MyAppleMenu | Tomorrow | Reader | Singapore
Matt Gross, New York Times
Well, combine New Yorkers’ love of pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers, throw in some Southern barbecue mania, and you’ve still only begun to approximate Tokyo’s obsession with ramen.
Alice Fisher, The Guardian
Dan Rhodes's novel about a museum dedicated to suicide is by turns witty and gruesome.
Sam Roberts, New York Times
New works examine the history of New York during World War II, the real-life events behind the movie “On the Waterfront” and the city’s future as an “authentic urban place.”.
Daniel B. Smith, New York Times
A branch of psychology says that there is — and that ignoring it puts not just the planet but also our minds at risk.
Miriam Markowitz, The Nation
All that we expect of love, our notions of how it will lift us, reward us, transform us, comes from a long line of books, poems and songs that have detailed what we may hope for from love and what price it will exact in exchange for its pleasures. Yet as Cristina Nehring argues in her recent treatise, A Vindication of Love, given that love has long been an animating force in literature it is surprising that it is so out of favor among novelists, poets and their ilk today.
Stephen Metcalf, Slate Magazine
He was the great poet of post-traumatic stress.
Christine Muhlke, New York Times
With new restrictions in commercial fishing, Mark Marhefka finds other fish in the sea.
Amanda Ripley, The Atlantic
For years, the secrets to great teaching have seemed more like alchemy than science, a mix of motivational mumbo jumbo and misty-eyed tales of inspiration and dedication. But for more than a decade, one organization has been tracking hundreds of thousands of kids, and looking at why some teachers can move them three grade levels ahead in a year and others can’t. Now, as the Obama administration offers states more than $4 billion to identify and cultivate effective teachers, Teach for America is ready to release its data.
Alex Witchel, New York Times
Putting David Zinczenko’s new book, “Cook This, Not That!” to the test.
Michelle Higgins, New York Times
As airlines continue to raise fees for checked luggage, more travelers are coming up with creative ways to dodge them — through meticulous packing of carry-on bags, by stuffing coat pockets with items they’d normally put in a bag, or by hanging back and boarding last so they can check their bags at the gate for free.
Dwight Garner, New York Times
Three provocative new books about North Korea parse the slivers of light that escape this enigmatic and often baffling place.
Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, The Atlantic
After living in the U.S. for 16 years, I saw this as a journey to learn about my ancestors and, in the process, myself. That, of course, turned out to be exactly what happened.
Robert Burns, The Guardian
Robert Burns, The Guardian
Vijay Seshadri, New Yorker
Kevin Barry, New Yorker
Cynthia Cruz, New Yorker
A. O. Scott, New York Times
In the movie-smoking debate, even clear positions — that children must be protected from images that might influence their behavior, or that filmmakers should be immune from censorship and interference — tend quickly to be fogged with questions of context and nuance. That is because underneath the public discussion about smoking (or gun violence, or sexual promiscuity, or whatever social problem has seized the momentary spotlight) is another, much more confused discourse: about movies and about the ways they mirror and occlude reality.
Sandra Tsing Loh, New York Times
When husbands and wives not only co-work but try to co-homemake, as post-feminist and well-intentioned as it is, out goes the clear delineation of spheres, out goes the calm of unquestioned authority, and of course out goes the gratitude.
Paula Marantz Cohen, The Smart Set
Eating and cooking are big in cinema today. What took so long?
Motoko Rich, New York Times
The collective literary experience certainly has its benefits. Reading with a group can feed your passion for a book, or help you understand it better. Social reading may even persuade you that you liked something you thought you didn’t.
There is a different class of reader, though. They feel that their relationship with a book, its characters and the author is too intimate to share. “The pursuit of reading,” Virginia Woolf wrote, “is carried on by private people.”
Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times
Scientists are arguing that tedium is good for your brain. But some novelists argue that it’s good for your soul.
Julian Barnes, The Guardian
Christopher Tayler, The Guardian
Garry Kasparov, The New York Review Of Books
It was an impressive achievement, of course, and a human achievement by the members of the IBM team, but Deep Blue was only intelligent the way your programmable alarm clock is intelligent. Not that losing to a $10 million alarm clock made me feel any better.
