/28/2024: “Dune” and the Delicate Art of Making Fictional Languages. "The alien language spoken in Frank Herbert’s novels carries traces of Arabic. Why has that influence been scrubbed from the films?"

Rivka Galchen. 02/27/2024: Thinking About A.I. with Stanisław Lem. "The science-fiction writer didn’t live to see ChatGPT, but he foresaw so much of its promise and peril."

Clare Malone. 02/10/2024: Is the Media Prepared for an Extinction-Level Event? "Ads are scarce, search and social traffic is dying, and readers are burned out. The future will require fundamentally rethinking the press’s relationship to its audience."

Mar 4, 10:01 am

Rachel Gordan. The Conversation, 02/27/2024: Betty Smith enchanted a generation of readers with ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ − even as she groused that she hoped Williamsburg would be flattened.

Mar 4, 4:54 pm

From Literary Review March 2024

Michael Prodger. Trouble in Paradise. Review of: Gauguin and Polynesia / Nicholas Thomas.

James Wham. Riddle of the Sands. Review of Dune 2 directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Julian Baggini. Value Judgements. Review of: The Price of Life: In Search of What We’re Worth and Who Decides / Jenny Kleeman.

Rory McCarthy. The Case of the Vanishing Missiles. Review of: The Achilles Trap: Saddam Hussein, the United States and the Middle East, 1979–2003 / Steve Coll.

Philip Snow. Victors’ Justice? Review of: Judgement at Tokyo: World War II on Trial and the Making of Modern Asia / Gary J. Bass.

Norma Clarke. Her Family & Other Animals. Review of: Barbara Comyns: A Savage Innocence / Avril Horner.

Mar 5, 11:07 am

Rachel Cusk, interviewer Merve Emre. Yale Review, 03/04/2024: Rachel Cusk: The novelist on the “feminine non-state of non-being.” Excerpt from forthcoming: Rachel Cusk: Contemporary Critical Perspectives / editors: Roberta Garrett and Liam Harrison.

Mar 5, 11:11 am

Dana Maier & Gila Pfeffer. New Yorker, 02/29/2024: What Blurbs Really Mean.

Mar 5, 11:16 am

Philosophy & language.

Reuben Cohn-Gordon. Aeon, 03/04/2024: Cathedrals of convention. "Humans have a strong impulse to see things that are arbitrary or conventional as natural and essential – especially language."

Kathleen Stock. Unherd, 03/01/2024: How universities killed the academic. "Flamboyant brilliance has been purged."

Mar 5, 11:21 am

Interview with the editor of NYRB & NYRB Books:

Edwin Frank, interviewed by Scott Sherman. The Point, 03/04/2024: How the Story Turns Out.

Editado: Mar 6, 4:52 pm

TLS March 8, 2024|No. 6310


Alexandra Reza. Revolutionary therapy: The inner life of Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist and theorist of decolonization. Review of: THE REBEL’S CLINIC: The revolutionary lives of Frantz Fanon / Adam Shatz.

James Campbell. King of the Road: A detailed and ‘more disgraceful’ portrait of Jack Kerouac. Review of: BECOMING KEROUAC: A writer in his time / Paul Maher Jr.

Norma Clarke. In the marriage market: The hazards of finding a partner for life. Review of: LOVE AND MARRIAGE IN THE AGE OF JANE AUSTEN / Rory Muir.

Adam Mars-Jones. The Zen of toilet cleaning: Dignity and freedom in Wim Wenders’s new film. Review of Wim Wenders's film Perfect Days.


Alberto Manguel. Talking with the dead: On reading and the refuge of a library. Review of: A MARVELOUS SOLITUDE: The art of reading in early modern Europe / Lina Bolzoni; translated by Sylvia Greenup.

Jonathan Keates. Trickiest of customers: Literary realism, a ‘critically endangered species.’ Review of: THE REAL THING: Reflections on a literary form / Terry Eagleton.

Douglas Field. PR guru to the Beat Generation: Allen Ginsberg’s flair for marketing, pranks and poetry. Review of: MATERIAL WEALTH: Mining the personal archive of Allen Ginsberg / Pat Thomas, editor.

Mark Bostridge. Dottyville revisited: War poets and their psychiatrists. Review of: SOLDIERS DON’T GO MAD: A story of brotherhood, poetry and mental illness during the First World War / Charles Glass.

Irina Dumitrescu. Prisoners of Zembla: What Nabokov teaches us about scholars and writers. (Essay on Nabokov's Pale Fire).

John Burnside. The human factor: A minister is sent to a remote Shetland isle to evict its sole tenant. Review of: CLEAR: a novel / Carys Davies.

Christopher Shrimpton. Queen and castle: The abdication and imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots. Review of: THE TOWER: A novel / Flora Carr.

Patrick Graney. Reverse alchemy: Exploitation and machismo in 1960s Costa Rica. Review of: WHERE THERE WAS FIRE / John Manuel Arias.

Miranda France. In step with the times: Old Catalonia meets new in a story that spans generations. Review of: THE TIME OF CHERRIES / Montserrat Roig; translated by Julia Sanches.

In Brief Review of: SHAKESPEARE’S TERCENTENARY: Staging nations and performing identities in 1916/ Monika Smialkowska.

In Brief Review of: DISSIDENT AUTHORSHIP IN MOZAMBIQUE: The case of António Quadros (1933–1994) / Tom Stennett.


Kathryn Hughes. His better half: A painter and designer who outshone her famous husband. Review of: THE ARTIST HELEN COOMBE (1864–1937): The tragedy of Roger Fry’s wife / Martin Ferguson Smith.

James Cook. One last encore: Interviews with music legends in their twilight years. Review of: HOLDING THE NOTE: Writing on music / David Remnick.

Zoe Guttenplan. Drama in the drawing room: A revival of Dodie Smith’s sprawling family saga. Review of Dodie Smith's Dear Octopus, National Theatre, until March 27.

Anna Aslanyan. Black and white and red all over: Ibsen in the present day. Review of Henrik Ibsen's AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, Duke of York’s Theatre, London, until April 13.

In Brief Review of: THE FINAL CURTAIN: obituaries of fifty great actors / Michael Coveney; illustrations by Mia Breuer.

