Books

Books of The Times: In Ron Chernow’s ‘Grant,’ an American Giant’s Makeover Continues

1 month ago 7ring Comments Off on Books of The Times: In Ron Chernow’s ‘Grant,’ an American Giant’s Makeover Continues
Also eerie is how Grant the politician came to value loyalty over ideology, and how stories of Ku Klux Klan atrocities were dismissed by Southerners as “fairy tales” — i.e., fake news. Then there’s the fact that when Grant moved into the White House, he had a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the slave owner, removed Read More

Books of The Times: Sylvia Plath’s Letters Reveal a Writer Split in Two

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Mr. Hone, I’m afraid I have bad news. Plath’s letters have been collected for the first time, edited by Peter K. Steinberg, an archivist specializing in Plath, and Karen V. Kukil, the editor of Plath’s journals and curator of the Plath collection at Smith College. The first volume — attractive, immense and done up in Read More

Books of The Times: In John Green’s ‘Turtles All the Way Down,’ a Teenager’s Mind Is at War With Itself

1 month ago 7ring Comments Off on Books of The Times: In John Green’s ‘Turtles All the Way Down,’ a Teenager’s Mind Is at War With Itself
At the heart of “Turtles All the Way Down” is Aza Holmes, age 16, who suffers from terrible anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her case sits on the icier, distant end of the spectrum. It is not easily managed. Photo John Green Credit Marina Waters People tend to associate O.C.D. with repetitive behaviors, and that’s partly Read More

John Green and the Fault Lines in His Mind

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“Turtles All the Way Down,” published on Tuesday, Oct. 10, is Mr. Green’s most personal book yet. Its narrator, Aza Holmes, is a 16-year-old girl in Indianapolis who wrestles with anxiety and obsessive thought spirals. Aza has normal teenage preoccupations, and struggles to navigate the rites of adolescence: dating, fretting about college, calming her overbearing Read More

Nonfiction: Exploring the Necessity and Virtue of Sleep

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“Snooze” is the result of this pondering. A former Jesuit priest whose high-decibel snoring caused his colleagues no small amount of torment (“I could make a monastery sound like a factory”), McGirr pursues his chosen subject in a Jesuitical spirit of holistic inquiry, contemplating sleep as it has been considered in literature, science, history and Read More

Fiction: No Country for Young Widows

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Photo Credit Felicity Marshall SAVAGE COUNTRY By Robert Olmstead 304 pp. Algonquin. $26.95. Robert Olmstead’s seventh novel is set in the reddening dusk of 1870s Indian Territory, where lives were often unmoored by any strictures of civilization, but the “Savage Country” of its title might equally refer to the human heart at large, with its Read More

Match Book: Dear Match Book: I’m Seeking Newsy Nonfiction That Sparks Debate

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Photo Credit Joon Mo Kang Dear Match Book, I’m a member of a nonfiction book club for 20-somethings looking for books that generate debate and are under 400 pages. Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy,” inspired the liveliest discourse; We’ve also read Anne-Marie Slaughter’s “Unfinished Business”; “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” by Azar Nafisi (which I really loved, Read More

Front Burner: New Book Glorifies the Cocktail Basics

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Photo Credit Patricia Wall/The New York Times Most classic cocktails — the martini, manhattan, daiquiri, old fashioned, Rob Roy, margarita, and gin and tonic — do not require more than three ingredients. And these days, when farm-to-barstool mixologists plunder Greenmarkets, back bars and spice caravans for their concoctions, it’s refreshing to revisit these basics, as Read More

Children’s Books: Give Ghosts a Chance

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Photo A PROPERLY UNHAUNTED PLACE By William Alexander Illustrated by Kelly Murphy 182 pp. Margaret K. McElderry Books. $16.99 (Middle grade; ages 8 to 12) “A Properly Unhaunted Place” begins evocatively, in a setting that is strange and full of questions. This fifth book from William Alexander, who won a National Book Award for “Goblin Read More

Books of The Times: ‘The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick’ Gives Off a Bright Light

1 month ago 7ring Comments Off on Books of The Times: ‘The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick’ Gives Off a Bright Light
It’s a mistake to boil a writer down to her best lines. No one is the sum of her entries in Bartlett’s or the Goodreads.com quotation vaults. But a critic who can’t mint an original phrase is rarely worth heeding. To move one’s way through Hardwick’s essays is to bump into brightness on nearly every Read More