Nicole Allan, The Atlantic
I didn't know how to react to the Fat Bitch. A friend had emailed me a link to a picture of what was, anatomically, a hoagie bun stuffed with cheesesteak, bacon, marinara sauce, French fries, tomatoes, ketchup, mayonnaise, and mozzarella sticks. I knew the link—the picture, even the sandwich itself—was a joke. I'd received and sent many such links, reveling at the daring of whoever would consume such creations. But this one, for some reason, just made me squirm.
Anthony Gottlieb, Intelligent Life Magazine
Believers have got into a tangle trying to fend off the likes of Richard Dawkins. And then there’s the problem of the horticultural parable.
Jonathan Mahler, New York Times
Like most authors, James Patterson started out with one book, released in 1976, that he struggled to get published.
Michael Agger, Slate Magazine
The best novel ever written about the outdoor life.
Edward Rothstein, New York Times
When a map of overwhelming dimensions and detail is presented to the ruler of a land, the homage, surely, is a kind of deference. The map is partly meant to be an illustration of the ruler’s powers, the extent of his realm, the range of learning he commands.
Julia Moskin, New York Times
A charcoal-grilled meat patty called pljeskavica has become common in Queens neighborhoods where Bosnians and Croatians, Serbs and Montenegrins now live side by side.
Dwight Garner, New York Times
A clear-eyed catalog of the horrors endured by survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.
Rafael Campo, Slate Magazine
Carol Rumens, The Guardian
Dana Goodyear, New Yorker
Neil Gaiman’s fantasies.
Robert Bly, New Yorker
E. O. Wilson, New Yorker
Fred R. Shapiro, New York Times
Over the last century or so, movie quotations, like pop-music lyrics, have come to replace Biblical verses and Shakespearean couplets as our cultural lingua franca, our common store of wit and wisdom. Yet many of the most frequently cited motion-picture lines turn out to be misquotations.
Naomi Alderman, The Guardian
Here is a compelling defence of the much maligned but fantastically successful computer game.
Robert McCrum, The Guardian
A bitter, escalating row over plagiarism engulfed two French novelists last week. But artistic theft has been provoking anger, jealousy and insults since Roman times.
Woody Allen, New Yorker
If my account of the events of the last week seems jumbled, even hysterical, forgive me. I’m usually quite placid. Truth is, the details I’m about to relate are especially unnerving, taking place as they did in such a picturesque setting. Indeed, the Pudnicks’ farm in New Jersey rivals any pastoral tableau by Constable, if not in acreage then certainly in bucolic tranquillity. A mere two hours from Broadway, where Sy Pudnick’s latest musical, “The Flesh-Eating Virus,” runs to packed houses, it is here, amid rolling hills and green meadows, that the celebrated lyricist comes to unwind and re-juice his muse. An avid weekend farmer, Pudnick and his wife, Wanda, grow their own corn, carrots, tomatoes, and a medley of other amateur crops, while their children play host to a dozen chickens, a pair of horses, a baby lamb, and yours truly. To say that for me the days up here are Shangri-La is not to oversell. I can graze, ruminate, and work over my cud, in harmony with nature, and get milked gently on schedule by Wanda Pudnick’s Kiehl’s-moisturized hands.
Stephen Elliott, New York Times
Reading in private homes ensures that at least one other person will be embarrassed if nobody shows up.
David Sirota, Salon
It's not 1984, but Newspeak lives on in the media's skewing of the terms of our political debate
Charles Bukowski, The Guardian
Tom Bissell, The New Republic
The historian Elizabeth Fraterrigo asks us to accept a somewhat unlikely premise, which is this: A titty magazine that has been culturally irrelevant since the late 1970s was at the forefront of many of this nation’s most important social upheavals and reconfigurations. It is to her book’s credit—and, it must be said, to Playboy’s—that one closes her book largely convinced that she is right.
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
An impassioned argument about the downside of online collectivism and Web 2.0 culture from the Silicon Valley veteran Jaron Larnier.
Natasha Tripney, The Guardian
If, like mine, your reading habits are governed by sudden obsessions and thematic crushes, then your back-up store of books will never get any smaller.
