Exploring Books Through Articles, Reviews, Announcements, & Lists 2024-2 Apr.-June

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Exploring Books Through Articles, Reviews, Announcements, & Lists 2024-2 Apr.-June

Editado: Abr 1, 3:13 pm

NYRB Online April 4 2024 (note: NYRB posted this issue in March)


Miranda Seymour. A Hectic Life. Review of: Byron: A Life in Ten Letters / Andrew Stauffer -- Jane Austen and Lord Byron: Regency Relations / Christine Kenyon Jones.

Phillip Lopate. ‘Thus I Lived with Words.’ Review of: The Complete Personal Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson / edited by Trenton B. Olsen.

Sophie Pinkham. Becoming One with Genius. Review of: The Extinction of Irena Rey / Jennifer Croft.


Daphne Merkin. The Way She Was. Review of: My Name Is Barbra / Barbra Streisand.

James Quandt. An Anatolian Chekhov. Review of About Dry Grasses, a film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan and the book ReFocus: The Films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan / edited by Gönül Dönmez-Colin.

History, Politics & Society, Culture

Christian Caryl. Mourning Navalny. Review of: The Dissident: Alexey Navalny, Profile of a Political Prisoner / David M. Herszenhorn -- Navalny: Putin’s Nemesis, Russia’s Future? / Jan Matti Dollbaum, Morvan Lallouet, and Ben Noble -- Navalny, a film directed by Daniel Roher.

Jason DeParle. Sisyphus on the Street. Review of: Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People / Tracy Kidder.

Eric Foner. A ‘Wary Faith’ in the Courts. Review of: Before the Movement: The Hidden History of Black Civil Rights / Dylan C. Penningroth.

Trevor Jackson. The Crash Next Time. Review of: Seven Crashes: The Economic Crises That Shaped Globalization / Harold James -- The Great Crashes: Lessons from Global Meltdowns and How to Prevent Them / Linda Yueh.

David A. Bell. Piety & Power. Review of: La Duchesse: The Life of Marie de Vignerot, Cardinal Richelieu’s Forgotten Heiress Who Shaped the Fate of France / Bronwen McShea.

Erin Malagque. Wings of Desire. Review of: They Flew: A History of the Impossible / Carlos M.N. Eire.

Margaret Scott. Indonesia’s Corrupted Democracy. Review of: The Coalitions Presidents Make: Presidential Power and Its Limits in Democratic Indonesia / Marcus Mietzner.

Abr 1, 2:49 pm

NYRB Online April 18 2024 (w/odds & ends from March)


Colin Grant. The Jeopardy Is the Juice. Review of: Crook Manifesto / Colson Whitehead.

Daisy Hildyard. The Long View. Review of: In Ascension / Martin MacInnes.

Brenda Wineapple. Stifled Rage. Review of: A Strange Life: Selected Essays of Louisa May Alcott / edited and with an introduction by Liz Rosenberg, and a preface by Jane Smiley.

Andrew Delbanco. A Hell of a Performance. Review of: The Naked and the Dead and Selected Letters, 1945–1946 / Norman Mailer, edited by J. Michael Lennon.

Laura Marsh. Human Resources. Review of: Help Wanted / Adelle Waldman.

Francine Prose. Poem & Prayer. Review of: Martyr! / Kaveh Akbar.

Peter C. Baker. Staying Alive. Review of: The Wall / Marlen Haushofer, translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside, and with an afterword by Claire-Louise Bennett.


Merve Emre. As Long as You Both Shall Live. Review of the film Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justin Trier.

Geoffrey O'Brien. Furious Stasis. Review of La Forza del Destino, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi, directed by Mariusz Treliński, at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, February 26–March 29, 2024.

Science & Theology

Nathaniel Rich. Ufologists, Unite! Review of: American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology / D.W. Pasulka -- Encounters: Experiences with Nonhuman Intelligences / D.W. Pasulka.

Michelle Nijhuis. The Digital Planet. Review of: Gaia’s Web: How Digital Environmentalism Can Combat Climate Change, Restore Biodiversity, Cultivate Empathy, and Regenerate the Earth / Karen Bakker -- Environmentalism from Below: How Global People’s Movements Are Leading the Fight for Our Planet / Ashley Dawson.

Jerome Groopman. Seeing the Power in Blindness. Review of: The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight / Andrew Leland.

History, Politics & Society, Culture

Geoffrey Wheatcroft. The Unwilling Celebrity. Review of: Alfred Dreyfus: The Man at the Center of the Affair / Maurice Samuels.

Héctor Tobar. The Truths of Our American Empire. Review of: Everyone Who Is Gone Is Here: The United States, Central America, and the Making of a Crisis / Jonathan Blitzer.

Jenny Uglow. The Volcano Lovers. Review of: Volcanic: Vesuvius in the Age of Revolutions / John Brewer.

Walter M. Shaub, Jr. The Corruption Playbook. (Essay: "Donald Trump’s plan to destroy civil service protections if reelected is more than an employees’ rights issue. What’s at stake is democracy itself.")

Tim Judah. Gloom in Ukraine. (Essay: "Two years after the Russian invasion, Ukrainian morale has plummeted.")

Elena Kostyuchenko, translated by Bela Shayevich. 04/01/2024: Russia’s Election Ritual. (Essay: "Vladimir Putin has been reelected president in another sham exercise in democracy. ")

Neve Gordon & Muna Haddad. 03/30/2024: The Road to Famine in Gaza. (Essay: "Hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza are at the brink of famine—a human-made disaster with roots in Israel’s history of using food as a weapon.")

Editado: Abr 1, 3:35 pm

James Cooke & Paul Hastie. BBC Culture, 04/01/2024: JK Rowling in ‘arrest me’ challenge over hate crime law.

Somewhat related:

Victoria Smith. The Critic (UK), 04/2024: He’s not the messiah, he’s a transwoman. Review of: Transsexual Apostate: My Journey Back to Reality / Debbie Hayton.

Abr 1, 7:28 pm

Elisabeth Egan, photos & video by Chase Castor. NYT, 04/01/2024: Once Upon a Time, the World of Picture Books Came to Life. About the children's picture book museum The Rabbit Hole, located in North Kansas City, Mo. Great pictures!

Abr 2, 10:03 am

Benjamin Kerstein. Quillette, 04/02/2024: Sex and Smashed Steel. "A look back at J.G. Ballard's ‘Crash’—one of the the 20th century’s greatest and most disturbingly prophetic novels."

Abr 2, 9:09 pm

Maryse Condé, 1934-2024

Harrison Smith. WaPo, 04/02/2024: Maryse Condé, a grande dame of Caribbean literature, dies at 90.

"A literary chronicler of the Black diaspora, Dr. Condé wrote richly textured novels that were dense with detail, drawn in part from her years living in West Africa, Europe, the United States and, above all, the Caribbean. Much of her work gave voice to the people and history of Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France that she described as “a small island with no say on international issues” — the sort of place that gets “mentioned only when there is a hurricane.

