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14 minutes ago
Mr. Roth won almost all the major literary awards and published an exceptional sequence of historical novels in his 60s, an age when many writers are winding down.
3 hours ago
Roth’s work had more rage, more wit, more lust, more talk, and more crosscurrents of thought and emotion than any writer of his time.
3 hours ago
Gary Krist tells the story of the city through the lives of three people whose restlessness and ambition transformed it in the early decades of the 20th century.
1 day 1 hour ago
In “Mirror, Shoulder, Signal,” the Danish novelist Dorthe Nors continues her intense fascination with aging, and with women who have resisted domestication.
3 days 13 hours ago
In addition to the season’s usual fun, there are serious looks at pressing subjects among this summer’s must-reads, including the latest by Beth Macy, Michael Pollan and Jaron Lanier.
11 hours ago
Our presidents’ love of detective fiction has an august history. Craig Fehrman follows the clues.
1 day 11 hours ago
“The Outsider” starts out as a routine police procedural but before long transforms into something much more sinister.
4 days 23 hours ago
Rachel Slade talks about “Into the Raging Sea,” and Clemantine Wamariya talks about “The Girl Who Smiled Beads.”
1 hour ago
Chris Offutt’s new novel, “Country Dark,” is set in the world of backwoods moonshiners.
49 minutes ago
The way we mourn now? On Twitter. Philip Roth has died at the age of 85, and the Twittersphere is sitting shiva.
1 hour ago
A memoir by Thae Yong-ho, a senior diplomat who defected, also describes Mr. Kim’s brother as a fan of Eric Clapton and portrays tensions within the Kim dynasty.
4 hours ago
The prolific author died on Tuesday. Here are seven of his books that you should read right now.
23 hours ago
The author shares the £50,000 prize for “Flights” with the novel’s translator, Jennifer Croft. The award is for works of fiction translated into English.
1 day 1 hour ago
In her new book, Alisa Roth details the way the criminal justice system makes the sick even sicker.
1 day 11 hours ago
A selection of books published this week; plus, a peek at what our colleagues around the newsroom are reading.
1 day 11 hours ago
Whether you’re traveling across the country or just taking a staycation, stock up for summer with these books that are as varied as America itself.
4 hours ago
While it might be tempting to proclaim that the borough is back, last weekend’s literary celebration proved it never really left.
2 days 1 hour ago
“Lemonade With Zest” traces a summertime treat to ancient Egypt.
2 days 1 hour ago
In his new book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham argues that in bad times a liberal impulse has often prevailed over fear and division.
2 days 1 hour ago
Lionel Shriver’s collection of short fiction, “Property,” is a wryly observant catalog of the ways an acquisitive urge can go astray.
2 days 2 hours ago
Our critic calls this series of novels, which began with “Outline” and “Transit,” a “stark, modern, adamantine new skyscraper on the literary horizon.”
2 days 1 hour ago
A committed liberal, he wrote speeches for John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and later worked as an author, journalist and political consultant.
1 day 3 hours ago
Mr. Lewis’s views on the connection between Islam and terrorism inspired controversy but also helped shape American foreign policy under George W. Bush.
2 days 11 hours ago
In “Bad Blood,” John Carreyrou tells of the rise and incredible fall of Theranos, the biotech company that was going to revolutionize blood testing.
3 days 4 hours ago
Jim DeFelice talks about “West Like Lightning,” his new history of the short-lived but long-remembered company and how it changed the United States.
419 days 10 hours ago
In the 12th book in the best-selling kids' series, Greg Heffley and family go on holiday.
      
 
 

In the 12th book in the best-selling kids' series, Greg Heffley and family go on holiday.

      
 
 
420 days 1 hour ago
The thriller 'Mississippi Blood' takes on murder and racism in the Deep South.
      
 
 

The thriller 'Mississippi Blood' takes on murder and racism in the Deep South.

      
 
 
421 days 8 hours ago
Jessica Shattuck's novel finds a fresh angle on post-war angst in Germany.
      
 
 

Jessica Shattuck's novel finds a fresh angle on post-war angst in Germany.

      
 
 
417 days 3 hours ago
Spend your weekend reading 'The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.'
      
