Reviews & Essays

Paradise of the Pacific

HISTORY

Paradise of the Pacific

A transporting immersion into the history of Hawaii, and the ways its native peoples held on to their way of life in the face of colonial exploits.
Leviathan

REDISCOVERY

Leviathan

Mark Ferguson, author of "The Lost Boys Symphony," on how Paul Auster speaks -- directly -- to the readers of his fiction.
In Defense of Clutter

SELF-HELP

In Defense of Clutter

Marie Kondo's "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" has sold two million copies and revamped many a home. Troy Jollimore ponders what exactly it is that we're throwing away.
Eileen

FICTION

Eileen

A young loner fights (and maybe even shoots) her way out of her dead end hometown, in one of the most anticipated novels of recent memory. Review by Stefan Beck
Purity

FICTION

Purity

Jonathan Franzen's new novel wraps a game of hidden identities around a story of digital muckrakers and cultish activists. Review by Liesl Schillinger
The Only Thing Worth Fighting For

REAL LIFE ROCK TOP 10

The Only Thing Worth Fighting For

August in the life of Greil Marcus: French theater goes punk, Johnny Rotten grows up, and a killer soundtrack redeems "True Detective".
The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion

lives

The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion

One of the most influential writers of our time receives her own sweeping 672 page history. Does it capture her as well as she captured herself? Review by Tom Carson.
Working Class Heroes: 10 Great Books for the 99%

BEYOND CATEGORY

Working Class Heroes: 10 Great Books for the 99%

Inspired by a posthumous story collection from Lucia Berlin: a list of excellent stories starring proletarians too rarely given voice in industrial life.
Traveling through Cooking: 3 Tastes of Korea, Peru, and Lebanon

FOOD

Traveling through Cooking: 3 Tastes of Korea, Peru, and Lebanon

Seeking a last minute summer vacation? Look no further than a trio of new cookbooks from three internationally imaginative authors, reviewed by Brooklyn chef Greg Lauro.
Playing Scared: A History and Memoir of Stage Fright

HUMAN NATURE

Playing Scared: A History and Memoir of Stage Fright

A prodigious pianist walked away from her exceptional career: her autobiography serves as both a study a common illness and her pursuit of a personal cure. Review by Barbara Spindel....
The Captive Condition

FICTION

The Captive Condition

A campus horror story with shades of H.P. Lovecraft offers unexpectedly great beach reading: "chilling enough to keep you cool, deranged and unpredictable enough to keep you entertained."
Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

lives

Street Poison: The Biography of Iceberg Slim

A life of the world's most famous pimp reveals surprising humanity behind the legend, and a pointed look at "the forces that brought certain industries to the ghetto." Review by Peter Lewis...