"Dr. Condé, who had a doctorate in comparative literature and was a professor emerita of French at Columbia University, wrote more than two-dozen books, including plays, essay collections, children’s books and memoirs, in which she recounted her childhood in Guadeloupe (she was the youngest of eight children) and her passion for cooking, which began as an act of defiance against a mother who insisted that “only stupid people like to cook.”

Author of, among others: Segu (1984) -- I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem (1986) -- Windward Heights (1995) -- Tree of Life (1992) -- The Gospel According to the New World (2023)

Her LT page at https://www.librarything.com/author/condemaryse

Editado: Abr 3, 8:03 am

John Barth, 1930-2024

Michael T. Kaufman & Dwight Garner. NYT, 04/02/2024: John Barth, Writer Who Pushed Storytelling’s Limits, Dies at 93.

"Mr. Barth was a practitioner and a theoretician of postmodern literature. In 1967, he wrote a critical essay for The Atlantic Monthly, “The Literature of Exhaustion,” which continues to be cited as the manifesto of postmodernism, and which has inspired more than three decades of debate over its central contention: that old conventions of literary narrative can be, and indeed have been, “used up.”

"Mr. Barth’s creative output was prodigious: He published nearly 20 novels and collections of short stories, three books of critical essays and a final book of short observational pieces. In his teaching and in his writing, he stressed the force of narrative imagination in the face of death, or even just boredom."

I was enamored by The Sot Weed Factor in high school, & it led me to its predecessors Tristram Shandy & Moby Dick. Thanks to Giles Goat Boy I was able to take the passions of academia with a grain of salt. With gratitude, JB.

John Barth's LT page at https://www.librarything.com/author/barthjohn

Harrison Smith. WaPo, 04/02/2024: John Barth, novelist who orchestrated literary fantasies, dies at 93.

"Mr. Barth was, in fact, for many years a professor, teaching English and creative writing at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins. While he saw himself as a teacher as much as an author, he believed he was writing squarely in the tradition of storytellers such as Homer, Virgil and the imprisoned character of Scheherazade, whose storytelling prowess led her captor to spare her life.

He was, he said, a kind of literary arranger, enacting in literature what he had briefly done in his youth as an orchestrator for a jazz band."

Abr 3, 8:10 am

Diane Taylor. Guardian, 04/03/2024: ‘I wanted to end my life’: ‘Bookseller of Kabul’ rebuilds destroyed business. "Shah Muhammad Rais was devastated when Taliban destroyed his shop, but now he is sending books to Afghanistan via the internet."

Abr 3, 8:32 am

From Literary Review (UK), April 2024:

Richard Williams. In Their Own Sweet Way. Review of: 3 Shades of Blue: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans and the Lost Empire of Cool / James Kaplan -- The Notebooks of Sonny Rollins / Sam V H Reese (ed).

Mark Blacklock. Apocalypse Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow. Review of: Everything Must Go: The Stories We Tell About the End of the World / Dorian Lynskey.

James Womack. Save the Last Dance. Review of: Until August / Gabriel García Márquez (Translated from Spanish by Anne McLean).

John Keay. Selkies, Trows & Calvinists. Review of: Storm’s Edge: Life, Death and Magic in the Islands of Orkney / Peter Marshall.

Deborah Levy. Lady Stardust. Review of: Me and Mr Jones: My Life with David Bowie and the Spiders from Mars / Suzi Ronson.

Abr 3, 11:59 am

David James. The Critic (UK), 04/03/2024: Very public introspection. Review of: A Very Private School / Charles Spencer.

Editado: Abr 3, 1:06 pm

TLS April 5, 2024|No. 6314


Tom Seymour Evans. Life at the sad café: Carson McCullers: a novelist of the marginalized and ‘those struggling to understand who they are.’ Review of: CARSON MCCULLERS: A Life / Mary V. Dearborn.

Clifford Thompson. Huckleberry Jim: Mark Twain’s escaped slave wrests control of his story. Review of the novel: James / Percival Everett.

Colin Grant. Nods and winks of recognition: Percival Everett’s wry, provocative novel on the publishing world brought to the screen. Review of the film American Fiction, written & directed by Jefferson Cord, based on Erasure / Percival Everett.

Bill McKibben. The right weapon: Why the mass movement for climate action should reject violence. Review of: THE EXHAUSTED EARTH
Politics in a burning world / Ajay Singh Chaudhary.


Gerri Kimber. A talent to abuse: ‘The greatest picture of the lousiest family of all time.’ Review of: CHRISTINA STEAD’S ‘THE MAN WHO LOVED CHILDREN’ / Lucy Ferriss. Touchstone to The Man Who Loved Children.

Victoria Moul. Bridge builder: Two studies of Hart Crane. Review of: VISIONARY COMPANY: Hart Crane and modernist periodicals / Francesca Bratton -- STRONGER THAN DEATH: Hart Crane’s last year in Mexico / Francesca Bratton.

Charlie Louth. Confinements: A poet’s troubled life in pictures. Review of: PAUL CELAN: Eine Bildbiographie / Bertrand Badiou; in collaboration with Nicolas Geibel; with an essay by Michael Kardamitsis.

Miranda Gold. Liberating the truest music: Flamenco, Spain and the gypsy soul. Review of: ESCRITOS FLAMENCOS / Federico García Lorca; edited by Carlos García Simón.

Laura Garmeson. Love is all you need: Humanity and technology on their flight to infinity. Review of: THE BOOK OF ALL LOVES / Agustín Fernández Mallo; translated by Thomas Bunstead.

Michael LaPointe. Echoes of a past life: A mysterious hotel guest orchestrates a reunion. Review of: THE GENTLEMAN FROM PERU / André Aciman.

Ann Kennedy Smith. Another fresh start: A writer who makes things happen. Review of: BETTER BROKEN THAN NEW: A fragmented memoir / Lisa St Aubin de Terán.

In Brief Review of: HOW TO BE SOMEBODY ELSE / Miranda Pountney.

In Brief Review of: ZWEI SOLDATEN / Maria Lazar; edited and with an afterword by Albert C. Eibl.

In Brief Review of: JAMES SALTER: Pilot, screenwriter, novelist / Jeffrey Meyers.

In Brief Review of: GREAT JAPANESE STORIES: 10 parallel texts / Jay Rubin, editor.

In Brief Review of: RAVAGE: An astonishment of fire / MacGillivray.


James Cahill. Wonderful possibilities: The thin line between pose and authenticity in Sargent’s portraits. Review of the exhibition SARGENT AND FASHION, Tate Britain, until July 7.

Sophie Oliver. Warp and weft: An exhibition that subverts conventional notions of art. Review of the exhibition UNRAVEL: The power and politics of textiles in art, Barbican Art Gallery, London, until May 26.