 
 

Spend your weekend reading 'The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.'

      
 
 
418 days 1 hour ago
A survey once again ranks how the USA is doing when it comes to reading.
      
 
 

A survey once again ranks how the USA is doing when it comes to reading.

      
 
 
418 days 5 hours ago
The 19th-century American poet has a new book out. You won't believe what it's about.
      
 
 

The 19th-century American poet has a new book out. You won't believe what it's about.

      
 
 
422 days 4 hours ago
Biographer John A. Farrell offers an even-handed approach in 'Richard Nixon: The Life.'
      
 
 

Biographer John A. Farrell offers an even-handed approach in 'Richard Nixon: The Life.'

      
 
 
418 days 8 hours ago
Recommended reading before you head to a theater near you.
      
 
 

Recommended reading before you head to a theater near you.

      
 
 
419 days 3 hours ago
Book is being turned into drama series for HBO and Italy's public broadcasting company.
      
 
 

Book is being turned into drama series for HBO and Italy's public broadcasting company.

      
 
 
423 days 10 hours ago
Look for a major new biography of Richard Nixon, plus the latest James Patterson.
      
 
 

Look for a major new biography of Richard Nixon, plus the latest James Patterson.

      
 
 
422 days 1 hour ago
Author Ron Powers has experience dealing with mental illness in his own family.
      
 
 

Author Ron Powers has experience dealing with mental illness in his own family.

      
 
 
428 days 8 hours ago
'The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane' is about how tea changes a young Chinese woman's life.
      
 
 

'The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane' is about how tea changes a young Chinese woman's life.

      
 
 
431 days 8 hours ago
A genre made popular by 'Twilight' and 'The Hunger Games' is as strong as ever.
      
 
 

A genre made popular by 'Twilight' and 'The Hunger Games' is as strong as ever.

      
 
 
429 days 2 hours ago
Ray Connolly's biography focuses on the limiting life of rock 'n' roll's first superstar.
      
 
 

Ray Connolly's biography focuses on the limiting life of rock 'n' roll's first superstar.

      
 
 
434 days 5 hours ago
Pam Jenoff's novel about a train full of abandoned babies is a USA TODAY best seller.
      
 
 

Pam Jenoff's novel about a train full of abandoned babies is a USA TODAY best seller.

      
 
 
440 days 10 hours ago
The young British woman hits American shores in Book 3.
      
 
 

The young British woman hits American shores in Book 3.

      
 
 
427 days 4 hours ago
The faith-based best seller continues its reign at No. 1
      
 
 

The faith-based best seller continues its reign at No. 1

      
 
 
428 days 5 hours ago
The dancer shares her tips for getting in shape and eating well in her new book.
      
 
 

The dancer shares her tips for getting in shape and eating well in her new book.

      
 
 
434 days 1 hour ago
Missed the live chat with Anderson and Nadel? Revisit it here.
      
 
 

Missed the live chat with Anderson and Nadel? Revisit it here.

      
 
 
436 days 4 hours ago
Christopher Knight retreated from the world. Michael Finkel tells his story.
      
 
 

Christopher Knight retreated from the world. Michael Finkel tells his story.

      
 
 
427 days 1 hour ago
In 'The Fall of Lisa Bellow,' two girls are held hostage by a gunman.
      
 
 

In 'The Fall of Lisa Bellow,' two girls are held hostage by a gunman.

      
 
 
436 days 1 hour ago
The Boy Scouts take center stage in Nickolas Butler's smart novel.
      
 
 

The Boy Scouts take center stage in Nickolas Butler's smart novel.

      
 
 
439 days 21 hours ago
Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will report on Donald Trump's win over Hillary Clinton.
      
 
 

Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will report on Donald Trump's win over Hillary Clinton.

      
 
 
437 days 23 hours ago
'Shoot Like a Girl' is the story of helicopter pilot who served in Afghanistan.
      
 
 

'Shoot Like a Girl' is the story of helicopter pilot who served in Afghanistan.

      
 
 
437 days 2 hours ago
'The Confessions of Young Nero' is a revisionist history of the reviled leader.
      