In Brief Review of: IN THE JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE: Keeping time with the Brian Jonestown Massacre / Joel Gion. ("The adventures of one of rock music’s court jesters")

History, Politics, Society, & Culture

William Boyd. Thirty days that shook the world: When victory slipped away from the Axis powers. Review of: NOVEMBER 1942: An intimate history of the turning point of World War II / Peter Englund; translated by Peter Graves.

Judith Flanders. Murder at home: Women’s struggle for equal legal treatment. Review of: THE WALNUT TREE: Women, violence and the law: a hidden history / Kate Morgan.

Jane Robinson. Speak the unspeakable: Annie Besant’s outspoken defence of birth control. Review of: A DIRTY, FILTHY BOOK: Sex, scandal, and one woman’s fight in the Victorian trial of the century / Michael Meyer.

Peter Salmon. Goodbye Doctor: On the couch with ‘the most controversial analyst since Freud.’ Review of: ANALYZED BY LACAN: A personal account / Betty Milan; translated by Clifford E. Landers and Chris Vanderwees.

Sarah Richmond. Workers’ paradise?: Conservative, progressive and feminist conceptions of labour. Review of: HIJACKED: How neoliberalism turned the work ethic against workers and how workers can take it back / Elizabeth Anderson -- AFTER WORK: A history of the home and the fight for free time / Helen Hester and Nick Srnicek.

Bryan Karetnyck. Rumour and havoc: Sefton Delmer’s propaganda war against the Nazis. Review of: HOW TO WIN AN INFORMATION WAR: The propagandist who outwitted Hitler / Peter Pomerantsev.

Richard Sennett. The political stage: Public life as performance. (Essay)

In Brief Review of: TROUBLED: A memoir of foster care, family, and social class / Rob Henderson.

In Brief Review of: THE GOOD ENOUGH LIFE / Daniel Miller. ("An unusual anthropological work of praise")

In Brief Review of: UNDER THE HORNBEAMS: A true story of life in the open / Emma Tarlo. (Homeless in London)

Mar 6, 4:58 pm

Shafiqah Amatullah Hudson, 1978-2024

Penelope Green. NYT, 03/05/2024: Shafiqah Hudson, Who Fought Trolls on Social Media, Dies at 46. "When the hashtag #EndFathersDay began trending on Twitter, she realized it was more than a joke. It was a coordinated disinformation effort."

Mar 6, 5:41 pm

NYRB Online 03/21/2024 (plus one from Mar. 6)


Sigrid Nunez. ‘An Archaic Country,’ Dark and Bright. Review of: The Body of the Soul: stories / Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

Peter Brooks. In Search of His Vocation. Review of: Finding Time Again / Marcel Proust, translated from the French by Ian Patterson -- The Seventy-Five Folios and Other Unpublished Manuscripts / Marcel Proust, edited by Nathalie Mauriac Dyer, translated from the French by Sam Taylor, and with a preface by Jean-Yves Tadié.

Lily Meyer. Nefer’s Mission. Review of: January / Sara Gallardo, translated from the Spanish by Frances Riddle and Maureen Shaughnessy. ("Sara Gallardo’s 1958 novel January, about a young woman’s quest for an abortion, became a touchstone in Argentine feminists’ twenty-first-century fight for the right to choose.")


J. Hoberman. Outsider’s Outsider. Review of: Cosmic Scholar: The Life and Times of Harry Smith / John Szwed -- Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: The Art of Harry Smith, an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, October 4, 2023–January 28, 2024 -- Sounding for Harry Smith: Early Pacific Northwest Influences / Bret Lunsford. ("At once famous and obscure, marginal and central, Harry Smith anticipated and even invented several important elements of Sixties counterculture.")

Frances Wilson. ‘Diabolical Fame.’ Review of: Erotic Vagrancy: Everything About Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor / Roger Lewis.


Meghan O'Gieblyn. The Trouble with Reality. Review of: The Rigor of Angels: Borges, Heisenberg, Kant, and the Ultimate Nature of Reality / William Egginton. ("William Egginton’s intellectual biography of Borges, Kant, and Heisenberg takes place at the intersection of physics and religion, and traces the errors that result when we forget the limits of our human point of view.")

Science & Technology

Jessica Riskin. Every Creeping Thing. Review of: The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Volume 30: 1882, Supplement to the Correspondence 1831–1880 / edited by Frederick Burkhardt, James A. Secord, and the editors of the Darwin Correspondence Project. ("In his late writings and correspondence, Charles Darwin was thinking about how mortal beings strive to make what they can of themselves.")

Verlyn Klinkenborg. The Cost of Our Debris. Review of: Dust: The Modern World in a Trillion Particles / Jay Owens.

History, Politics, Society, & Culture

Sean Wilentz. 03/06/2024: The Constitution Turned Upside Down. "Any account of Trump v. Anderson should lead with the fact that the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that an insurrectionist will remain on the presidential ballot."

Linda Greenhouse. Social Progress & the Courts. Review of: The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? / Gerald N. Rosenberg.

David Cole. Who Should Regulate Online Speech? Review of: Social Media, Freedom of Speech and the Future of Our Democracy / edited by Lee C. Bollinger and Geoffrey R. Stone.

Fintan O'Toole. Laugh Riot. (Article: "To understand Trump’s continuing hold over his fans, we have to ask: Why do they find him so funny?")

Gary Younge. Small Island. (Essay: "What has happened to Britain?")

Joshua Hammer. Iraq’s Twenty Years of Carnage. Review of: A Stranger in Your Own City: Travels in the Middle East’s Long War / Ghaith Abdul-Ahad -- Wounded Tigris: A River Journey Through the Cradle of Civilization / Leon McCarron. ("Two journalists give eyewitness accounts of the immeasurable damage inflicted on Iraq since the US invasion.")

Jonathan Steele. The Party Line. Review of: The Red Hotel: Moscow 1941, the Metropol Hotel, and the Untold Story of Stalin’s Propaganda War / Alan Philps.

Mar 8, 11:26 am

Brian Robert Moore. The Millions, 02/21/2024: Language That Lives: How to Translate an Italian Master. On translating Verdigris / Michelle Mari.

Mar 8, 11:28 am

David E. Cooper. LARB, 03/08/2024: Prince Gautama’s Countless Faces. Review of: The Buddha: Life and Afterlife Between East and West / Philip C. Almond.

Mar 8, 11:30 am

"Niccolò Machiavelli’s profound insights about the violent origins of political societies help us understand the world today."

David Polansky. Aeon, 03/08/2024: The battles over beginnings.

Mar 8, 11:31 am

Somebody had to do it.

Ben H. Winters. crimereads.com, 03/08/2024: IN PRAISE OF READING LE CARRÉ'S ENTIRE OEUVRE IN ORDER.

Mar 8, 11:40 am

Kyle Baasch. Compact, 03/06/2024: Too Late for ‘Late Capitalism.’ Review of: Immediacy, or the Style of Too Late Capitalism / Anna Kornbluh.

Editado: Mar 13, 8:40 am

William Whitworth, 1937-2024

Sam Roberts. NYT, 03/09-10/2024: William Whitworth, Revered Writer and Editor, Is Dead at 87. Editor of Pauline Kael & Robert Caro. "After writing memorable character sketches and fine-tuning others’ copy at The New Yorker, he spent two decades as editor in chief of The Atlantic Monthly."

Harrison Smith. WaPo, 03/12/2024: William Whitworth, gentle but meticulous magazine editor, dies at 87.

Mar 13, 7:35 am

Editado: Mar 13, 8:26 am

Recent bibliographic stuff from The Atlantic:

Tyler Austin Harper. 03/12/2024: A Bloody Retelling of Huckleberry Finn. Review of James / Percival Everett.

Hannah Giorgis. 03/12/2024: Why Does Romance Now Feel Like Work? Review of 2 books with the same title (w/different subtitles which reviewers generally do not include): The End of Love: Racism, Sexism, and the Death of Romance / Sabrina Strings -- The End of Love: Sex and Desire in the Twenty-First Century / Tamara Tenenbaum.

Sophia Stewart. 03/12/2024: WHAT DO CROSSWORD PUZZLES REALLY TEST? Review of: The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle / Anna Schechtman.

Conor Friedersdorf. 03/02/2024: What ‘Luxury Beliefs’ Reveal About the Ruling Class. Review of: Troubled: a memoir of foster care, family, and social class / Rob Henderson.

Mar 13, 7:53 am

Progressive kerfluffle at Guernica (see also 135>):

Phil Klay. Atlantic, 03/12/2024: The Cowardice of Guernica.

Marc Tracy. NYT, 03/12/2024: Literary Magazine Retracts Israeli Writer’s Essay as Staffers Quit. "An Israeli writer’s essay about seeking common ground with Palestinians led to the resignation of at least 10 staff members at Guernica."

Mar 13, 7:57 am

Mar 13, 8:03 am

Benjamin Dreyer. WaPo, 03/12/2024: If you’re still using these dated words, you’re not alone. Examples of what the author calls anachronyms, "words that are used “in an anachronistic way, by referring to something in a way that is appropriate only for a former or later time.”

"Residents of New York City still speak of subway token booths, though it has been two decades since anyone saw a subway token except perhaps at the bottom of a jar of change (or loose coins, also now rolling toward heirloom status).

"We cc people in emails, though carbon copies — made on a typewriter by inserting a carbon-coated sheet between two blank pages — are as dead as doornails and dodos and the IBM Selectric"

Mar 13, 8:22 am

Book review roundup from The Critic (UK) for March 2024:

Andrew Orlowski. The misanthropic history man. "Yuval Noah Harari has become an intellectual superstar, but his predictions have become wilder and sillier." Regarding the author of: Sapiens: a brief history of humankind.

Alexander Lee. Could it be magic? Review of: Magus: The Art of Magic from Faustus to Agrippa / Anthony Grafton.

Sibyl Ruth. From cholera to coronavirus. On the relevance of the 1839 novel Deerbrook / Harriet Martineau.

Sean McGlynn. Encouraging evil for the common good. Review of: Machiavelli’s Effectual Truth: Creating the Modern World / Harvey C. Mansfield.

Tim Abrahams. Intellectual property: Is our attachment to property an impediment to housing people? Yes, argues Moore. Review of: Property: The Myth That Built the World / Rowan Moore.

Patrick Nash. Light from darkness: Rob Henderson’s pitch-perfect concept of “luxury beliefs.” Review of: Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family, and Social Class / Rob Henderson.

Lola Salem. Healers who harm. Review of: Bad Therapy: Why The Kids Aren’t Growing Up / Abigail Shrier.

Mar 13, 8:38 am

Paul T. Wilford, Ethan Cutler. City Journal, 03/01/2024: Raymond Aron’s Liberal Virtues. Review of: Liberty and Equality / Raymond Aron.

Editado: Mar 13, 3:09 pm

TLS March 15, 2024|No. 6311


Michael Caines. Stories taking shape: Scribbles, second thoughts, sketches: a glimpse into the writing process. Review of the exhibition WRITE CUT REWRITE, Weston Library, Oxford, until January 5, 2025.

Nicola Shulman. A secret, but not a crime: Why women’s anger and frustration could only find an outlet in their diaries. Review of: SECRET VOICES: A year of women’s diaries / Sarah Gristwood.

Carlos Fraenkel. Church and state: Was Spinoza’s Enlightenment so radical after all? Review of: SPINOZA: Life and legacy / Jonathan I. Israel.

Miranda France. Love in the time of tourism: The ‘lost’ novel of Gabriel García Márquez. Review of: UNTIL AUGUST / Gabriel García Márquez; translated by Anne McLean.


J. Michael Lennon. This ‘bastard form’: How creative nonfiction stormed the gates of academia. Review of: THE FINE ART OF LITERARY FIST-FIGHTING: How a bunch of rabble-rousers, outsiders, and ne’er-do-wells concocted creative nonfiction / Lee Gutkind.

Daniel Rey. Arise the Machine!: The first direct translation into English of a trend-setting novel. Review of: EXPLOSION IN A CATHEDRAL / Alejo Carpentier; translated by Adrian Nathan West.

Judith Ryan. Rilke’s inventive work on words: A new German edition of the Duino Elegies. Review of: RAINER MARIA RILKE: Duineser Elegien und zugehörige Gedichte 1912-1922 / Christoph König, editor -- KREATIVITÄT: Lektüren von Rilkes / Christoph König.