Rod Mengham. Plundered planet: Aerial photographs of landscapes altered by human activity. Review of an exhibiton of photographer Edward Burtynsky, BURTYNSKY, Extraction/Abstraction, Saatchi Gallery, London, until May 6.

Walker Mimms. Generation game: A thought-provoking show of robot-created paintings. Review of the exhibition Harold Cohen: ARON, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, until May 19.


David Beer. Deconstructing Foucault: The final volume in a study of the philosopher’s thought. Review of: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF FOUCAULT / Stuart Elden.


In Brief Review of: ON THE HUMAN IMAGE OF GOD / Gregory of Nyssa; translated by John Behr.


Irina Dumitrescu. Burnout: Stress-busting with the medieval knights. (Essay on the Life of Christina of Markyate, the twelfth-century visionary and anchoress)

Terri Apter. Pain and pedigree: On ‘culturally sanctioned trauma.’ Review of: A VERY PRIVATE SCHOOL: A memoir / Charles Spencer. (see also >12 featherbear:)

Norma Clarke. Don’t look: Unmarried motherhood and the tradition of silence in Ireland. Review of: MISSING PERSONS, OR MY GRANDMOTHER’S SECRETS / Clair Wills.

Nelly Kaprièlian-Self. The scene of the crime: An autobiographical journey back to Rwanda, thirty years after the genocide. Review of: LE CONVOI / Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse.

In Brief Review of: VITAL ORGANS: A history of the world’s most famous body parts / Suzie Edge.

Editado: Abr 4, 7:35 am

Christopher Durang, 1949-2024

Alexis Soloski. NYT, 04/03/2024: Christopher Durang, Playwright Who Mixed High Art and Low Humor, Dies at 75.

Enjoyed his Idiots Karamazov at the Yale Student Theater back in the day (I think Streep was one of the players); once shared a cab ride with him from New Haven's Union Station -- neither of us said a word, much less made eye contact.

Christopher Durang's LT page: https://www.librarything.com/author/durangchristopher

Jesse Green. NYT, 04/03/2024: Christopher Durang, the Surrealist of Snark.

Harrison Smith. WaPo, 04/03/2024: Christopher Durang, Tony-winning playwright with acid wit, dies at 75.

Elisabeth Vincentelli. WaPo, 04/03/2024: Christopher Durang was the rare great playwright who took comedy seriously.

Editado: Abr 4, 5:31 pm

Becca Rothfeld. WaPo, 04/04/2024: Henry Louis Gates Jr. brings readers into his classroom. Review of: The Black Box: Writing the Race / Henry Louis Gates Jr. "Gates shares versions of lectures that he has delivered in a Harvard course for decades."

Abr 5, 6:17 am

Tyler Austin Harper. The Atlantic, 04/04/2024: An Utterly Misleading Book About Rural America. Issues with White Rural Rage: The Threat to American Democracy / Tom Schaller & Paul Waldman.

Abr 5, 6:35 am

Recent reviews from LARB:

Emmeline Klein. 04/04/2024: Violent Revelations. Review of Notice / Heather Lewis. "This is a novel that puts you on edge from its first scenes. It elicited similar reactions when Lewis first sent out the manuscript: according to her friend and former mentor Allan Gurganus, it was “adjudged too dark and disturbing” by the 18 different publishers who turned it down."

Mimi Howard. 04/03/2024: For Potters, Read Wedgwood. Review of: Melancholy Wedgwood / Iris Moon. An Asian perspective on Josiah Wedgwood's contributions to the art & industry of porcelain.

Lori Marso. 04/04/2024: Frame Tale. Review of: La Captive / Christine Smallwood. (Smallwood's reading of Chantal Akerman's film adaptation of Marcel Proust's novel of the same name)

Julia Berick. 04/03/2024: Making Meaning out of Randomness. Review of: Alphabetical Diaries / Sheila Heti.

Abr 5, 6:48 am

Jaspreet Singh Boparai. The Critic (UK), 04/05/2024: When classicists attack classics. Review of: How The World Made The West: A 4,000 Year History / Josephine Quinn.

Editado: Abr 9, 8:39 am

Lynne Reid Banks, 1929-2024

Helen Bushby and Victoria Lindrea. BBC Culture, 04/05/2024: Lynne Reid Banks: The Indian in the Cupboard author dies aged 94.

Author of, among others, The L-Shaped Room (1961) and The Indian in the Cupboard. The former "was Reid Banks' first novel - a contemporary page-turner and a forerunner of today's popular YA (Young Adult) genre. ... Such was its popularity that within two years of publication it had been turned into a big-budget film starring Leslie Caron and directed by Whistle Down the Wind's Bryan Forbes - a film Reid Banks said it took her 20 years to forgive for its cavalier treatment of her characters."

She was one of the UK's first female television journalists on ITN, "But it was in children's literature that she made her mark, most notably with the 1980 bestseller The Indian in the Cupboard - inspired by her son Omri and a shabby bathroom cabinet."

"She went on to write more than 40 published works in all genres, including a biography of the Bronte family - The Dark Quartet - but children's works dominated and led to her travelling all over the world visiting schools."

Lynne Reid Banks LT page: https://www.librarything.com/author/bankslynnereid


Rebecca Chace. NYT, 04/05/2024: Lynne Reid Banks, Author of ‘The Indian in the Cupboard,’ Dies at 94.

Emily Langer. WaPo, 04/08/2024: Lynne Reid Banks, author of ‘The Indian in the Cupboard,’ dies at 94.

Abr 7, 12:45 pm

Recently from The Washington Post:

Michael Dirda. 04/05/2024: How to shop in used-book stores: 14 tips from a bibliophile. "To own a scholarly or first edition of a favorite book is a way to honor its place in your life."

Maureen Corrigan. 04/07/2024: Lionel Shriver pokes fun at woke culture, again. Review of: Mania: a novel / Lionel Shriver.

Abr 7, 12:54 pm

Sarah Moorhouse. LARB, 04/07/2024: Critic or Translator? Review of: Walter Benjamin and the Idea of Natural History / Eli Friedlander. "... the task Eli Friedlander sets himself in his ambitious new study ... is to transform Benjamin’s reputation from that of a philosophizing writer to that of a capital-P Philosopher."

Abr 7, 1:23 pm

Recently from The Critic (UK):

John Sturgis. 04/07/2024: Staying in place: How history and heritage enrich our surrounding. Review of: The Giant on the Skyline / Clover Stroud. "Clover Stroud lives in rural Oxfordshire with five children, three dogs, two cats and two horses, one of which is pregnant. But she rarely lives with her husband, whose career demands mean he spends most of his time in America instead of at home with her. The strain this absentee arrangement puts on their marriage leads to the dilemma that underpins her latest volume of memoir: will she be able to pack up the life she has built for herself and her family and move to the US to be with him, or is her attachment to her home and its associations too powerful for her to embark on such a daunting change?"

James Stevens Curl. 04/07/2024: Scratches in the stonework of history. Review of: Writing on the Wall: Graffiti, Rebellion and the Making of Eighteenth-Century Britain / Madeleine Pelling.