 
 

'The Confessions of Young Nero' is a revisionist history of the reviled leader.

      
 
 
10 hours ago10 hours ago

Friends and fans including writers Jonathan Safran Foer and Joyce Carol Oates, and his long-term reader Hermione Lee pay tribute to ‘a towering figure’ of literature

I first met Philip when I did a small book about him for a series for Methuen in 1982, when he was in the middle of writing the Zuckerman series. I got to know him after that, and then I was one of the group of people that read for him when a manuscript was in a penultimate stage. He revised and revised and revised. What seems like amazing spontaneous flow in these novels is massively worked over, over a very intense period of time.

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6 hours ago6 hours ago

This week on the books podcast, we heap praise on Olga Tokarczuk, the first Polish winner of the Man Booker International prize, awarded to the best work of translated fiction from anywhere in the world.

In his new book, Bullshit Jobs: A Theory, anthropologist, author and anarchist David Graeber explains why increasing numbers of workers are secretly convinced their work is pointless. How did this happen – and what’s the solution?

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9 hours ago9 hours ago

Ahead of this week’s England-Pakistan Test match, acclaimed historian David Kynaston selects favourites from one of sport’s richest literatures

It is often claimed that cricket has the richest literature of any sport. Possibly an exaggeration – baseball also has strong claims – but undeniably it is rich. And almost certainly I am not the only cricket-minded person who, getting older, derives as much pleasure from reading about the game as actually watching it.

Why so rich? Because it takes place (in its longer form, anyway) over days, not hours; because its fundamental simplicity (bowl – hit – run – field) masks considerable tactical and even strategic subtlety; because of its traditional white-on-green aesthetic appeal; because of its often hugely telling social history (gender and ethnicity as well as class); because it is a game so much played in the mind; because of its almost unfailing ability to reveal character; and for many other reasons.

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11 hours ago11 hours ago

Two recent books are typical of the current consensus in presenting populism as a new threat to liberal democracy. But properly understood, it is neither modern nor rightwing

Why are the traditional parties of the left in the western world being defeated in so many places by outrageous blowhards of the right? The answer most often given is that rightwing politicians have discovered and embraced a diabolical form of super-politics known as “populism”. With its combination of magic words and evil deeds, this populism is breaking rules, beguiling voters and winning elections.

Populism is a subject I know something about. In the 1980s I studied the angry American agrarians who, a century before, squared off against railroad monopolists. I became fascinated with the populist culture of the Roosevelt era, with all its Fanfares for the Common Man and its admiration for working people.

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14 hours ago14 hours ago
We meet again Mr Bond … but this time 007 is still learning the ropes of spycraft, in this enjoyable spinoff authorised by the Fleming estate

One of the many pleasures of Ian Fleming’s Bond books is the fact that he doesn’t bore us with too much of his hero’s background. There is no tiresome origin novel featuring a teenage Bond experimenting with murder techniques on small forest animals. To the reader of Fleming, Bond is a fully formed force of nature, elegantly inevitable.

Related: Danny Boyle's 007: what can we expect from the next James Bond?

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9 hours ago9 hours ago

There are shades of King Lear in this story about three sisters who are isolated on an island, far away from lethal men

There is a house on an island, alone by the sea. Inside live three girls, Grace, Lia and Sky, with their parents Mother and King. Outside, beyond the sea and the horizon, there is a “toxin‑filled world”. To understand what toxins are, and indeed for their knowledge of everything else, the girls have always deferred to King. Their world is complete. And then, one day, he is gone.

The title of Sophie Mackintosh’s extraordinary debut novel, The Water Cure, refers to one of the many immunising cruelties King has devised for the girls. They are sewn into “fainting sacks” and “drowning dresses”; they keep muslin pressed to their mouths like masks. Now, in his afterglow, Mother is a surviving queen consort. She honours tradition. One morning she orders a “love therapy” on the beach, in which Lia, on Sky’s behalf, is forced to kill a mouse and then a toad. The ritual sparks an electric charge between sisters, down pathways drawn by King.His legacy is the real toxin: a trauma that forces its victims to go on playing it out.