David Gallagher. Swansong: A utopian dream of reconciliation through music. Review of: LE DEDICO MI SILENCIO / Mario Vargas Llosa.

Megan Marz. An ABC of life: Sentences from Sheila Heti’s diary sorted alphabetically. Review of: ALPHABETICAL DIARIES / Sheila Heti.

Michael Kerrigan. Ghosts and grievances: Toxic masculinity in an Argentina forsaken by God. Review of: THE WIND THAT LAYS WASTE / Selva Almada; translated by Chris Andrews -- BRICKMAKERS / Selva Almada; translated by Annie McDermott -- NOT A RIVER / Selva Almada; translated by Annie McDermott.

Alison Kelly. Kissing time: Sad, funny, stories that grew out of eavesdropping on Londoners. Review of: AFTER A DANCE: Selected stories / Bridget O'Connor.

David Annand. The way it is: The human drama behind a wealthy businessman’s estate. Review of: TELL / Jonathan Buckley.



Rod Mengham. Virtuoso energies: Gerhard Richter’s joyous recent work. Review of the exhibition GERHARD RICHTER: New and recent work, David Zwirner, London, until March 28.

In Brief Review of: THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF RALPH J. GLEASON: Dispatches from the front / Don Armstrong. (Gleason was the popular music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle in the 60s)

In Brief Review of: BRUTALIST PARIS / Nigel Green and Robin Wilson. ("Touring Paris’s brutalist buildings")


Ian Ground. Complex but stupid: A polemic takes aim at mankind’s hubris. Review of: IF NIETZSCHE WERE A NARWHAL: What animal intelligence reveals about human stupidity / Justin Gregg.

Science & Technology

Edward Wilson-Lee. Magical mystery tour: Astrology and the origins of science. Review of: MAGUS: The art of magic from Faustus to Agrippa / Anthony Grafton.

Richard Dunn. Sphere of influence: The ties that bind us to the Moon. Review of: OUR MOON: A human history / Rebecca Boyle.

Helen Czerski. Plumbing the depths: Exploration of the ocean. Review of: THE BATHYSPHERE BOOK: Effects of the luminous ocean depths / Brad Fox -- DEEP SEA: Ten things you should know / Jon Copley.

Regina Rini. Mind the responsibility gap: What happens when AI goes wrong. (Essay)

In Brief Review of: FILTERWORLD: how algorithms flattened culture / Kyle Chayka.

History, Politics, Society, & Culture

Mary C. Flannery. Funny business: The serious search for humour in early English history. Review of: HUMOUR IN OLD ENGLISH LITERATURE: Communities of laughter in early medieval England / Jonathan Wilcox -- LAUGHTER AND AWKWARDNESS IN LATE MEDIEVAL ENGLAND: Social discomfort in the literature of the Middle Ages / David Watt.

Willy Maley. Tudor grand strategy: English designs on union with Scotland. Review of: ENGLAND’S INSULAR IMAGINING: The Elizabethan erasure of Scotland / Lorna Hutson.

Timothy O'Grady. The long calamity: What colonization and empire meant for Ireland. Review of: IRELAND, COLONIALISM, AND THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION / Robbie McVeigh and Bill Rolston.

Barnaby Phillips. A dirty war: Remembering a Kenyan childhood. Review of: TRAPPED IN HISTORY: Kenya, Mau Mau and me / Nicholas Rankin.

Libby Purves. Twin souls: Two suffragettes who spent their lives ‘leading, organizing, challenging and shocking.’ Review of: JACK AND EVE: Two women in love and at war / Wendy Moore.

Max Harris. Dollar diplomacy: How the greenback became an instrument of coercion. Review of: PAPER SOLDIERS: How the weaponization of the dollar changed the world order / Saleha Mohsin.

In Brief Review of: PÊCHEUR DE PERLES /Alain Finkielkraut (aphorisms w/commentary)

In Brief Review of: MOTION SICKNESS / Lynne Tillman. (travel/memoir)

In Brief Review of: DEMOCRACY IN DARKNESS: Secrecy and transparency in the age of revolutions / Katlyn Marie Carter.

Mar 13, 2:29 pm

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Mar 13, 2:43 pm

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Mar 13, 3:10 pm

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Mar 14, 11:08 am

Claire Messud. Yale Review, 03/04/2024: The Common Reader: Virginia Woolf in The Yale Review. "Annotating the Archives is a new column in which an author reflects on work from our 200-year-old archive."

Mar 14, 11:11 am

Elisabeth Åsbrink. Aeon, 03/14/2024: The real Miss Julie. "Victoria Benedictsson assumed a male identity, achieved literary stardom, and took her own life. Then Strindberg stole it."

Mar 14, 11:18 am


Dwight Garner, Alexandra Jacobs and Jennifer Szalai. NYT, 03/14/2024: 22 of the Funniest Novels Since ‘Catch-22.’ Happy to see Martin Amis's Money made the cut!

Atlantic. 03/14/2024: The GREAT American NOVELS. "In setting out to identify that new American canon, we decided to define American as having first been published in the United States (or intended to be—read more in our entries on Lolita and The Bell Jar). And we narrowed our aperture to the past 100 years—a period that began as literary modernism was cresting and contains all manner of literary pleasure and possibility, including the experimentations of postmodernism and the narrative satisfactions of genre fiction.

"This still left millions of potential titles. So we approached experts—scholars, critics, and novelists, both at The Atlantic and outside it—and asked for their suggestions. From there, we added and subtracted and debated and negotiated and considered and reconsidered until we landed on the list you’re about to read. We didn’t limit ourselves to a round, arbitrary number; we wanted to recognize the very best—novels that say something intriguing about the world and do it distinctively, in intentional, artful prose—no matter how many or few that ended up being (136, as it turns out). Our goal was to single out those classics that stand the test of time, but also to make the case for the unexpected, the unfairly forgotten, and the recently published works that already feel indelible. We aimed for comprehensiveness, rigor, and open-mindedness. Serendipity, too: We hoped to replicate that particular joy of a friend pressing a book into your hand and saying, “You have to read this; you’ll love it.”"

Mar 14, 5:31 pm

Dan Wakefield, 1932-2024

David Stout. NYT, 03/14/2024: Dan Wakefield, Multifaceted Writer on a Spiritual Journey, Dies at 91.