Jeremy Black. 04/06/2024: Murders for April: April is the cruellest month, breeding detective fiction out of the dry land. Omnibus review of: The Venus of Salo / Ben Pastor -- The Fall / Gilly McMillan -- Impact of Evidence. A Welsh Borders Mystery / Carol Carnac -- Tokyo Express / Seicho Matsumoto (no info on translator) -- Every Trick in the Book / Bernard O’Keeffe -- Blood’s A Rover / James Ellroy -- The Cyclist / Tom (Tim?) Sullivan -- The 13th Girl / N.V. Peacock -- On the Run / Max Luther -- Second Skin / Dugald Bruce-Lockhart.

The Secret Author. 04/07/2024: Who edits the editor?: The bright young things of publishing want to be involved in every line of every new book.

Abr 9, 8:36 am

I blame audiobooks:

Steven McIntosh. BBC Culture, 04/09/2024: Scrabble: Mattel launches new version of game which is 'less competitive.

Abr 9, 8:38 am

Alexandra Jacobs. NYT, 04/08/2024: She Lied, Cheated and Stole. Then She Wrote a Book About It. Review of: SOCIOPATH: A Memoir / by Patric Gagne.

Editado: Abr 10, 3:49 pm

TLS April 12, 2024|No. 6315


Regina Rini. The ethics of belief: Eclipses and philosophy. (Essay)

Jonathan Gibbs. The salvage detectives: A group of translators go off in search of their missing author. Review of: THE EXTINCTION OF IRENA REY / Jennifer Croft.

George Berridge. Weeps and nerves: A new production of Eugene O’Neill’s tragedy of memory and regret. Review of LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, Wyndham’s Theatre, London, until June 8.

Corin Throsby. A chameleon life: Reviving Byron on the bicentenary of his death. Review of: BYRON: A life in ten letters / Andrew Stauffer -- SWIMMING WITH LORD BYRON / William Kuhn -- BYRON’S TRAVELS: Poems, letters, and journals / Fiona Stafford, editor.

Literature & Bibliography

Peter McDonald. Form and function: Metre matters in this anthology of classical lyric poetry. Review of: THE PENGUIN BOOK OF GREEK AND LATIN LYRIC VERSE / Christopher Childers, translator and editor; afterword by Glenn W. Most.

Steve Allen. ‘Thy name, oh Byron …’: The first Byron centenary celebrations. (Essay)

Kathryn Sutherland. Never the twain shall meet: How Byron and Austen shadowed each other. Review of: JANE AUSTEN AND LORD BYRON: Regency relations / Christine Kenyon Jones.

Kathryn Sutherland. ‘Gipsy yearnings’: Letters to Byron’s Cambridge friends, published for the first time. (Essay)

Tobias Warner. A debt repaid: The belated rehabilitation of a classic from Mali. Review of: BOUND TO VIOLENCE / Yambo Ouologuem; translated by Ralph Manheim.

Michael LaPointe. Enter the labyrinth: On the hunt for a long-lost masterpiece from Senegal. Review of: THE MOST SECRET MEMORY OF MEN / Mohamed Mbougar Sarr; translated by Lara Vergnaud.

Henry Hitchings. A thumbprint on the page: Putting the personalities back into the history of English publishing. Review of: THE BOOK-MAKERS: A history of the book in 18 remarkable lives / Adam Smyth.

In Brief Review of: TIME AND TIDE: The long, long life of landscape / Fiona Stafford.

In Brief Review of: GREAT SPANISH STORIES: 10 parallel texts / Margaret Jull Costa, editor.

In Brief Review of: VIVA BARTALI! / Damian Walford Davies. "... Walford Davies’s new collection of poems is journalistic by nature – but it’s largely a journalism in the myth-making, ennobling tone of Italian sports-writing."

In Brief Review of: KINDERLAND / Liliana Corobca; translated by Monica Cure.


Paul Griffiths. Two earthly powers: Music was Anthony Burgess’s first love. Review of: THE DEVIL PREFERS MOZART: On music and musicians, 1962–1993 / Anthony Burgess; edited by Paul Phillips.

Larry Wolff. Fables of freedom: Rossini’s rarely performed epic opera of liberty and independence. Review of a new production of GUILLAUME TELL, La Scala, Milan, and on LaScalaTv.

Boyd Tonkin. Greek gifts: A pagan pantheist who melted cubism or surrealism into sun and fun. Review of the exhibition JOHN CRAXTON: A modern odyssey, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until April 23.

Edward Wilson-Lee. Motif man: The banker who became an art historian. Review of: TANGLED PATHS: A Life of Aby Warburg / Hans C. Hönes.

History, Politics, Society, & Culture

Stephen Lovell. Smash and grab: Hunger, confiscation and fear under Bolshevik rule. Review of: POWER AND POSSESSION IN THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION / Anne O’Donnell -- STATES OF ANXIETY: Scarcity and loss in revolutionary Russia / William G. Rosenberg.

Hew Strachan. Suicide of empires: The First World War’s other great theatre. Review of: THE EASTERN FRONT: A history of the First World War / Nick Lloyd.

William Pooley. Stone soup: How we forgot what peasants were. Review of: REMEMBERING PEASANTS: A personal history of a vanished world / Patrick Joyce.

Stanley Bill. A fragile state: Poland’s geography gives rise to existential anxiety. Review of: THE NEW POLITICS OF POLAND: A case of post-traumatic sovereignty / Jarosław Kuisz.

Nick Holdstock. Guinea to Guangzhou: A travelogue that examines the experiences of Africans in China. Review of: BLACK GHOSTS: A journey into the lives of Africans in China / Noo Saro-Wiwa.

Nat Segnit. Cave, road and mountain: What pilgrimage means today. Review of: ON THIS HOLY ISLAND: A modern pilgrimage across Britain / Oliver Smith.

Ann Kennedy Smith. Left in charge of the palace: Hankering after 1950s Venice. Review of: LOVE FROM VENICE: A golden summer on the Grand Canal / Gill Johnson.

In Brief Review of: THE HIJACKING OF AMERICAN FLIGHT 119: How D. B. Cooper inspired a skyjacking craze and the FBI’s battle to stop it / John Wigger.

In Brief Review of: NARCOTOPIA: In search of the Asian drug cartel that outwitted the CIA / Patrick Winn.

In Brief Review of: ELIZABETH WISKEMANN: Scholar, journalist, secret agent / Geoffrey Field.

Abr 11, 12:39 pm

Jane Eisner. WaPo, 04/11/2024: 3 thinkers trace the intellectual heritage and communal beliefs of Judaism. Review of: To Be a Jew Today: A New Guide to God, Israel, and the Jewish People / Noah Feldman -- The Amen Effect: Ancient Wisdom to Mend Our Broken Hearts and World / Sharon Brous -- Judaism Is About Love: Recovering the Heart of Jewish Life / Shai Held.