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12 hours ago12 hours ago
The intricacies of Filipino-American society are explored in a fresh, tender story about one woman’s journey from torture in the Philippines to a new life in California

As titles go, this one is forceful: it proclaims that the book will correct some misconception about either nation or organ. The novel centres on a quiet woman with broken thumbs. Hero lives in Milpitas, a suburb of San Jose, California, where she works in a restaurant, babysits her cousin and flirts with Rosalyn, a cute makeup artist. Slowly, she reveals her past to Rosalyn and to the reader. Hero has travelled far: from a wealthy childhood in the Philippines, to the mountains where she was a doctor for guerrilla revolutionary group the National People’s Army, to the locked room in which she was tortured, and finally to America.

Related: Philippines: Rodrigo Duterte orders soldiers to shoot female rebels 'in the vagina'

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1 day 14 hours ago1 day 14 hours ago
Pollan’s illuminating history of hallucinogenic drugs reveals that their mystical and medical benefits are indivisible

In 1938, the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, seeking a new drug to stimulate blood circulation, accidentally invented lysergic acid deithylamide, or LSD. Later, after inadvertently absorbing a minuscule quantity through his skin, he was obliged to stagger home and lie down on his sofa, where, “in a dreamlike state, with eyes closed… I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours”. It was more than an impressive display, though: Hoffman felt convinced he’d been inducted into a secret of the universe, “the mystical experience of a deeper, comprehensive reality”. Mere days after the birth of LSD, scientists split the first uranium atom. One of these two world-jolting events went on to reshape civilisation, but by the mid-1960s, the other had been banished to the shadows. Research funding ceased and LSD was outlawed along with psilocybin, the psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms, introduced to the west in 1955 by an open-minded Manhattan banker. A trapdoor to another dimension had briefly opened, but now it seemed decisively slammed shut.

Related: Michael Pollan: ‘I was a very reluctant psychonaut’

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3 days 12 hours ago3 days 12 hours ago
This account of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is both moving and rigorously researched

The first sign to the outer world that there was something wrong came at a power plant in Sweden on 28 April 1986. A chemist responsible for measuring radiation levels noticed what seemed like a malfunction: the alarm kept going off. He examined the shoe of a co-worker. It showed radioactive elements not normally detected at the plant. The Swedes immediately suspected a Soviet accident. It took many days before anyone knew that something very bad had happened 1,500km away in Chernobyl, Ukraine.

Serhii Plokhy’s book is the first comprehensive history “from the explosion of the nuclear reactor to the closing of the plant in December 2000 and the final stages in the completion of the new shelter over the damaged reactor in May 2018”. It’s also a warning: “Most new reactors under construction today are being built outside the western world, which is known for the relative safety of its reactors and operating procedures.” There are 21 new reactors being built in China, nine in Russia, six in India, two in Egypt… The list goes on.

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4 days 12 hours ago4 days 12 hours ago

Atlas is best known for his study of Saul Bellow, written while the novelist was still alive. It was an unequal, fraught relationship and the biographer feels (a little) guilty

“You should write a book about writing this book,” Saul Bellow told his biographer James Atlas during one of the many meetings they had during Atlas’s research. Decades later – 18 years after the biography and 13 since Bellow’s death – he has done just that, recalling the ups and downs of their relationship, exploring his “agonised” ambivalence about the job he did, and reflecting on the dilemmas of the life writing trade, especially when the person you’re writing about is alive. “There will be tears before bedtime,” Atlas was warned about his Bellow project, and there were. Hence the motivation for this book – part mea culpa, part self-exoneration, part memoir.

Atlas dates his fascination with biography back to the two years he spent as a postgraduate in Oxford, where James Joyce’s biographer Richard Ellmann acted as his supervisor. Back in the US, he touted for reviewing work, got a lucky break or two, and – still in his early 20s – was commissioned to write a biography of the poet Delmore Schwartz, a cult figure whose reputation was then in decline. Atlas describes the transgressive thrill of reading Schwartz’s diaries – and the challenge of interviewing those who’d known him. Most were now old men and found talking about their vanished youth a painful business: “My presence couldn’t have been more unsettling if I’d worn a hooded cloak and carried a scythe.” But others seemed almost oblivious to him, happily revealing long-kept secrets.

