- How to Read the Dune Book Series in Order
- The Novelist Who Saw Middle America as It Really Was
- Untrained blind student lands starring role in Netflix second world war epic
- Joan Didion and the Voice of America
- Dostoevsky’s Favorite Murder
- Does it really matter if our kids refuse to pick up a book?
- