December 2012

December 31, 2012

6 Great Tales of Big Parties and (Not Always) Shiny Things

What better time than New Years Eve to reminisce about a few of our favorite books about partying people and decadence of the most vice-like kind?

December 30, 2012

A Must-Read for All Ages: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

John Green's young adult novel of two young people going through more than just their teen years together transcends the boundaries of age-appropriate reading to touch all readers.

December 29, 2012

Once Was Known As Camelot: Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

In Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, we come to understand the magical aura of the Kennedy years’ affinity with Camelot, through the authors’ superb accounting, explanation, and meaning of this national tragedy.

December 28, 2012

Horror, Hope and the New American West: Claire Vaye Watkins’ Battleborn

This is no Lonesome Dove Western, no modern John Wayne, no glittering lights of American Dream fulfilled; this Vegas is a place of treachery and lost innocence, surrounded by dusty castoff cities and ghost towns. This is a desert, be sure, a scorched earth, populated by lonely and despairing sorts of folk, but not without hope.

December 27, 2012

Conflicted and Arab in Israel: Second Person Singular by Sayed Kashua

Many have chronicled the painful and complex history of the Israeli Arab, trapped in an intractable cultural, religious, and political conflict, but none has done so with Kashua's talents.

December 26, 2012

Meet Deadpan Kurt Vonnegut: Charles Yu's Sorry Please Thank You

Charles Yu's funny, brainy short stories are perfectly in tune with our times, blending sci-fi and virtual reality with the motivations and complexities of the human heart.

December 25, 2012

From the Book to the Movie 'A Christmas Story': Welcome Back to Jean Shepherd's Classic

Ask many adults what their favorite holiday movie is and the answer will often be 'A Christmas Story.' What most of those fans don’t know is that the much-loved movie is based on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. Get reacquainted with the classic tale of Ralphie in a whole new way.

December 24, 2012

The Fine Art of Ekphrasis: Emma Donoghue’s Astray

There’s a term in poetry called 'exphrasis,' which is defined as a 'rhetorical device in which one medium of art tries to relate to another medium by defining and describing its essence and form.' In Emma Donoghue’s latest, the story collection Astray, she beautifully employs this practice in each of her tales.

December 23, 2012

An Ace and a Forced Hand: Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger

Nineteen-year-old Ed Kennedy is an ordinary underachiever until he receives mysterious playing cards that compel him to intervene in people's lives, helping or hurting, in Markus Zusak's poignant, funny young adult novel.

December 22, 2012

Douglas Brinkley's Cronkite: Revealing the Man Behind the News Desk

Walter Cronkite reassured millions of Americans each night as he delivered the news. Now Douglas Brinkley uncovers the personal and professional life of “the most trusted man in America,” and in doing so, tells the history of the world.

December 21, 2012

The Supremely Meritorious *sshole Award, According to Aaron James

The task of selecting a single person who is supremely deserving of the name 'asshole' poses an extraordinary challenge. Among the vast sea of exemplars, we can hardly compare candidate assholes by any simple metric.

December 20, 2012

Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper: A Murder Mystery in the English Countryside

Bestselling author Kate Morton delivers another spellbinder that features her trademark touches. Set in England, secret histories, passion, and mystery blend to satisfy Morton's fans and intrigue new readers.

December 19, 2012

Harry Hole's Most Personal Case Yet: Jo Nesbo's Phantom

Harry Hole returns in Jo Nesbo's latest thriller, Phantom, this time chasing a dangerous mastermind who has brought a highly addictive new drug to the streets of Oslo.

December 18, 2012

There Goes the Rest of Your Day: Walter Mosley’s Parishioner

Crime fiction fans, you’re going to want to batten down the hatches, lay in some eggnog, and hide from the Christmas crowds for a night because Santa is here with a totally fly early present: a brand-new stand-alone crime novel from Walter Mosley.

December 17, 2012

Bringing High Stakes to Married Life: Stewart O'Nan's The Odds

In this compact gem of a novel, O’Nan follows a couple, Marion and Art, a long-married duo at the end of their financial and emotional ropes. Art has hatched a plan in which they’ll return to Niagara Falls, sight of their honeymoon and nexus of their original married happiness, and bet their entire financial worth in an attempt to save their house, their livelihoods, and their marriage.