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5 days 12 hours ago5 days 12 hours ago

A fascinating study of official and popular responses to overseas arrivals and a population more diverse than ever before

In 2009 a poster for the British National Party showed a second world war Spitfire banking in the clouds under the slogan “Battle for Britain”. The BNP leaders, who were campaigning to stop immigration from eastern Europe, no doubt intended to capture the indomitable British spirit in its finest hour. It was unfortunate for them that the plane featured in the poster was flown by the celebrated 303 Squadron of the RAF, made up of Polish airmen.

This January, in his valedictory remarks as German ambassador to the UK, Peter Ammon argued that some Brexiters were motivated by a sense of national identity built around Britain “standing alone” in the war. It is well known, yet always bears repeating, that Britain never “stood alone” in the months following the surrender of France. British troops fought alongside Czechs, Irish, Poles, the Free French and forces from Canada, Australia, India and many other countries. As Wendy Webster points out in Mixing It, the UK media at the time underlined “togetherness” – an “allies’ war”, fought by a multinational community. It was only in peacetime that the myth of solitary survival became enshrined.

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6 days 14 hours ago6 days 14 hours ago

The prolific and prizewinning novelist reflects on the pram in the hall, what children can teach fathers and a trip to Paris men’s fashion week

A year before he published his first novel, Michael Chabon met a famous author at a literary party. This man, who was twice Chabon’s age, offered him some unsolicited advice. “Don’t have children,” he said. “That’s it. Do not. That is the whole of the law.” He went on to explain how, after one book, there would be a second that would inevitably be more difficult and unwieldy than the first, and would probably bomb. A third would nonetheless be expected, followed by a fourth, fifth and sixth, and so on for as long as his “stubbornness and luck held out”. All this would happen, he said, unless Chabon made the same fatal mistake as so many fledgling writers before him. “You can write great books,” he said. “Or you can have kids. It’s up to you.”

Twenty years later, Chabon – novelist, short story writer and proud father of four – has turned their exchange into an essay called The Opposite of Writing, the first in this warm, whimsical and elegantly observed collection. Chabon, who won a Pulitzer prize for fiction in 2001 for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, is too generous a writer to take a yah-boo-sucks approach to this author, whose intentions, despite the tone of condescension, were seemingly decent. Instead he uses it as a springboard to pondering the perceived problem that is the pram in the hall.

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7 days 14 hours ago7 days 14 hours ago
This lively study explains how embracing embarrassing conversations or exposing situations can improve your life

I read part of this book in somebody else’s reserved seat on an overbooked train; do train companies have any idea of the anxiety they cause when they suddenly announce that all seat reservations are suspended? As each stop triggered another mortifying conversation about seats, the book explained what was going on in our brains to make the situation feel so painful, why that matters so much to us and what we can learn from it.

Melissa Dahl is an American science journalist who has been writing about psychology for 10 years, and her book, about the very specific phenomenon of awkwardness, “began as an attempt to permanently banish the feeling from my life with science!” Like all good scientists, though, she has changed her opinion based on the evidence she collected. Dahl now seeks out and embraces awkwardness, and she thinks that we all should, too.

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2 days 14 hours ago2 days 14 hours ago

A young junkie parades her life of deceit in this frank and sharp debut

I had concerns with the cover of Problems. That title, screamed in fuchsia all-caps on a vaguely urban, desolate background… it comes off a little “awkward YA novel”, with characters probably called Trent, or Lexxxi. You know how it is. A sort of millennial Melvin Burgess, but not nearly as good. The PR blurb says that this is an “edgy” book, clearly unaware that if someone described a party as “edgy” you would immediately choose not to go.

I needn’t have worried. Problems, the debut of Indian-American writer Jade Sharma, is wonderful. Our narrator is Maya, a young New Yorker, who works part-time in a bookshop while ostensibly writing her MA thesis and who is married to a nice (read: boring) guy called Peter. Maya is having two ill-advised affairs: one with her former college professor, Ogden, the other with heroin. (Note: Problems refers to heroin as dope, as it’s known in the US, whereas in the UK dope denotes marijuana.)

