Issue of June 24, 2012

Seeking good reading recommendations? We have them!

“Biographers who are also their subjects’ friends are almost always in an impossible position,” notes Carl Rollyson in writing about Chip Bishop’s new book on Teddy Roosevelt’s friendship with his biographer and about his own experiences when writing on British filmmaker Jill Craigie—which turned out to be two very different experiences—in The Lion and the Journalist.

Titles of books come from everywhere—history, the Bible, other stories, oneself. But what, wondered Gillian Polack, is actually being done. What are the variations and the choices today, and how do they add to the book or make a book harder to read? In How Naming Conventions Work: A Quick Look at Novels of the Fantastic she explores why some fantasy novels “drag us into a strange world and keep us there and some keep sending us into the kitchen in search of coffee.

When one’s mood is dark sometimes it takes something darker to make it lighter. Or at least to move on. Lauren Roberts found a book she hadn’t anticipated liking to be surprisingly perfect at a time when darkness appeared to be all there was in The Mysterious Lightness of Darkness.

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