Issue of September 19, 2010

It’s hard to believe it’s past the midway point of September, isn’t it? It is for me. I am already dreaming of turkey and cranberry sauce, and no doubt retail merchants are thinking beyond that to dollar signs. For most of the country, trees are turning color, the wind is kicking up, rain or snow is returning, and our reading desires are moving into a different realm. Perhaps you prefer to sink into literary classics when it’s colder, or maybe you want to feel the weight of history or have a horror novel invade your mind. But if you are feeling a little undecided, you might find that our columnists have some good suggestions too—along with a couple of provocative essays. Whatever your preference, we encourage you to follow it. And to enjoy this week’s issue.

She loves being a bi-coastal person, but Lindsay Champion misses her New York. A recent discovery of specialized publisher whose books “take readers off the beaten path and provide an imaginative entrée” into various cities, published a series of books on her first love. Lindsay found three that spoke to her passion for her favorite city, which she shares in Writing New York.

Were some prestigious American universities and academicians part and parcel of the spread of the Nazi propaganda machine and persecution of Germany’s Jews in the U.S. in the 1930s? Lev Raphael reviews a book that documents the truth of this appalling, formerly hidden history and interviews its author in Ivory Tower, Nazi Flag.

The best personal essays originate deep inside the writer yet touch on issues that stand on a common ground. Nicki Leone, a longtime bookseller, explains why she feels strongly that books more of interest to certain groups of readers than to the general public do best for both authors and booksellers in their own specialized sections of bookstores in Rainbow Days.

Freedom is on many lips these days because this is the book  according to the Holy Grail of review sources, the New York Times, and even Oprah. Such accolades tend to make other authors envious. None of it, though, is Mr. Franzen’s fault even though, says Lauren Baratz-Logsted, other writers, particularly women, do deserve some of that attention in Franzen, The Times and Chicks—Oh, My! (And don’t forget; you have the opportunity to win a copy of Lauren’s new YA novel, The Education of Bet.)

With the weather alternating between summer and autumn, Lauren Roberts’s reading inclinations are also alternating—between her current books and a hefty load of magazines that recently arrived courtesy of a Freecycle member. Which to choose? And why? She muses on that in First It’s Fall, Then It’s Summer.


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