Editado: Mar 21, 1:56 pm

The Critic (UK) still pumping out the book reviews:

Michael Duggan. 03/15/2024: Don’t just do something, stand there!. "Three new books resist the modern cult of busyness": Review of: Vita Contemplativa: In Praise of Inactivity / Byung-Chul Han -- Think: In Defence of a Thoughtful Life / Svend Brinkmann -- Why Boredom Matters: Education, Leisure, and the Quest for a Meaningful Life / Kevin Gary Hood.

Richard Hopton. 03/2024: Marshalling India’s maharajahs. Review of: Dethroned: The Downfall of India’s Princely States / John Zubrzycki.

Mar 16, 3:04 pm

Two more reviews from The Critic (UK):

Daniel Johnson. 03/2024: Grandmasters: a meeting of great minds. Review of: Napoleon and Goethe: The Touchstone of Genius / Raymond Keene. This sounds like an awfully eccentric tome, perhaps redeemed by what sounds like a radical abridgement of Goethe's Faust.

"It runs to fewer than 200 pages and inevitably ignores much well-trodden extraneous biographical material. But where Keene’s book breaks new ground is in the inclusion of a series of chess games to illustrate the evolution of military history. Some of these are by Grandmaster Keene himself, including one played while he was still a schoolboy at Dulwich College.

"Even more originally, he includes his own translation of Faust, Goethe’s most famous play. This “performing version” is abridged to a fraction of its original length, but it includes both Parts I and II, on which Goethe worked for most of his long life."

Paul Du Quenoy. 03/16/2024: Ukraine’s cross-cultural contradictions: Has Ukraine overcome its legacy of historical antisemitism? Review of: Jewish-Ukrainian Relations and the Birth of a Political Nation: Selected Writings 2013-2023 / Vladislav Davidzon.

Editado: Mar 21, 1:53 pm

Recent book talk from The New Yorker:

Maya Binyam. 03/11/2024. Percival Everett Can’t Say What His Novels Mean. His new one, James, is a re-do of Huckleberry Finn.

Katy Waldman. 03/17/2024: Kelly Link Is Committed to the Fantastic. "The MacArthur-winning author on the worthwhile frivolity of the fantasy genre, how magic is and is not like a credit card, and why she hates to write but does it anyway."

Benjamin Kunkel. 03/11/2024: How an Enthusiast of Soviet Socialism Fell Afoul of the Authorities. "Andrei Platonov’s “Chevengur” depicts a Communist utopia, but Stalin loathed his writing, calling the author “scum.”"

Mar 17, 10:29 am

New book w/an interesting title:

Ferris Jabr. LARB, 03/16/2024: Animals as the Beating Heart of the Planet. Review of: Eat, Poop, Die: How Animals Make Our World / Joe Roman.

Mar 18, 7:21 am

Nick Ripatrazone. Humanities, 03/12/2024: It’s Dante’s Hell—We’re Just Living In It.

Mar 19, 8:30 am

Daniel Green. The Reading Experience, 03/12/2024: What Hath the Blog Wrought?. On the fate of the litblog. Green is the author of: Beyond the Blurb: on critics and criticism.

Mar 19, 8:32 am

Becca Rothfeld. WaPo, 03/16/2024: Lauren Oyler thinks she’s better than you. Review of: No Judgment: essays / Lauren Oyler.

Mar 19, 10:54 am

Mary Norris. New Yorker, 03/19/2024: A Musical for—and About—Grammar Sticklers.

Editado: Mar 20, 7:32 pm

TLS. March 22, 2024|No. 6312


Russell Williams. Snapshots of every day: The quotidian universal of Annie Ernaux, in word and image. Review of: EXTÉRIEURS: Annie Ernaux et la photographie / Lou Stoppard & the exhibition of the same name, Maison européenne de la photographie (MEP), Paris, until May 26.

Charles Foster. Solitary confinement: Three writers describe the toll taken by loneliness. Review of: ALONE: Reflections on solitary living / Daniel Schreiber; translated by Ben Ferguson -- THE LONELINESS FILES: A memoir in essays / Athena Dixon -- THIS EXQUISITE LONELINESS: What loners, outcasts, and the misunderstood can teach us about creativity / Richard Deming.

Caroline Moorehead. Waiting to be happy: Coming of age as a rebellious woman in Mussolini’s Italy. Review of: HER SIDE OF THE STORY / Alba de Céspedes; translated by Jill Foulston.

Simone Gubler. A life not measured in pounds: Rebelling against fat-shaming society. Review of: UNSHRINKING: How to fight fatphobia / Kate Manne.

Literature & Bibliography

Alice Jolly. Burmese daze: The young Eric Blair’s complicity in colonialism. Review of: BURMA SAHIB / Paul Theroux.

Philip Womack. Unwoke at the wheel: A group of cancelled academics converge on a renegade campus. Review of: HOW I WON A NOBEL PRIZE / Julius Taranto.

Jude Cook. Inside the box: Division and competition among a disgruntled workforce. Review of: HELP WANTED / Adelle Waldman.

Stefanie Hundehege. Secrets, obsessions, delusions and desires: The vanished world of Stefan Zweig. Review of: SIX STORIES / Stefan Zweig; translated by Jonathan Katz.

Christina Obolenskaya. For the good of the cause: Writers for whom political commitment came first. Review of: ENGINEERS OF HUMAN SOULS: Four writers who changed twentieth-century minds / Simon Ings.

Gabriel Josipovici. No longer mourn for him: Shakespeare in the imagination of Bloomsbury and Samuel Beckett. Review of: SHAKESPEARE IN BLOOMSBURY / Marjorie Garber -- SHAKESPEARE AND BECKETT: Restless echoes / Claudia Olk.

Ladee Hubbard. The other Brazil: Militant slave communities and their descendants. Review of: THE DIALECTIC IS IN THE SEA: The black radical thought of Beatriz Nascimento / Beatriz Nascimento.

Harvey Young. Swayin in spangles: Black American women writers who helped each other find their voice. Review of: THE SISTERHOOD: How a network of Black women writers changed American culture / Courtney Thorsson -- SING A BLACK GIRL’S SONG: The unpublished work of Ntozake Shange / Imani Perry, editor.