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4 days 14 hours ago4 days 14 hours ago

The great Irish writer displays all his trademark evasive precision in Last Stories, a posthumous collection

William Trevor is one major writer about whose life I know only odd scraps; yet this feels appropriate. I know that he was of southern Irish Protestant stock; that his real name was Trevor Cox; that he worked in the same advertising agency as the poet Peter Porter; that he took holidays on Porquerolles, a Mediterranean island with no vehicular traffic; and that he shared the Irish short story writer’s traditional fate of being called “an Irish Chekhov”. But I can’t think of any public statement he made, or any cause he publicly adhered to, or any time when the non-literary pages of newspapers were interested in him. Was he knighted? Did they make a South Bank Show about him? I met him once, in 1999, after he won the David Cohen prize, but was left with only a strong impression of courtliness, charm and reserve.

My wife, who was his long-term literary agent, told me that he liked to sit on park benches and eavesdrop on conversations; but that he never wanted to listen to a whole story, so would get up and move on as soon as he had heard the small amount he needed to trigger his further imaginings. This always struck me as a perfect example of how a fiction writer often works. You need a little, not a lot; and there is nothing more unhelpful than the guy (and it always is a guy) who greets you with: “I’ve got a great story you could use.”

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2 days 13 hours ago2 days 13 hours ago
Dirty dancing, memories of sexual abuse and a spy’s search for her missing sister feature in this month’s standouts

Mike and Verity play a dangerous game: the Crave. In a crowded nightclub, Verity begins to flirt with whoever approaches her, while Mike looks on. When she gives him the signal, Mike muscles in and scares her suitor off. It turns them on. But they are no longer together, and Verity is marrying another man. Is this a more advanced version of the Crave? Mike, the narrator of Araminta Hall’s Our Kind of Cruelty (Century, £12.99), thinks it is, and anything Verity tells him to the contrary only convinces him further that he’s right.

“I wondered for a moment if she had been kidnapped and someone else was writing her emails,” he ponders, after he is informed of the forthcoming marriage. “The much more plausible explanations were that V was not herself, or she was using her tone to send me a covert message … It was as if the lines of her email dissolve and behind them were her true words. This was a game, our favourite game. It was obvious that we were beginning a new, more intricate Crave.”

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3 days 11 hours ago3 days 11 hours ago
Curtis Sittenfeld’s first story collection conjures a vivid cast of women – including a presidential hopeful – caught up in knotty social dilemmas

Curtis Sittenfeld revealed in a recent interview in the New Review that she has on multiple occasions resisted offers to translate into fiction the life of Melania Trump. Her most obvious credential is that a decade ago her novel American Wife imagined a 21st-century first lady, but her new collection of stories provides impressive supporting evidence. Sittenfeld is fascinated by our fascination – and our unease – with women: powerful women, powerless women, women we are attracted to and repulsed by, women who push themselves to the centre of the stage and women who erase themselves from the story.

If, perhaps from a sense of scrupulousness or decency, she passed up the chance to portray Mrs Trump, Sittenfeld acquiesced when commissioned to write a story from the perspective of Hillary Clinton. The Nominee opens this collection, as an unnamed but highly familiar Democrat contemplates her forthcoming candidature (“anticlimactic”, she decides). Her mirror is not her opponent, but the female journalist who has repeatedly interviewed her throughout her career; the device allows her to reflect on woman-on-woman sexism – nobody else asks her about her pantsuits, including men – and on the peculiar relationship that exists between the professional interrogator and their subject.

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5 days 14 hours ago5 days 14 hours ago

The master of horror hits a home run, with this mystery of a baseball youth team coach accused of murder

Stephen King finds himself in a unique situation: as he approaches his 60th novel, every book he releases is charting, his backlist is selling enviable amounts and a devout fanbase want more of the stories he is famous for telling. So how does he surprise his readers and draw new ones in? How does he, as the writer, surprise himself?

Over the past few years, King has experimented. There was a sequel to what is arguably his most famous novel, The Shining; 2013’s Doctor Sleep eschewed the snowed-in torpor of the original in favour of a story that never took its foot off the pedal. He has written the Bill Hodges trilogy of crime novels – Mr Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch – in which he intended to shun the supernatural element (and stuck to this promise for nearly two of them). And last year’s Sleeping Beauties, written with his son Owen, was a more literary endeavour than his books usually are.