Editado: Abr 13, 10:48 am

Trina Robbins, 1938-2024

Gavin Edwards. NYT, 04/10-11/2024: Trina Robbins, Creator and Historian of Comic Books, Dies at 85. "Obsessed with comics from a young age, she was a pioneer in a male-dominated field and later documented the contributions of other women."

"In the 1960s, before she devoted her life to comics and to the women who make them, Ms. Robbins was an accomplished clothes designer and seamstress who outfitted rock stars like Donovan and David Crosby. She became a notable figure in the hippie communities of New York City and San Francisco, and in Los Angeles caught the eye of Joni Mitchell.

"The first verse of Ms. Mitchell’s song “Ladies of the Canyon,” featured on her 1970 album of the same name, is a portrait of Ms. Robbins:

Trina wears her wampum beads
She fills her drawing book with line
Sewing lace on widow’s weeds
And filigree on leaf and vine.

Harrison Smith. WaPo, 04/12/2024: Trina Robbins, cartoonist who elevated women’s stories, dies at 85. "She put out the first American comic book created entirely by women. Years later, she chronicled the history of female comics artists, writing books that excavated the stories of overlooked writers and illustrators."

Abr 12, 12:24 pm

Matteo Wong. Atlantic, 04/12/2024: The AI Revolution Is Crushing Thousands of Languages.

Abr 12, 12:28 pm

Jay Caspian Kang. New Yorker, 04/12/2024: What Phones Are Doing to Reading.

Abr 12, 12:38 pm

Ayana Mathis. NYT, 04/11/2024: Does It Seem Like the End Times Are Here? These Novels Know Better. On Severance (2018) / Ling Ma -- Weather (2020) / Jenny Offill -- Salvage the Bones (2011) / Jesmyn Ward.

Editado: Abr 13, 10:46 am

Recent reviews from The Washington Post:

Michael Dirda. WaPo, 04/12/2024: How did Ian Fleming create James Bond? He looked in the mirror. Review of: Ian Fleming: The Complete Man / Nicholas Shakespeare.

Chris Bohjalian. 4/13/2024: Libraries are full of books about great cats. This one is special. Review of My Beloved Monster: Masha, the Half-wild Rescue Cat Who Rescued Me / Caleb Carr. Carr is the author of The Alienist.

Abr 14, 8:40 am

Errol Morris. Atlantic, 04/13/2024: The Worst Day of My Life Was the Day I Learned to Read. "The celebrated filmmaker Errol Morris delivered this speech on receiving the Hitchens Prize."

Abr 15, 12:35 pm

Bookforum Spring 2024 is online; selected items:


Christine Smallwood. Absence Makes the Heart: Constance Debré’s novels of transformation. Review of: PLAY BOY / CONSTANCE DEBRÉ, TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH BY HOLLY JAMES -- LOVE ME TENDER / CONSTANCE DEBRÉ, TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH BY HOLLY JAMES..

Lisa Borst. Ways of Seeing: Nicholson Baker learns to draw. Review of: FINDING A LIKENESS: HOW I GOT SOMEWHAT BETTER AT ART / NICHOLSON BAKER.


Becca Rothfeld. The Burden of the Ordinary: E. T. A. Hoffmann’s obsessive revolt against reason. Review of: THE GOLDEN POT AND OTHER TALES OF THE UNCANNY' / E. T. A. HOFFMANN, TRANSLATED FROM GERMAN BY PETER WORTSMAN.

Hannah Gold. Czech Mate: Helen Oyeyemi’s story within a story within a story. Review of: PARASOL AGAINST THE AXE / HELEN OYEYEMI.


Zach Hatfield. Angels with Dirty Faces: How Keith Haring got his halo. Review of: RADIANT: THE LIFE AND LINE OF KEITH HARING / BRAD GOOCH.


Harmony Holiday. All of Her: Ways of being haunted by Billie Holiday. Review of: BITTER CROP: THE HEARTACHE AND TRIUMPH OF BILLIE HOLIDAY'S LAST YEAR / PAUL ALEXANDER.

Michael Robbins. This Is a Testament: Marilynne Robinson goes back to the beginning. Review of: READING GENESIS / MARILYNNE ROBINSON.

Abr 15, 7:41 pm

Peter West. Aeon, 04/15/2024: Philosophy is an art. "For Margaret Macdonald, philosophical theories are akin to stories, meant to enlarge certain aspects of human life."

Abr 16, 8:15 am

Jacob Brogan. WaPo, 04/16/2024: It’s time to read Hao Jingfang’s mind-blowing novels. Considering Jumpnauts -- Vagabonds

Editado: Abr 17, 11:25 am

TLS April 19, 2024|No. 6313


Andrew Hadfield. Blood will have blood: Ambiguity in Shakespeare’s theatre of war. Review of: WARTIME SHAKESPEARE: Performing narratives of conflict / Amy Lidster -- SHAKESPEARE AT WAR: A material history / Amy Lidster and Sonia Massai, editors -- THE HOLLOW CROWN: Shakespeare on how leaders rise, rule, and fall / Eliot A. Cohen.

Neguin Yavari. Street fighting woman: The real meaning of Iran’s protest movement. Review of: WHITE TORTURE: Interviews with Iranian women prisoners / Narges Mohammadi; translated by Amir Rezanezhad -- IN THE STREETS OF TEHRAN: Women. Life. Freedom. / Nila; translated by Poupeh Missaghi -- WHAT IRANIANS WANT: Women, life, freedom / Arash Azizi -- THE IRANIAN REVOLUTIONARY GUARD CORPS: Defining Iran’s military doctrine / Alma Keshavarz.

Charles Darwent. The medium is the message" A sympathetic study of the links between art and female spirituality. Review of: THE OTHER SIDE: A journey into women, art and the spirit world / Jennifer Higgie.

Michèle Roberts. What Eddy did next: A quest for freedom or social climbing? Review of: CHANGE / Édouard Louis; translated by John Lambert.

Literature & Bibliography

Jacqueline Bannerjee. The female voice: Women writers who reached a mass audience. Review of: A POPULAR ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF VICTORIAN WOMEN WRITERS / Russell James.

Freya Johnston. Great gothic page turners: The multivolume blockbusters beloved by readers, if not critics. Review of: ROMANTIC FICTION AND LITERARY EXCESS IN THE MINERVA PRESS ERA / Hannah Doherty Hudson.

Craig Raine. Sterne as influencer: Don Juan's debt to Tristram Shandy. (Essay)

Jay Rubin. Imaginary worlds: Stories by a Japanese master. Review of: THE SIREN’S LAMENT: Essential stories / Jun’ichirō Tanizaki; translated by Bryan Karetnyk.

Nina Allen. The world is too little: A surrealist landscape of love and hate, politesse and war. Review of: OVERSTAYING / Ariane Koch; translated by Damion Searls.