Frances Wilson. Wearing horns: Was D. H. Lawrence the cuckolder or the cuckold?. Review of: THE LIMITS OF LOVE: The lives of D. H. Lawrence and Frieda von Richthofen / Michael Squires.

Craig Raine. Sterne critics: The realism of Tristram Shandy. (Essay)

In Brief Review of: BLASTED WITH ANTIQUITY: Old age and the consolations of literature / David Ellis.


In Brief Review of: LORI AND JOE / Amy Arnold.


Michael Dobson. Luvvies and sweeties: How a paternalist employer promoted amateur theatre. Review of: THEATRE IN THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: Performance at Cadbury’s Bournville, 1900–1935 / Catherine Hindson.

J.S. Barnes. An enterprising Yorkshireman: The actor reveals the ‘bruised, solemn little boy’ behind the mask. Review of: MAKING IT SO: A memoir / Patrick Stewart.

Peter Maber. The mind sound: Yoko Ono’s creative, resilient thinking. Review of the exhibition YOKO ONO: Music of the mind, Tate Modern, London, until September 1.

Science & Technology

In Brief Review of: THE SCIENCE OF SPIN: The force behind everything – from falling cats to jet engines / Roland Ennos.


Graeme Richardson. Well done, God: The Bible as poetry or theology. Review of: THE BIBLE AND POETRY / Michael Edwards; translated by Stephen E. Lewis -- READING GENESIS / Marilynne Robinson.

Amy Murrell Taylor. Lost and found: The slave trader’s hymn that inspired the enslaved. Review of: AMAZING GRACE: A cultural history of the beloved hymn / James Walvin.

History, Politics, Society, & Culture

John Darwin. War by tide table: A clash of empires in the Mediterranean. Review of: SEA OF TROUBLES: The European conquest of the Islamic Mediterranean and the origins of the First World War / Ian Rutledge.

Martyn Frampton. Elite failure: Western foreign policy has been driven by wishful thinking. Review of: THE NEW WORLD DISORDER: How the West is destroying itself / Peter R. Neumann.

John Keay. Power of the poppy: Global trade as criminal enterprise. Review of: SMOKE AND ASHES: Opium’s hidden / Amitav Ghosh.

Anna Temkin. Baby snatchers: Civil war fed a lucrative global market in forced adoptions. Review of: UNTIL I FIND YOU: Disappeared children and coercive adoptions in Guatemala / Rachel Nolan.

Norma Clarke. Missing pictures: Uncovering the stories of Jewish children evacuated from Vienna. Review of: I SEEK A KIND PERSON: My father, seven children and the adverts that helped them escape the Holocaust / Julian Borger.

Andrew Holter. Much more to Helen: The deaf and blind girl who dared to talk back. Review of: AUTOBIOGRAPHIES AND OTHER WRITINGS (Library of America) / Helen Keller.

Benjamin T. Smith. Life under siege: A mother who stalked her daughter’s killers. Review of: FEAR IS JUST A WORD: A missing daughter, a violent cartel and a mother’s quest for vengeance / Azam Ahmed.

In Brief Review of: FREE TIME: The history of an elusive ideal / Gary S. Cross.

In Brief Review of: WHEN I PASSED THE STATUE OF LIBERTY I BECAME BLACK: The lost memoir of Britain’s first Black Olympic medal winner and the America he discovered / Harry Edward.

In Brief Review of: THE PALACE: From the Tudors to the Windsors, 500 years of history at Hampton Court / Gareth Russell.

Mar 20, 7:29 pm

Lauren Alwan. The Millions, 03/19/2024: The Virtue of Slow Writers.

Mar 20, 7:31 pm

Emily Zarevich. JStor Daily, 03/17/2024: Shakespeare’s First Published Work. (Namely, Venus and Adonis)

Editado: Mar 21, 7:49 am

Hannah Rosin. Atlantic, 03/21/2024: The Smartphone Kids Are Not All Right. Review of: The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness / Jonathan Haidt.

Another review of the same book:

Sophie McBain. Guardian, 03/21/2024: The Anxious Generation by Jonathan Haidt – a pocket full of poison.

Mar 21, 8:07 am

Book recommends from fivebooks.com:

Shafik Meghji, interviewer Cal Flyn. 03/20/2024: The Best Travel Writing of 2024. "Every spring, the judges of the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards draw up a shortlist for the title of the 'travel book of the year.' The 2024 shortlist highlights six fascinating recent travelogues that wrestle with political and environmental issues, and explore the contrast between the outsider and the insider gaze."

A Stranger in Your Own City: Travels in the Middle East's Long War / Ghaith Abdul-Ahad -- The Britannias: An Archipelago's Tale / Alice Albinia -- The Gathering Place: A Winter Pilgrimage Through Changing Times / Mary Colwell -- The Granite Kingdom: A Cornish Journey / Tim Hannigan -- Wounded Tigris: A River Journey Through the Cradle of Civilization / Leon McCarron -- High Caucasus / Tom Parfitt.

Chris Thorogood, interviewer Cal Flynn. 03/14/2024: The best books on Botany. Thorogood is the author of: Pathless Forest: The Quest to Save the World's Largest Flowers.

The Cabaret of Plants: Forty Thousand Years of Plant Life and the Human Imagination / Richard Mabey -- The Brief Life Of Flowers / Fiona Stafford -- Glasshouse Greenhouse: Haarkon's world tour of amazing botanical spaces / India Hobson & Magnus Edmundson -- The Playground of the Far East / Walter Weston -- Life in the Forests of the Far East / Spenser Buckingham St. John.

Mar 21, 8:32 am

Ted Farris. Aeon, 03/21/2024: A man beyond categories. "Paul Tillich was a religious socialist and a profoundly subtle theologian who placed doubt at the centre of his thought." (Farris is Tillich's grandson)

Editado: Mar 28, 1:28 pm

Margaret Talbtot. New Yorker, 03/18/2024: How Candida Royalle Set Out to Reinvent Porn. Review of: Candida Royalle and the Sexual Revolution: A History from Below / Jane Kamensky.

Another review:

Rich Juzwiak. NYT, 03/12/2024: A Biography of a Feminist Porn Pioneer Bares All.

And another:

Fred Turner. LARB, 03/28/2024: Porn Star and Feminist.

