Magic School

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Continuing my adventures in books for boys grown big, I’m reading Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, which I somehow missed when it came out and only noticed on the recent publication of a second sequel. It’s a story about a nice boy who thinks he’s on the way to Princeton but winds up in magic school […]

Why The Face? I’ll tell you.

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I just finished David Shafer’s thriller Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which I read because of Dwight Garner’s NYT review. The book is everything Garner says it is–bright, popping, funny, suspenseful. And it has all the things I love: complicated heroes and heroines, smart riffs on contemporary memes, and–best of all–a global conspiracy that really is out to […]

Reading Rainbow (Rowell)

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Who knew Rainbow Rowell had a new book (for adults)? Not me! Until I snapped it up at the Cambridge Public Library yesterday. A TV-writer mom bags out on her husband and kids during Christmas vacation in order to stay home and prepare for a big pitch at work. Her marriage has been cooling for […]

Why do we even call it YA anymore?

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I just can’t blog about this topic anymore. It’s worn me out. But I also can’t muster the reflexive outrage Our Crowd exhibits whenever someone wonders if there’s something weird about civilian adults with a steady reading diet of books for teenagers. There is. But it’s not because these YA books are less complex (a […]

Holiday Reading

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and may you all have lots of leisure time for reading this long weekend (if you get a long weekend). I’m happily juggling three time travel novels: Andrew Sean Greer’s The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells; Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (which I was at first listening to–it has a great reader–but it’s just […]

Science, My Aunt Fanny

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Congratulations to Alice Munro. What should I read by her? You might guess from that question that I am not the world’s heaviest lifter of “literary fiction,” and am not even sure I know it when I see it. The New York Times recently reported on a study published in Science which purported to suggest […]

The Best of Youth

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I just finished reading The Best of Youth by Michael Dahlie (W.W. Norton & Co., 2013). In it, aspiring twenty-something author Henry agrees to ghostwrite a YA novel for a respected Hollywood actor named Jonathan Kipling (I had Liam Neeson in mind, though that ends up doing a major disservice to Mr. Neeson). Henry has […]

Books within books

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I’ve just finished reading two adult books in which the title of the book you’re reading is the same as a book in the characters’ world. The Best of Youth by Michael Dahlie is about a ghostwriter of a YA novel called… The Best of Youth. Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good stars a protagonist […]

The Silver Linings Play…book vs. movie

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Crossover writer Matthew Quick, author of young adult novels Sorta Like a Rock Star, Boy 21, and the soon-to-be-released Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, made his debut in 2008 with The Silver Linings Playbook (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), an adult title you may have heard a little something about. It was adapted for the screen in […]

What’s on YOUR list?

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  Katie Bircher and Elissa Gershowitz bring you our annual list of summer reading recommendations for kids. Strictly recreational, of course, and librarians are welcome to place a “COMMON-CORE FREE!” sticker on the PDF. What about your own reading? I’m juggling audio editions of The Woman Upstairs and Inferno on my phone; The Oracle Glass and […]