Kathryn Murphy. All aboard!: A playful ode to a city of proliferating stories. Review of: PARASOL AGAINST THE AXE / Helen Oyeyemi.

David Gallagher. Mad forest: A Chilean classic explores the dark forces stirred up by envy. Review of: THE OBSCENE BIRD OF THE NIGHT / José Donoso; translated by Megan McDowell -- DIARIOS CENTRALES: A season in hell, 1966–1980 /José Donoso; edited by Cecilia García-Huidobro.

Emily Barton. The nature of her game: A sexual relationship of ‘pure and bitter hatred.’ Review of: THE DEVIL’S GRIP / Lina Wolff; translated by Saskia Vogel.

Natasha Cooper. A case for change: The novelization of an award-winning play about rape. Review of: PRIMA FACIE / Suzie Miller.

In Brief Review of: LETTERS TO A BIOGRAPHER / Joyce Carol Oates; edited by Greg Johnson.

In Brief Review of: D. H. LAWRENCE AND CORNWALL: In search of utopia / Philip Payton.

In Brief Review of: 2054 / Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stravidis.


Bruce Boucher. ‘I am for Shakespeare’: British art and drama’s emancipation from the French Academy. Review of: SHAKESPEARE, HOGARTH AND GARRICK: Plays, painting and performance / Robin Simon.

Laurie Maguire. Making a literary shrine: A tale of two Stratford houses associated with Shakespeare. Review of: SHAKESPEARE’S HOUSE: A window onto his life and legacy / Richard Schoch.

Emma Smith. Larger than life: Two Falstaffian Shakespeare histories in one. Review of the Shakespeare production PLAYER KINGS: ‘Henry IV Parts 1 and 2’, adapted by Robert Icke, Noël Coward Theatre, London, until June 22, then touring.

In Brief Review of: ON LOCATIONS: Lessons learned from my life on set with The Sopranos and in the film industry / Mark Kamine.

Science & Technology

David Barrie. An animal is for life: Earth’s health depends on all creatures great and small. Review of: EAT, POOP, DIE: How animals make our world / Joe Roman.

History, Politics, Society, & Culture

John Keay. Eyewitness to empire: A female writer with privileged access to the Mughal court. Review of: VAGABOND PRINCESS: The great adventures of Gulbadan / Ruby Lal.

Timothy Brook. Great lunatics: Fantasy and reality in western views of the East. Review of: THE LIGHT OF ASIA: A history of western fascination with the East / Christopher Harding.

Miles Taylor. Princes to pensioners: The fate of the maharajahs after independence. Review of: DETHRONED: The downfall of India’s princely states / John Zubrzycki.

Rana Mitter. Verdicts of history: The changing face of the Tokyo tribunal. Review of: JUDGEMENT AT TOKYO: World War II on trial and the making of modern Asia / Gary J. Bass.

Oonagh Devitt Tremblay. A right to a negative: Trailblazing intellectual women in eighteenth-century London. Review of: BLUESTOCKINGS: The first women’s movement / Susannah Gibson.

Kathleen Taylor. Dialled-down emotions: A former burglar and joyrider becomes a specialist in clinical psychology. Review of: SOCIOPATH: A memoir / Patric Gagne.

In Brief Review of: THE AMERICAN BEAST: Essays, 2012–2022 / Jill Lepore.

In Brief Review of: THE MEDIEVAL PIG / Dolly Jørgensen.

In Brief Review of: SPLINTERS: A memoir / Leslie Jamison.

Abr 17, 11:28 am

Abr 19, 11:38 am

Two book items from The New Yorker:

Casey Cep. 04/17/2024: Trump’s America, Seen Through the Eyes of Russell Banks. Review of: American Spirits / Russell Banks.

Louis Menand. 04/14/2024: When Preachers Were Rock Stars. Review of a reissue of Free love and heavenly sinners: The story of the great Henry Ward Beecher scandal / Robert Shaplen, & of Shaplen's contributions to The New Yorker.

Abr 19, 11:41 am

Angus Brown. Engelsberg Ideas, 04/16/2024: Did the Enlightenment fail? Review of: The End of Enlightenment: Empire, Commerce, Crisis / Richard Whatmore.

Editado: Ontem, 12:31 pm

Ben Goldfarb. The Atlantic, 04/18/2024: The Illogical Relationship Americans Have With Animals. Review of: Our Kindred Creatures: How Americans Came to Feel the Way They Do about Animals / Bill Wasik & Monica Murphy.

Another review of the book:

Richard Schiffman. WaPo, 04/24/2024: How our treatment of animals has changed — and hasn’t — in 150 years.

Editado: Abr 19, 11:50 am

Molly Young. NYT, 04/18/2024: Quick! Someone Get This Book a Doctor: Inside the book conservation lab at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Includes pictures & video.

Jennifer Schuessler and Julia Jacobs. NYT, 04/19/2024: Books Bound in Human Skin: An Ethical Quandary at the Library. "Harvard’s recent decision to remove the binding of a notorious volume in its library has thrown fresh light on a shadowy corner of the rare book world."

Abr 19, 12:02 pm

Jeremy Black. The Critic (UK), 04/19/2024: Weak, flawed, limited; an opportunity missed. As noted in the review, Penguin & the author of the book under review declined to provide a copy for review, so the (negative) review does not cite the title or the full name of the author. This appears to be the title referred to: Empireworld: How British Imperialism Shaped the Globe / Sathnam Sanghera.

Editado: Abr 21, 8:43 am

Daniel C. Dennett, 1924-2024

Jonathan Kandell. NYT, 04/19/2024: Daniel C. Dennett, Widely Read and Fiercely Debated Philosopher, Dies at 82.

"According to Mr. Dennett, the human mind is no more than a brain operating as a series of algorithmic functions, akin to a computer. To believe otherwise is “profoundly naïve and anti-scientific,” he told The Times.

"For Mr. Dennett, random chance played a greater role in decision-making than did motives, passions, reasoning, character or values. Free will is a fantasy, but a necessary one to gain people’s acceptance of rules that govern society, he said."

Brian Murphy. WaPo, 04/20/2024: Daniel Dennett, atheist philosopher guided by science, dies at 82.

Wikipedia: Daniel Dennett, has this opening quote:

"Daniel Clement Dennett III (March 28, 1942 – April 19, 2024) was an American philosopher, writer, and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science."

I have a number of his books in my collection, including: Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology (1981) -- Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (1984) -- Consciousness Explained (1991) -- Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life (1996) -- Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2006)

For fuller bibliography, see his LT page: https://www.librarything.com/author/dennettdanielc-1

Abr 20, 10:27 am

NYRB Online May 9 2024

Mostly arts in this issue:


Julian Bell. The Must-Also-Haves. Review of: Nicole Eisenman: What Happened / edited by Monika Bayer-Wermuth and Mark Godfrey for the Eisenman exhibitions at the Museum Brandhorst, Munich, March 24–September 10, 2023; the Whitechapel Gallery, London, October 11, 2023–January 14, 2024; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, April 6–September 22, 2024.