Mar 21, 8:41 am

Stefan Andriopoulos. Public Books, 03/20/2024: THE MULTIPLICATION OF MONSTERS: FROM GUTENBERG TO QANON. "Throughout history the introduction of new and accessible media forms has increased the circulation and acceptance of rumors and disinformation."

Editado: Mar 28, 7:52 pm

Vernor Vinge, 1944-2024

Per Wikipedia. More info. when available. Wikipedia: "He was the first wide-scale popularizer of the technological singularity concept and among the first authors to present a fictional "cyberspace". He won the Hugo Award for his novels A Fire Upon the Deep (1992), A Deepness in the Sky (1999), and Rainbows End (2006), and novellas Fast Times at Fairmont High (2002) and The Cookie Monster (2004)."

Richard Sandomir. NYT, 03/28/2024: Vernor Vinge, Innovative Science Fiction Novelist, Dies at 79. "He conceived an early version of cyberspace and predicted the “technological singularity,” a tipping point at which machines would become smarter than humans."

Mar 22, 8:16 am

From The Critic (UK):

The Secret Author. 03/22/2024: Not everyone has a novel in them.

Gavin McCormack. 03/2024: Hellenism in Rome. Review of: The Children of Athena: Greek Writers and Thinkers in the Age of Rome, 150 BC—AD 400 / Charles Freeman.

Mar 22, 10:31 pm

Laurent de Brunhoff, 1925-2024

Penelope Green. NYT, 03/22/2024: Laurent de Brunhoff, Artist Who Made Babar Famous, Dies at 98. "After his father, who created the character, died, he continued the series of books about a modest elephant and his escapades in Paris for seven decades."

Mar 25, 8:44 am

Sam Woodward. Aeon, 03/25/2024: Terrifying vistas of reality. "H P Lovecraft, the master of cosmic horror stories, was a philosopher who believed in the total insignificance of humanity."

Mar 25, 1:43 pm

Katha Pollitt. Atlantic, 03/25/2024: THE PHANTASMS OF JUDITH BUTLER. Review of: Who's Afraid of Gender? / Judith Butler.

Mar 27, 10:20 am

Margaret Atwood. NYT, 03/25/2024: Stephen King’s First Book Is 50 Years Old, and Still Horrifyingly Relevant. She's talking about Carrie.

Editado: Mar 27, 1:42 pm

TLS March 29, 2024|No. 6313


Michael Caines. Fear of flying: The literary progress of Ray Bradbury. Review of: REMEMBRANCE: Selected correspondence of Ray Bradbury / Jonathan R. Eller, editor.

Geertje Bol. Affirmative action: Rethinking the limits of consent. Review of: THE JOY OF CONSENT: A philosophy of good sex / Manon Garcia -- CONSENT MATTERS / Robert E. Goodin.

Camille Ralphs. Beyond Petticoat Lane: The wealth of female talent behind a notorious publication. Review of: DECADENT WOMEN: Yellow Book lives / Jad Adams.

Suzi Feay. Are you a good person?: Generational gulfs in Andrew O’Hagan’s state-of-the-nation novel. Review of: CALEDONIAN ROAD / Andrew O'Hagan.

Literature, Linguistics, & Bibliography

Kate Hext. The road not taken: Why Walter Pater’s personal and imaginative approach to literary criticism failed to find favour. Review of: WALTER PATER AND THE BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH STUDIES / Charles Martindale, Lene Østermark-Johansen and Elizabeth Prettejohn, editors.

Russell Williams. The bad and the ugly: The Wild West of France’s #MeToo. Review of: WESTERN / Maria Pouchet.

Alice Blackhurst. The world’s a stage: How to be a woman. Review of: FABRIQUER UNE FEMME / Marie Darrieussecq.

Nat Segnit. Form and falsehood: Is literary stylization an evasion of the world’s problems? Review of: CHOICE: a novel / Neel Mukherjee.

Henry Hitchings. Moriarty of the book world: A ‘pretender to greatness’ who became a prolific forger. Review of: THE BOOK FORGER: The true story of a literary crime that fooled the world / Joseph Hone.

In Brief Review of: THE LANGUAGE PUZZLE: How we talked our way out of the Stone Age / Steven Mithen.


Nile Green. Postcards from the Hajj: What makes art ‘Islamic’? Review of: HAJJ AND THE ARTS OF PILGRIMAGE: Essays in honour of Nasser David Khalili / Qaisra M. Khan and Nahla Nassar, editors.

William Atkins. Warning signs: The mystery and danger of nuclear power plants. Review of: THE NUCLEAR SUBLIME / Michael Collins.

Sarah Lonsdale. Shades of meaning: Our complex, ambivalent relationship with trees. Review of the exhibition LOVELY AS A TREE, Linnean Society, Burlington House, London, until June 28.

Desirée Baptiste. Visions and voices of London: A classic of the Windrush generation brought to life. Review of the play THE LONELY LONDONERS, an adaptation by Roy Williams of the novel by Sam Selvon.

In Brief Review of: THE REJECTS: An alternative history of popular music / Jamie Collinson.

In Brief Review of: THE LIVERBIRDS: Our story of life in Britain’s first female rock’n’roll band / Mary McGlory and Sylvia Saunders.


Kieran Setiya. Where did it all go wrong?: Living with the past imperfect. Review of: REGRET / Paddy McQueen -- NOSTALGIA: A history of a dangerous emotion / Agnes Arnold-Forster.

Erika Nesvold. Space barons: The carve-up of the solar system. Review of: WHO OWNS THE MOON?: In defence of humanity’s common interests in space / A. C. Grayling -- A CITY ON MARS: Can we settle space, should we settle space, and have we really thought this through? /Kelly and Zach Weinersmith.

History, Politics & Society, Culture

Vanessa Curtis. News we could use: The former spy who revolutionized BBC radio. Review of: HILDA MATHESON: A life of secrets and broadcasts / Michael Carney and Kate Murphy.

Richard Norton-Taylor. Playing whack-a-mole: The memoirs of a spy-hunter. Review of: CLASSIFIED!: The adventures of a molehunter / Nigel West.

Ian Sansom. Cutting remarks: The joy of barbershop conversation. (Essay)

Nicholas Morton. Schisms, stylites and sackings: Byzantium’s rise and fall. Review of: THE NEW ROMAN EMPIRE: A history of Byzantium / Anthony Kaldellis.

