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Why I Read

Author of nine prior books and contributor to various prominent literary venues, hers has been a no-holds-barred, art-loving life, and her dedication to that quest irradiates "Why I Read."


The Trip to Echo Spring

Whether one has never touched a drop of alcohol or swims in it daily, all the swings at dignity, the longing for posterity, the intermittent impoverishments are deeply relatable here.


On Such a Full Sea: A Novel

With this novel, Chang-rae Lee, too, has radically shifted focus from his previous books. It's anything but opportunistic or shallow - I'd call it brave, instead. But, like Fan, he's lost his way.


Little Failure: A Memoir

It's an eccentric but moving account of one family's conflicts and travails and a boy writer who finally came through and, of course, is still coming through.


My Mistake

A meditation on time, chance and meaning, it poses more questions than it answers, but that is what good literature does - at least when it manages to be published and truly move a reader, which, thankfully can just arbitrarily happen sometimes.


The Trip to Echo Spring

What lingers is the complexity of the problems that dominated these authors’ life and work, and how hard it is precisely to place alcohol in that emotional matrix, even if its physical effects became devastatingly clear.


Little Failure: A Memoir

“Little Failure” is so packed with humor, it’s easy to overlook the rage, but it’s there, and it’s part of what makes the book so compelling.


The Time Regulation Institute

Tanpinar’s elaborate bittersweet sendup of Turkish culture over a half-century ago speaks perfectly clearly to our own.


Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes

It’s a nice, not overly intimidating book to read and get you thinking about if anything is really just elementary.


Before I Burn

Before I Burn makes a persuasive case that the novel is still the best method we've got.


Belle Cora: A Novel

Along with its unforgettable characters, Belle Cora is a book for the ages.


Promise Land: My Journey through America's Self-Help Culture

Ms. Lamb-Shapiro, whose writing has been published in McSweeney's and Open City, maintains a conversational, nonjudgmental tone, whether discussing family secrets or the eccentricities of her fellow seekers.


Little Failure: A Memoir

Shteyngart’s story couldn’t be more different from Nabokov’s, but he nimbly achieves the noble Nabokovian goal of letting sentiment in without ever becoming sentimental.


In the Night of Time

Tolstoyan, Joycean, DeLillo-an in its ambition, “In the Night of Time” abounds with cityscapes, landscapes, architectural details, telltale portents, meditative asides, unnerving tense shifts, paragraphs that go on for seven pages, scenes that are cut short only to be rewound again.


Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The Secret History Behind the Game That Changed the World

In addition to presenting a broad diplomatic tableau and fascinating personal histories, Mr. Griffin is careful to weigh the consequences of what his book describes.


The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles: A Novel

The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles is an engaging and entertaining work.


Visitation Street

Ivy Pochoda’s Red Hook is composed of the sublime energy and small acts of kindness that arise out of displacement and necessity


The Harlot's Tale

A fast-paced and enjoyably quick read, The Harlot’s Tale is solid entertainment for anyone interested in history, independent and intelligent heroines, and well-handled revelations.


A Nasty Piece of Work

A Nasty Piece of Work lives up to its title. There is betrayal and gore galore.


Night Watch

A great read for anyone looking for a long series to dive into, and for established fans, this re-release features a teaser of Lukyanenko’s forthcoming installment, New Watch.