Ingrid D. Rowland. Nature’s Rival. Review of: Canova: Sketching in Clay / C.D. Dickerson III and Emerson Bowyer, with contributions by Anthony Sigel and Elyse Nelson, catalog of the exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., June 11–October 9, 2023, and the Art Institute of Chicago, November 19, 2023–March 18, 2024.

Darryl Pinckney. ‘Who Shall Describe Beauty?’ Review of: The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism / edited by Denise Murrell, catalog of the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, February 25–July 28, 2024.

Marina Harss. The Passion of Martha Graham. Review of: Errand into the Maze: The Life and Works of Martha Graham / Deborah Jowitt.

Jarrett Earnest. Tom’s Men. Review of: Tom of Finland: Bold Journey / edited by Leevi Haapala, João Laia, and Jari-Pekka Vanhala; catalog of the exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, April 28–October 29, 2023 -- Tom of Finland: The Official Life and Work of a Gay Hero / F. Valentine Hooven III -- Tom of Finland: Made in Germany / edited by Juerg Judin and Pay Matthis Karstens -- Tom of Finland: Threesome / edited by Stuart Krimko; catalog of 3 exhibitions at he David Kordansky Gallery, 2015–2021.

Susan Tallman. How American Eyes Got Modern. Review of: Trailblazing Women Printmakers: Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios and the Folly Cove Designers / Elena M. Sarni -- A Model Workshop: Margaret Lowengrund and The Contemporaries / edited by Lauren Rosenblum and Christina Weyl; catalog of the exhibition at the Print Center New York, September 21–December 23, 2023 -- Art for the Millions: American Culture and Politics in the 1930s / Allison Rudnick, with contributions by Kirsten Pai Buick, Max Fraser, and Rachel Mustalish, catalog of the exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, September 7–December 10, 2023 -- The Women of Atelier 17: Modernist Printmaking in Midcentury New York / Christina Weyl.

James Fenton. Catching the Moment. Review of: Fashioned by Sargent / Erica E. Hirshler, with Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, James Finch, and Pamela A. Parmal; catalog of the exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, October 8, 2023–January 15, 2024, and Tate Britain, London, February 22–July 7, 2024.


Anahid Nersessian. Wanting for Nothing. Review of: Play Boy / Constance Debré, translated from the French by Holly James.

Ariel Dorfman. Clamoring for Life. Review of: Until August / Gabriel García Márquez, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean and edited by Cristóbal Pera.

Science & Technology

John Washington. Burning Up. Review of: Fire Weather: A True Story from a Hotter World / John Vaillant -- The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet / Jeff Goodell.

Politics, Society, & Culture

David Shulman. Israel: The Way Out. (Essay)

Susie Linfield. What’s in a Face? Review of: What Does a Jew Look Like? / Keith Kahn-Harris and Robert Stothard, with a foreword by Stephen Bush -- צלם משוטט = Wandering Photographer / by David Serry.

Abr 20, 10:29 am

Richard Slotkin, interviewer Kathleen Belew. Public Books, 04/19/2024: “A THEORY OF AMERICA”: MYTHMAKING WITH RICHARD SLOTKIN. Concerning his new book A Great Disorder: National Myth and the Battle for America.

Abr 20, 10:39 am

Two literature articles from The New Yorker:

Maggie Doherty. 04/15/2024: The Poet Who Took It Personally. On the occasion of The Collected Poems of Delmore Schwartz edited by Ben Mazer.

Jennifer Wilson. 04/15/2024: How Stories About Human-Robot Relationships Push Our Buttons. Review of: Annie Bot / Sierra Greer -- Loneliness & Company / Charlee Dyroff but also: Out There / Kate Folk.

Editado: Abr 22, 8:10 pm

Marian Bull. The Atlantic, 04/19/2024: Eight Cookbooks Worth Reading Cover to Cover.

The list: The Taste of Country Cooking: The 30th Anniversary Edition of a Great Southern Classic Cookbook / Edna Lewis -- The Zuni Cafe Cookbook / Judy Rodgers -- Vibration Cooking / Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor -- Home Cooking: a writer in the kitchen / Laurie Colwin -- An Everlasting Meal / Tamar Adler -- Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat / Samin Nosrat -- My Bombay Kitchen / Niloufer Ichaporia King -- Cook as You Are / Ruby Tandoh.

See also: New Yorker, 04/22/2024: OUR ESSENTIAL COOKBOOKS: The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book / Alice B. Toklas -- Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore / Darra Goldstein -- Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes / Abra Berens -- The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family / Bill Leung, Judy Leung, Sarah Leung, and Kaitlin Leung -- Honey from a Weed / Patience Gray -- Brooks Headley’s Fancy Desserts: The Recipes of Del Posto’s James Beard Award-Winning Pastry Chef / Brooks Headley --A Tuscan in the Kitchen: Recipes and Tales from My Home / Pino Luongo -- The Vegan Chinese Kitchen: Recipes and Modern Stories from a Thousand-Year-Old Tradition / Hannah Che -- Mezcla: Recipes to Excite / Ixta Belfrage -- The Secret of Cooking: Recipes for an Easier Life in the Kitchen / Bee Wilson -- How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food / Mark Bittman -- How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking / Nigella Lawson -- My Everyday Lagos: Nigerian Cooking at Home and in the Diaspora / Yewande Komolafe --Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook / Kristen Miglore -- East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing / Meera Sodha.

Abr 22, 8:56 am

Yan Lianke. Paris Review, 04/19/2024: On the Distinctiveness of Writing in China.

Editado: Ontem, 12:28 pm

TLS April 26, 2024|No. 6317


Seth Perry. Shifting plates
The foundation text and history of the Mormons
. Review of: JOSEPH SMITH’S GOLD PLATES: A cultural history / Richard Lyman Bushman -- THE ANNOTATED BOOK OF MORMON / Grant Hardy, editor -- AMERICAN ZION: A new history of Mormonism / Benjamin E. Park.

Barbara J. King. Talk like you: A debate about the sophistication of animal communication. Review of: WHY ANIMALS TALK: The new science of animal communication / Arik Kershenbaum.

Christian Lorentzen. By the left march: The revival of economic populism in the Democratic Party. Review of: THE REBELS: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the struggle for a new American politics / Joshua Green.

Sana Goyal. Brutal kinds of beauty: A Native American family from 1864 to the present day. Review of: WANDERING STARS / Tommy Orange.


Kit Fan. The saint of poetry: On the trail of ‘China’s Shakespeare.’ Review of: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DU FU / Michael Wood.

Frances Wood. The lonely window: The first two volumes of a new library of classical Chinese literature. Review of: AN ANTHOLOGY OF POETRY BY BUDDHIST NUNS OF LATE IMPERIAL CHINA / translated by Beata Grant -- DAOIST MASTER CHANGCHUN’S JOURNEY TO THE WEST: To the court of Chinggis Qan and back / Li Zhichang; translated by Ruth W. Dunnell, Stephen H. West and Shao-yun Yang.

