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Love Illuminated
The New York Times : Mash Notes (February 10, 2014)

It suggests that even in this rotten modern world — famously short on certitude, peace or even a non-maddening chore rotation — it is still possible for two people to be true to each other.


Dept. of Speculation
The New York Times : Bridled Vows (February 07, 2014)

It would be interesting to read the other story to this marriage, to know more of the husband, the father — but Offill still makes it seem as if the wife’s version of the marriage is story enough and, perhaps, the only story that matters.


Pat and Dick: The Nixons, An Intimate Portrait of a Marriage

Swift succeeds in showing a young couple united by a degree of class resentment and a political understanding of how their apparent ordinariness could spark a sense of sympathetic identification in the mass of voters who would eventually form Nixon’s “silent majority.”


Sex After . . .: Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes
The New York Times : Passages (February 07, 2014)

Throughout, she misses the truly mysterious contours of the sexual self in which lines are continuously drawn, blurred, erased and drawn again.


Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

Johnson’s impressive work at commandeering this brain system to rehabilitate failing partnerships is an important contribution to those lost in the thicket of unhappy pair-bonding.


Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
The New York Times : Le Mariage (February 07, 2014)

She has researched the primary sources diligently and quotes judiciously throughout. Yet her book has certain problems. The second half has a dying fall. More seriously, some of the history is unnecessarily simplistic.


The Last Train to Paris

Just as characters don’t emerge fully from Zackheim’s pages, neither does meaning always arise clearly from her phrases.


That Part Was True

I won’t say where their missives lead, but I will applaud the sensible outcome. This is England, after all, and we trust that Mrs. Petworth won’t do anything rash.


Alena: A Novel

We can never go back to Manderley again. That much is certain. But can we use its mechanisms to skewer the contemporary art world — a place often so self-­aggrandizing it begs for parody? Yes. And we can enjoy every multiply pierced moment of the performance.


A Place in the Country

Sebald is humanized and softened in these essays — a face is given to the cloud — but also darkened.


The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe

Miracles can happen, but with the facts that we now know, the mountaineer's ascent to heaven will be steep.


The Sixth Extinction

With any hope, Kolbert's readers will not be able to sleep until we all do our part to protect habitat for our co-travelers through what Darwin rightly called Earth's grandeur.


Children of Paradise

D’Aguiar creates a suffocating atmosphere that explores the use of charisma and religious fanaticism as tools of repression.


My Life in Middlemarch

"Middlemarch," as Mead proves, can help you view such lives, along with your own, in both the clearest, and the most magnanimous light.


Romance Is My Day Job: A Memoir of Finding Love at Last

Romance fans especially will like this book, but almost any woman will find something to relate to in Bloom's story.


My Life in Middlemarch

After you’ve finished Middlemarch, Mead’s book should be required reading – after all, experiencing a book through another’s eyes is the quintessential act of literary empathy.


Trieste

Employing photographs, Nuremberg trial testimony, poetry, and newsreel style scenes of rape, incarceration, torture, murder and assassination, Drndic has created a terrifying book, both personal and objective


Annihilation

Annihilation is a book meant for gulping — for going in head-first and not coming up for air until you hit the back cover.


Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir

I wanted to leap into her place and time, but this book wouldn’t quite let me.