Reviewing from under a rock

RodneyDangerfield

I loved Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White (try the audiobook if you want something immersive and long) and am looking forward to his Book of Strange New Things. But there was a passage in Marcel Theroux’s extremely laudatory NYT review last week  that’s driving me crazy: “Since the critical and commercial triumph […]

Magic School

PrincetonMagic

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 […]