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Bridget Jones's Baby: The Diaries

The newest of the Bridget Jones chronicles is, like all of Helen Fielding’s novels, well paced and well crafted, as symmetrical and solidly constructed as an Oreo, after all.

Mister Monkey

In what presents itself as a modest, mischievous little novel, Francine Prose has, modestly and mischievously, given us a great work.

Future Sex

Though “Future Sex” isn’t as much about the future as its title suggests, it is a smart, funny, beautifully written account of contemporary women trying to understand their sexual desires — and fashion physically and emotionally safe ways to express them.

The Chosen Ones

Sem-Sandberg’s precise, resolutely nonpoetic prose is highly effective, even in translation, and appears to be a conscious refusal of aestheticism: The brutality of the subject requires a brutal style.

How to See: Looking, Talking, and Thinking about Art

“How to See” is lovely to read, mostly, because Mr. Salle can actually write.

American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant

I wish that “American Ulysses” delved more deeply into Grant’s contradictions, yet agree with its final tally. White delineates Grant’s virtues better than any author before, and they outweighed his flaws.

Eyes on the Street: The Life of Jane Jacobs

In the introduction, editors Samuel Zipp and Nathan Storring extol Jacobs’ “radical pragmatism.” This phrase captures her vivid force more deeply than all of Kanigel’s prose, and it’s why the best aspects of her work will always stay fresh.

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life

“The Pigeon Tunnel” finds its 84-year-old author in fine form and good humor. His personal revelations are mild and therefore perhaps disappointing, but fans of le Carré will be mostly content he chose to expose himself to the light of public scrutiny at all. May he continue to soar for some time still.

The Angel of History: A Novel

To dwell within Jacob’s mind and to read Alameddine’s prose is to see loss, if not mastered, then at least made into lively and living art.

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

Much of Jackson’s writing is a weird, rich brew, and Franklin captures its savor. I may have been captivated by Stanley Hyman’s personality, but after this biography, I will go back and read Jackson herself.

Future Sex

“Future Sex” transports us into this anticorporate bacchanal, so it’s a letdown to end on a decidedly sterile scene: a lunch of quinoa and green juice on the Facebook campus.

How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight

“How to Make a Spaceship” is like the vessel it portrays: imperfect and a bit patched together, but ultimately flight-worthy and impressively ambitious.

Greetings from Utopia Park

Hoffman supplies no easy answers. She doesn’t regret her childhood, which comes across at times like a state of magic, but thoughtfully and with great grace, she alters what she learned in her past to fit what she truly needs now.

Perfume River: A Novel

This novel is more a meditation than a page-turner; it’s mournful, with a literal funeral at its turning point. In spite of its various points of view, it returns, as it must, to the protagonist, a man in need of a reckoning.


Replica is at the very least creative and entertaining as only action-adventures can be.

Shallow Graves

It's a great debut and a satisfyingly dark and quirky read!

Devil Sent the Rain

Turner does well in organically weaving both the past and present together - for the purposes of the overall mystery, of course, but also giving readers enough information about Able to really make them connect with him.

The Abandoned Heart: A Bliss House Novel

The Abandoned Heart is a dark read. The whole series is, if you haven't gathered. It's a worthy end - or beginning - to the series. I had the opportunity to read it over the summer and have had to bite my tongue ever since!

News of the World

I loved the scenery painted by Jiles's prose. I am, somewhat, familiar with modern day Texas but admittedly haven't roamed the countryside that much.

The Nix: A novel

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you entertained and also make you think, and will take more than a couple of nights to read, you can’t go wrong with The Nix.