Dwight Garner, New York Times
The title of Elena Gorokhova’s new memoir, “A Mountain of Crumbs,” about growing up in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and ’70s, comes from a game her grandmother invented to hide that she had almost no food to put on the table. She’d break up a slice of black bread and a cube of sugar on a plate and say to the crying child: “Look at how much you’ve got. A whole mountain of crumbs.”
Steve Oney, Los Angeles Times
Writer Steve Oney spent decades researching the 1913 murder of Mary Phagan and the subsequent lynching of Leo Frank, but his voluminous files now belong to history.
Suzanne Munshower, The Guardian
Authorial disregard for historical mores can make reading a book set in the recent past an unsettling experience.
Charles Harper Webb, Slate Magazine
Janet Maslin, New York Times
Amy Bloom’s new book, a collection of stories, is beautifully astute.
Carol Rumens, The Guardian
Juliet Lapidos, Slate Magazine
Escaping the office is no picnic in Joshua Ferris' new novel.
Mary Karr, New Yorker
Galway Kinnell, New Yorker
John Crace, The Guardian
When Peter Mayle moved to rural France, he intended to write a novel – not a bestselling memoir. Two decades and several imitations later, he is still living the dream.
Andrew Anthony, The Guardian
Long described as the enfant terrible of the literary novel, the author of London Fields and Money has now turned 60. Yet his new book – the 12th – reveals that, far from losing his youthful outlook, he has rediscovered it.
Ben Yagoda, New York Times
In the age of e-mail, it has become easy — perhaps too easy — for readers to get in touch with authors.
Nick Laird, The Guardian
I just became a dad a month or so ago, and I've been trying to write a poem or two for the baby. Amid the muslins and mountains of nappies, the writing hasn't been going so well, but the reading around's been interesting.
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian
'If 100 books a year is already my limit, that means that I will be lucky to get through another 3,000 before I die'.
Michael Kinsley, The Atlantic
One reason seekers of news are abandoning print newspapers for the Internet has nothing directly to do with technology. It’s that newspaper articles are too long.
Christopher Hart, The Times
Barbara Ehrenreich’s study of American optimism at its most delusional is fascinating, often very funny, and wholly convincing. She is a distinguished journalist with a sharp eye for corporate America, but also has a deep affection for her great but increasingly troubled nation. Once America was John Wayne: stoical, taciturn and tough as hell. Now it’s a babbling neurotic on the couch, popping pills and whining about its self-esteem. What went wrong?
Brendan Galvin, New Yorker
Jennifer Egan, New Yorker
Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times
The idea that people can be overweight and yet still quite healthy began gaining scientific and popular credence some years ago.
Jean Hannah Edelstein, The Guardian
At heart, making great fuss about the minutiae of what's come before a great book in a writer's life seems to serve as an unnecessary distraction from the truth, which is that at the heart of the vast majority of writing careers is a dedication to careful thinking, and observing, and writing.
Matt W. Miller, Slate Magazine
Carol Rumens, The Guardian
Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
It’s getting harder to make a living as an editor of the printed word, what with newspapers and other publications cutting staff. And it will be harder still now that Jack Lynch has published “The Lexicographer’s Dilemma,” an entertaining tour of the English language in which he shows that many of the rules that editors and other grammatical zealots wave about like cudgels are arbitrary and destined to be swept aside as words and usage evolve.
Henry Porter, The Guardian
Doing nothing, a good view, no stress – the best way to start a new year. But I know it won't last.
Katie Roiphe, New York Times
We denounce the Great Male Novelists of the last century for their sexism. But something has been lost now that innocence is more fashionable than virility, the cuddle preferable to sex.
Alison Gopnik, New York Times
A French cognitive scientist explains the phenomenon of literacy and its effects on the mind.
Mary Midgley, The Guardian
This is a very remarkable book. It is not (as some reviewers seem to think) just one more glorification of feeling at the expense of thought. Rather, it points out the complexity, the divided nature of thought itself and asks about its connection with the structure of the brain.
Richard Greenwald, In These Times
The rise of Starbucks reveals how we really live, and it ain’t pretty.
Mick Hume, Spiked
Fifty years after Raymond Chandler died, we need his ‘shop-soiled’ Galahad Philip Marlowe as much as ever to put our mixed-up world to rights.