Rowan Wilson. At your service, sir: How middle men brought the world to medieval Europe. Review of: FIXERS: Agency, translation, and the early global history of literature / Zrinka Stahuljak.

Katherine Harvey. Bone people: What archaeology tells us about later medieval Europe. Review of: CRYPT: Life, death and disease in the Middle Ages and beyond / Alice Roberts.

Jonathan Sumption. Winner of the game of thrones: The Capetian dynasty that turned France into a great power. Review of: HOUSE OF LILIES: The dynasty that made medieval France / Justine Firnhaber-Baker.

Jonanna Bourke. Women scorned: Troubling stories of revenge. Review of: THE FURIES: Three women and their violent fight for justice / Elizabeth Flock.

Jacqueline Banerjee. An absurd and brutal mindset: The last men to be hanged for sodomy. Review of: JAMES AND JOHN: A true story of prejudice and murder / Chris Bryant.

Vernon Bogdanor. Assassins’ club: The Tory backbench committee with the power to dispatch leaders. Review of: THE 1922 COMMITTEE: Power behind the scenes / Philip Norton.

In Brief review of: THEY WENT TO PORTUGAL: A travellers’ portrait / Rose Macaulay.

In Brief review of: MELTING POINT / Rachel Cockerell.

In Brief review of: INVENTING THE WORKING PARENT: Work, gender, and feminism in neoliberal Britain / Sarah E. Stoller.

In Brief review of: RUSSIA’S WARS IN CHECHNYA, 1994–2009 / Mark Galeotti.

Editado: Mar 28, 11:02 am

Daniel Kahneman, 1934-2024

Robert D. Hershey Jr. NYT, 03/27/2024: Daniel Kahneman, Who Plumbed the Psychology of Economics, Dies at 90. Author of the celebrated Thinking, Fast and Slow.

Chris Power. WaPo, 03/27/2024: Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate who upended economics, dies at 90.

Daniel Engbar. Atlantic, 03/27/2024: Daniel Kahneman Wanted You to Realize How Wrong You Are.

Editado: Mar 28, 11:24 am

Gal Beckerman. Atlantic, 03/28/2024: THE PATRON SAINT OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE. Review of: The Rebel's Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz / Adam Shatz.

Sam Klug. Boston Review, 03/27/2024: Who’s Afraid of Frantz Fanon? Review of the same book.

Mar 28, 11:10 am

Will Glovinsky. Public Books, 03/28/2024: IS THE WORLD ENOUGH? Review of: Scarcity: A History from the Origins of Capitalism to the Climate Crisis / Fredrik Albritton Jonsson and Carl Wennerlind.

Mar 28, 11:19 am

Jaspreet Singh Boparai. Quillette, 03/28/2024: Mystic Without a Church. Review of: Every Man for Himself and God Against All: A MEMOIR / Werner Herzog; translated by Michael Hofmann.

Editado: Mar 31, 9:47 am

More New Yorker book reviews:

Adam Gopnik. 03/25/2024: When New York Made Baseball and Baseball Made New York. Review of: The New York Game: Baseball and the Rise of a New City / Kevin Baker; with a nod to Games: Agency As Art (Thinking Art) / C. Thi Nguyen.

Lauren Michele Jackson. 03/24/2024: Percival Everett’s Philosophical Reply to “Huckleberry Finn.” Review of: James / Percival Everett Jackson.

Gideon Lewis-Krause. 03/25/2024: You Say You Want a Revolution. Do You Know What You Mean by That? Review of: Age of Revolutions: Progress and Backlash from 1600 to the Present / Fareed Zakaria -- The Age of Revolutions: And the Generations Who Made It / Nathan Perl-Rosenthal.

Adam Gopnik. 03/18/2024: The Forgotten History of Hitler’s Establishment Enablers. Review of: Takeover: Hitler's Final Rise to Power / Timothy W. Ryback.

Book related:

Emma Green. 03/11/2024: Have the Liberal Arts Gone Conservative?

Mar 28, 1:25 pm

Recent book reviews from The Critic (UK):

Patrick Galbraith. 03/28/2024: Parklife people. Review of: Under the Hornbeams: A True Story of Life in the Open / Emma Tarlo. "Tarlo, an anthropologist who has previously written a highly-acclaimed book on hair ..."

Daisy Dunn. 03/2024: Man of letters: reading between the lines. Review of: Byron: A Life in Ten Letters / Andrew Stauffer.

Matt Ridley. 03/2024: How not to investigate the origins of Covid. Review of: Wuhan: How the COVID-19 Outbreak in China Spiralled Out of Control / Dali L. Yang. "This book on Covid’s origins is limited to criticisms deemed acceptable to Beijing."

Mar 28, 1:31 pm

Sameer Pandya. LARB, 03/27/2024: "A Passage to India” on Its 100th Birthday. Touchstone link to avoid messing up the link to the review: A Passage to India / E.M. Forster.

Mar 29, 10:10 am

Edward J. Watts. LARB, 03/29/2024: The Crisis of Classical Studies. Review of: Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World / Mary Beard.

Editado: Mar 30, 12:43 pm

Not sure this is worth sharing:

Sophia Nguyen. WaPo, 03/30/2024: Want to finish more books? Super readers share their tips.

Recalled this ad from X: "Ever wished you could read a book in 10 minutes? Shortform both summarizes and annotates the key points of over 1000 nonfiction books. Take control of your learning journey."

Mar 30, 9:05 am

Greg Barnhisel. LARB, 03/25/2024: The Pulp of Culture. Review of: The Book at War: How Reading Shaped Conflict and Conflict Shaped Reading / Andrew Pettegree.

Abr 1, 7:17 pm

Aida Alami. NYT, 03/31/2024: A Book Found in a Cairo Market Launched a 30-Year Quest: Who Was the Writer? "For Iman Mersal, the slim novel was “life altering.” She narrates her journey in the footsteps of its largely forgotten author in “Traces of Enayat.” The novel was Love and Silence / Enayat el-Zayyat.

Abr 2, 10:05 am

Andrew Marantz. New Yorker, 03/27/2024: Why We Can’t Stop Arguing About Whether Trump Is a Fascist. Review of: Did It Happen Here?: Perspectives on Fascism and America / Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins, editor.