Susie Mesure. Staged reckoning: A daughter pricks her father’s conscience in dramatic style. Review of: THE HYPOCRITE / Jo Hamya.

Mia Levitin. Deaf sentence: A composer facing hearing loss turns to self and art. Review of: THE HEARING TEST / Eliza Barry Callahan.

Alex Clark. This identity swizz: A clash between the politics of class, race and family. Review of: THE SPOILED HEART / Sunjeev Sahota.

Astrid Edwards. Shelter from the storm: Choosing between the convent and a life in the world. Review of: STONE YARD DEVOTIONAL / Charlotte Wood.

Vanessa Curtis. Splendid isolation: Three women writers who swapped London for a calmer life in the country. Review of: RURAL HOURS: The country lives of Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Rosamond Lehmann / Harriet Baker.

Ian Sansom. Heated debates: And other ways to change your mind. (Essay)

In Brief Review of: RAUCH UND SCHALL / Charles Lewinsky. ("A pedantic, overbearing Goethe chats with his brother-in-law")

In Brief Review of: THESE LETTERS END IN TEARS / Musih Tedji Xaviere. ("A portrait of homosexuality in Cameroon")

In Brief Review of: TOPOGRAPHIA HIBERNICA / Blindboy Boatclub. (Short stories)


James Hall. The female haze: The beautiful – and sublime – art of Angelica Kauffman. Review of: ANGELICA KAUFFMAN / Bettina Baumgärtel and Annette Wickham, catalog of the exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, until June 30.

Kathryn Hughes. Artists and angels: Two photographers who caught feelings beyond language. Review of the exhibition PORTRAITS TO DREAM IN: Francesca Woodman and Julia Margaret Cameron, National Portrait Gallery, London, until June 16.


Natasha Heller. Heavenly teacher or mortal?: The West is attracted by the image of a very human Buddha. Review of: THE BUDDHA: Life and afterlife between East and West / Philip C. Almond -- THE BUDDHA: A storied life / Vanessa R. Sasson and Kristin Scheible, editors.

Science & Technology

P.D. Smith. Another lake bites the dust: What a common substance reveals about the modern world. Review of: DUST: The modern world in a trillion particles / Jay Owens.

In Brief Review of: PATHLESS FOREST: The quest to save the world’s largest flowers / Chris Thorogood.

History, Politics, Society, & Culture

Jay L. Garfield. Just be yourself: Is personal identity merely a social construct? Review of: SELFLESS: The social creation of “you” / Brian Lowery.

Edward Chancellor. Growing pains: Can humanity raise global living standards without burning fossil fuels?. Review of: GROWTH: A reckoning / Daniel Susskind.

James Robbins. Allies of a kind: The US vs Saddam: twenty-five years of mendacity and backstabbing. Review of: THE ACHILLES TRAP: Saddam Hussein, the United States and the Middle East, 1979–2003 / Steve Coll.

Franklin Nelson. Flower power: The bloodless end of the Salazar regime, fifty years on. Review of: THE CARNATION REVOLUTION: The day Portugal’s dictatorship fell / Alex Fernandes -- THE PORTUGUESE REVOLUTION OF 1974–1975: An unexpected path to democracy / Maria Inácia Rezola -- CARNATION REVOLUTION: Volume 1: The road to the coup that changed Portugal, 1974 -- Volume 2: Coup in Portugal, April 1974 / José Augusto Matos and Zelia Oliveira.

Alice Albinia. A visit from Mr Milton: A personal, cultural and historical record of West Sussex. Review of: THE RISING DOWN: Lives in a Sussex landscape / Alexandra Harris.

In Brief Review of: CAST CATCH RELEASE: One woman’s search for peace and purpose by the water / Marina Gibson. ("A celebration of recreational fishing")

In Brief Review of: ALONE WITH OTHERS: An essay on tact in five modernist encounters / Katja Haustein.

In Brief Review of: MOLLY / Blake Butler. ("Blake Butler, a novelist, married Molly Brodak, a poet and memoirist, in 2017. Brodak took her own life in March 2020; shortly afterwards Butler stumbled across evidence – in the form of extensive digital correspondence – that she had been serially unfaithful to him.")

Editado: Ontem, 7:43 pm

Helen Vendler, 1933-2024

William Grimes. NYT, 04/24/2024: Helen Vendler, ‘Colossus’ of Poetry Criticism, Dies at 90.

"In 2004, the National Endowment for the Humanities named her a Jefferson Lecturer, the highest honor the federal government bestows on a scholar of the humanities. According to her wishes, she was to be buried on “Harvard Hill” in Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, Mass.

"In her interview with The Paris Review, Ms. Vendler compressed her critical method into seven words: “I write to explain things to myself.”

I have 3 of her books in my collection, The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets -- Dickinson: selected poems and commentaries -- The Odes of John Keats.
Her LT page is at https://www.librarything.com/author/vendlerhelen

Brian Murphy. WaPo, 04/24/2024: Helen Vendler, poetry critic both revered and feared, dies at 90. Repeats a bit from the NYT obit.

Ontem, 3:41 pm

Recent book recommendations from fivebooks.com:

Tom Chatfield, interviewer Cal Flynn. 04/24/2024: Wise Animals: How Technology Has Made Us What We Are. His recommendations & comments are on: The Fourth Revolution: How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality / Luciano Floridi -- The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life / Alison Gopnik -- Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control / Stuart Russell -- Privacy is Power: Why and How You Should Take Back Control of Your Data / Carissa Veliz -- Transcendence: How Humans Evolved through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time / Gaia Vince.

Timo Schaefer, interviewer Benedict King. 04/18/2024: The best books on Mexican history.

Schaefer is the author of Liberalism as Utopia: The Rise and Fall of Legal Rule in Post-Colonial Mexico. He recommends & comments on: Malintzin's Choices: An Indian Woman in the Conquest of Mexico / Camilla Townsend -- Los pasos de lopez aka Los Conspiradores / Jorge Ibargüengoitia (no English translation, it appears) -- The Life and Times of Pancho Villa / Friedrich Katz -- Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story / Ruth Behar -- The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade / Benjamin T. Smith.

Also, from 2023, in memory of Daniel Dennett:

Daniel Dennett, interviewer Nigel Warburton. 09/25/2023: Favorite Books recommended by Daniel Dennett on the occasion of the publication of his book I've Been Thinking, he talks about: Word and Object / Willard Van Orman Quine -- The Selfish Gene / Richard Jenkins -- I Am a Strange Loop / Douglas R. Hofstadter -- Beyond Concepts: Unicepts, Language, and Natural Information / Ruth Garrett Millikan -- From Darwin to Derrida: Selfish Genes, Social Selves, and the Meanings of Life / David Haig (Dennett wrote the foreword btw)