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4 days 9 hours ago4 days 9 hours ago

Snap by Belinda Bauer; The Old Religion by Martyn Waites; Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh; The Good Son by You-jeong Jeong; Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall and The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet

British novelist Belinda Bauer is at her considerable best when writing about children, and the opening chapter of her latest book, Snap (Bantam, £12.99), is one of the most vividly unnerving I have read. It’s August 1998, and 11-year-old Jack has been left in charge of his young sisters in a hot, broken-down car in a layby on the M5 while their mother goes to call for help. When she doesn’t return, they trudge down the road to find her, to be met with only the dangling receiver of the emergency phone. When her body is found, the children’s father, unable to cope, leaves them to fend for themselves. Jack becomes proficient at burgling houses to support the family, and his habit of stealing food and taking naps in his victims’ beds leads baffled local police to refer to him as “Goldilocks”. Meanwhile, pregnant Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed with an ominous note, and DI John Marvel, his career in the doldrums and loathing his forced relocation from London to Somerset, longs for the chance to prove himself. Although Catherine’s reasons for not reporting her alarming findings to either her husband or the police don’t ring entirely true, Bauer deftly weaves these strands together for an intelligent mystery, written with razor-sharp observation and wry humour.

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6 days 12 hours ago6 days 12 hours ago

From tantalising texts and passionate emails to heartbreak and rootless wandering … an examination of modern intimacy, this autofiction challenges genre boundaries

A woman has a love affair – or not quite a love affair, or something more than a love affair. She and the man meet in person a few times, but their relationship is never consummated, since it exists only in the world of emails and instant messaging, where responses are thrillingly instant and gratification tantalisingly deferred:

We met wherever there was WiFi, which is almost everywhere nowadays, so that when you left, there was never a space from which you could be erased, tidied over. There was never a place where you weren’t, a place from which you could be properly missed.

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13 days 6 hours ago13 days 6 hours ago

The plot may not be very original, but Dave Eggers can’t write a boring sentence - kids will love this tale of dark underground forces

Twelve-year-old Granite Flowerpetal, hero of Dave Eggers’s first book for children, is having a rough time. His mechanic father is struggling to make enough money to support the family, which also includes Granite’s mother, who uses a wheelchair, and little sister Maisie. Dad’s solution is to move hundreds of miles to the town of Carousel, where things start going wrong as soon as they arrive.

Granite is worried about being the new kid at school, and hopes to make that easier with a slight name change, from the hard-edged moniker given to him by his father to balance the family surname to “Gran”. But nobody is interested in his name, or anything about him, and before long he discovers that something strange is going on under the surface of Carousel – literally so.

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20 days 15 hours ago20 days 15 hours ago

Entries for this year’s Branford Boase prize show a preponderance of inward-looking family stories at the expense of more outward-bound storytelling, say judges

The fictional children of the past frolicked on the heather-clad slopes of Kirrin Island or battled the armies of evil at Hogwarts, free from the restrictions of their parents. Today, according to the judge of a children’s books prize, novelists are eschewing adventure stories for “claustrophobic” domestic dramas and creating “a depressing children’s literary landscape” in the process.

Author Philip Womack and his fellow judges read 60 books to come up with the shortlist for the Branford Boase award, which rewards children’s authors at the start of their careers and has honoured names from Meg Rosoff to Mal Peet in the past. According to Womack, at least a third of the submissions this year had a “very similar narrative: there’s an ill child at home, who notices something odd, and is probably imagining it, but not telling the reader. They’re all in the first person, all in the present tense, all of a type,” he said.

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25 days 12 hours ago25 days 12 hours ago

Novels in verse, rival puffins and what really happened after Humpty Dumpty’s great fall

Unusual titles for eight to 12 are blooming this spring, including Julie Hunt and Dale Newman’s KidGlovz (Allen & Unwin), an Australian graphic novel in the vein of Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret. KidGlovz is a child prodigy, starved by his showman “uncle” to keep him small. After he is kidnapped and his hand injured, he is abandoned as useless. Can KidGlovz and his friend, the thief Shoestring, survive alone in the wintry mountains – and has Kid lost his heart’s music along with his fingers? Though less nuanced than Selznick’s work, this meandering adventure, with its thought-bubbled, pencil-shaded illustrations, has memorable charm.

