January 2012

January 31, 2012

Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness: Homes That Tell a Story

Where do we feel at home? When does our home make us happy? Isn’t architecture too important to leave to the architects? In his critically acclaimed tour d’horizon The Architecture of Happiness, Swiss writer Alain de Botton takes us from medieval shacks to English mansions, from ancient pantheons to contemporary couches, and from the functionalism of Le Corbusier to the punk-style, irreverent buildings of Frank Gehry.

January 30, 2012

Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games: The Future of Reality TV?

Imagine a post-apocalyptic world where twenty-four kids fight to the death in an arena plagued with fire, mutant animals, and tidal waves, all while filmed on live TV. Only one person survives. Is this some sick twist on “American Idol”? I’m afraid not. Welcome to The Hunger Games.

January 29, 2012

A Game of Thrones: The Draw of George R.R. Martin

This isn't another synopsis of George R.R. Martin's epic A Song of Ice and Fire series, nor is it an echo of the publicity around its adaptation into the popular HBO show “A Game of Thrones.” What follows are the reasons I read it – the reasons you should too.

January 28, 2012

Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son: An Incredible Adventure in North Korea

In the mix of fear and fascination following the death of Kim Jong-il, there still beats the human heart of desire and longing for survival, a world captured in Adam Johnson's beautiful, disturbing new novel, The Orphan Master’s Son.

January 27, 2012

Reason to Read: The Inspiration of Bento’s Sketchbook, by John Berger

Countless people, most probably readers, have found themselves at one time or another wondering, “Why do we read?” For some, it’s to learn. For others, to escape. Still others, to be entertained. And for others, to be inspired. Those falling into this last category should pick up Bento’s Sketchbook by John Berger.

January 26, 2012

How to Read Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace in 5 Easy Steps

Is it worth it? What’s it actually about? Here are a few recommendations for those on the fence about whether or not they should read what may be the most famous Russian novel.

January 25, 2012

Your 2012 Oscars Must-Reads

There’s no ignoring it: Awards season is here. That’s right: February 26, the night of the eighty-fourth annual Academy Awards, will be here before you know it. But rather than rush to the box office in a pre-show frenzy, take a literary look at the upcoming awards.

January 24, 2012

Susan Cain’s Quiet Speaks Volumes on Introverts in Our Noisy World

Whether it’s neurology or psychology, when an author can take science and research and present it in a manner that is interesting and entertaining without becoming laden with technical terms, I eat it up. Quiet by Susan Cain is just that type of book.

January 23, 2012

6 Must-Read Books for 'Downton Abbey' Fans

If you’re taken with the drama, history, and romance in this series and are craving more, try capturing that feeling in book form; it lasts longer than an episode and will transport you just the same.

January 22, 2012

Words to Feed Your Soul in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

The New York Times has hailed the The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, as “the kind of book that can be life changing.” And it must be true. Why else would the excitement continue for this long?

January 21, 2012

The Stories Doctors Tell: A Q&A with 'Writer, MD,' Editor Leah Kaminsky

Historically, doctors have expressed their unique viewpoints through literature. Writer, M.D., edited by Leah Kaminsky, celebrates this tradition with a collection of fiction and nonfiction by today’s most admired physician-writers. Kaminsky chatted with Everyday eBook and enlightened us about the inspiration for this extraordinary book.

January 20, 2012

Writer’s High: Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

As one reads Haruki Murakami’s brilliant memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, he or she may imagine the sensation of quiet and solitude one feels when absorbed in motion, covering ground, thinking or not thinking.

January 19, 2012

Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres: A Worthy Nod to Shakespeare

A new generation is rediscovering what made Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres win a Pulitzer and a National Book Critics Circle Award two decades ago. And if you don't know it, or if you've forgotten it, you're in for a treat.

January 18, 2012

Tim Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes: A Fascinating History of the CIA

Over a period of twenty years, Weiner collected 50,000 documents and conducted hundreds of interviews. The result is this magnificent treatise that covers the CIA’s history from their improvised beginnings to the large and powerful agency that it has since become.

January 17, 2012

Ben Marcus' The Flame Alphabet: When Words Kill

Every avid reader has words they inexplicably love — say, for example, irascible, and hullabaloo — and hate (moist). But even those loathed words that make your skin crawl (moist!) can't actually kill you — unless you're unfortunate enough to be a character in The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus.