Tag Archives: Spring 2012

THE PRODUCTIVE WRITER: Tips & Tools to Help You Write More, Stress Less & Create Success

Sage Cohen Writers Digest Books ($16.99) by Marj Hahne Thank the writing gods that Sage Cohen “compensated for insecurity by being overprepared.” Her second guide for writers, The Productive Writer: Tips & Tools to Help You Write More, Stress Less & Create Success, is generous, comprehensive, pragmatic, and optimistic—and departs from its kin by saying things […]

HOW TO READ THE QUR’AN: A New Guide, with Select Translations

Carl W. Ernst University of North Carolina Press ($30) by Spencer Dew Approaching the Qur’an “like any other writing”—i.e., as a human work rooted in history, rather than as divine revelation, an eternal “aesthetic miracle” which can thus never be translated—Carl W. Ernst applies the sort of academic, non-confessional reading that has long been standard […]


FAITH NO MORE Why People Reject Religion Phil Zuckerman Oxford University Press ($24.95) THE BODHISATTVA’S BRAIN Buddhism Naturalized Owen Flanagan MIT Press ($27.95) by Scott F. Parker The secular minority in America has grown to its all-time highest proportion of the population: 15%. Small as this number sounds, it’s roughly double what it was twenty […]

BEAT ATLAS: A State-by-State Guide to the Beat Generation in America

Bill Morgan City Lights Books ($15.95) by Graziano Krätli We, who have seen the best minds of our generation drained by dullness, craving celebrity scandals, deluding themselves with best-selling fixes, inspirational guides, and other coffee-table grounds; we common educated readers, rubbish-resistant and reluctant to praise, yet always ready to recognize talent (or at least genuine […]


Edited by Leah Price Yale University Press ($20) by Jeff Bursey In the second title of Yale’s Unpacking My Library series, Leah Price interviews Alison Bechdel, Stephen Carter, Junot Díaz, Rebecca Goldstein and Stephen Pinker, Lev Grossman and Sophie Gee, Jonathan Lethem, Claire Messud and James Wood, Philip Pullman, Gary Shteyngart, and Edmund White. Each interview consists […]


Sonya Hartnett Candlewick Press ($16.99) by Kelly Everding Sonya Hartnett’s stirring and unforgettable book, The Midnight Zoo, takes the reader out of the present moment and into the frightening, uncertain times of World War II. Two Romany brothers, Andrej (12) and Tomas (9), along with their infant sister, Wilma, flee a brutal attack by German soldiers […]


Brian Selznick Scholastic Press ($29.99) by Roxanne Halpine Ward Brian Selznick’s Caldecott Medal-winning book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, employs illustrations and text to tell a story brimming with secrets and mysteries. In his newest book, Wonderstruck, Selznick again deftly pairs art and words, but in an even more complex and compelling tale of museums, silence, language, […]

Two perspectives on Matt Ruff's The Mirage

THE MIRAGE Matt Ruff Harper ($25.99) by Nathaniel Forsythe November 9, 2001. Sunrise in Baghdad is at 6:25, and as the first rays strike the Tigris and Euphrates twin towers, an old man stands in the main dining room of the Windows on the World restaurant, gazing out at the city. And so, with the […]


Stephen King Scribner ($35) by G. A. Rozen Genre bending isn’t exactly something Stephen King is known for. A master of the macabre and occasional practitioner of science fiction, King’s work tends to attract the reader with a darker sensibility. Sometimes he’ll sneak one by you, like the touching Hearts in Atlantis or the ode to childhood […]