There is more unconventional storytelling in Kwame Alexander’s verse novel Rebound (Andersen), a prequel to his Newbery-winning The Crossover, which features comic strip daydreams as well as poetry. Chronicling 12-year-old Charlie Bell’s grief at the loss of his father, his banishment to his grandparents’ house and his developing love of basketball, Alexander effortlessly marries rap rhythms with plaintive, passionate and deceptively simple verse.

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5 days 12 hours ago5 days 12 hours ago

Her award-winning debut tackled Alzheimer’s and now she is drawing from the dark depression of her teenage years. Emma Healey opens up about real life events that inspired her latest novel

A gentle story about an 82-year-old woman with dementia might seem an unlikely hit, but Emma Healey’s first novel was such a success it was dubbed “Gone Gran”. A little bit funny, a little bit sad, Elizabeth Is Missing won the 2014 Costa first novel award and is being adapted for TV. And the author was not yet 30.

Her second novel, Whistle in the Dark, seems rather more “Gone Girl”; and, with its black cover and tagline promising mystery, the book is certainly being sold as a psychodrama. In fact, it is a neat subversion of the genre, opening with 15-year-old Lana fetching up at hospital after being lost for four days. Events unfold from the perspective of Lana’s mother Jen, who, with echoes of Maud in the earlier novel trying to find her friend Elizabeth, turns amateur sleuth/internet stalker in increasingly paranoid attempts to piece together what has happened to her daughter. Just as Maud’s failing memory shaped Elizabeth Is Missing, so Healey’s subject here is Lana’s mental health struggles. How do you go from writing about Alzheimer’s to teenage depression?

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2 days 8 hours ago2 days 8 hours ago

The Slits guitarist and author answered questions on everything from being creative to losing her faith in music and why Toy Story 2 is the greatest

Thanks for all the questions – see you later!

Related: Viv Albertine: ‘I just want to blow a hole in it all’

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20 hours ago

Weapons are not the problem; the epidemic of child abuse and childhood trauma is an exploding mental health problem filling our prisons and creating fertile ground for violent behaviors.

(PRWeb May 23, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15510608.htm

20 hours ago

Summer reading slide setbacks not only affect student performance in the coming school session, but many teachers have to reteach skills, and over time, these setbacks can have a lasting impact on...

(PRWeb May 23, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15512277.htm

20 hours ago

Book Documents Supernatural Interventions In Situations That Seemed Hopeless

(PRWeb May 23, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15504130.htm

20 hours ago

Book Mobilizes The Body Of Christ To Again Master Spiritual Warfare

(PRWeb May 23, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15504224.htm

20 hours ago

Young Adult Novel Helps Teens Make Right Choices

(PRWeb May 23, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15504290.htm

20 hours ago

Former Silicon Valley recruiter and English teacher says jobs good for kids -- and language increases earnings. His bilingual children's career book is published by Premio Publishing.

(PRWeb May 23, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15502616.htm

1 day 20 hours ago

“Why The Mystery” from Christian Faith Publishing author Carl Keller provides the proper format in approaching and understanding what is one of the greatest mysteries of all time.

(PRWeb May 22, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15487412.htm

1 day 20 hours ago

A Zelig-like journey through life with a colorful cast of first-generation Italian immigrants, numbers-­runners, professional athletes, high-­rollers, A-­listers, celebrities, and...

(PRWeb May 22, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15489568.htm

1 day 20 hours ago

With book fair and awards season in full swing, self-published authors gravitated toward submission services in the most recent Outskirts Press sales survey.

(PRWeb May 22, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15493823.htm

1 day 20 hours ago

KD Novelties publisher of Personalized Children’s Books announces the addition of Personalized Disney Books to their line of innovative personalized storybooks for kids making children the STAR of...

(PRWeb May 22, 2018)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15494588.htm

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