Issue of November 27, 2011

With the last of the turkey eaten (or lurking in containers, soups or stews) and the holiday season now in full swing, what could be better than some good reading suggestions? We got ‘em, plus we also have some damn fine critical writing from our columnists.

Carl Rollyson continues his two-part series on reviews of biographies, asking why some books, like the Jobs bio, receive divergent reviews. As a biographer and a biography reviewer, he shares his perspectives and ideas in Rush Jobs.

Though he admits he shrinks from doing round-ups, Pete Croatto decides they have a place—like in his column this week. Giving Thanks is an excellent summary of sports-related books and blogs that have captured not only his interest but his heart.

Franz Kafka’s writings still resonate among readers and writers because, as Gillian Polack notes, he “always took the ordinary and rendered it extraordinary, except where he did things the other way around.” In Search of Today’s Kafka is the review of a new anthology in which writers successfully do the same.

Lauren Roberts is back with the annual Literary Gift Guide, Part 2—holiday gift suggestions for your favorite reader in the price range of $25-$100.

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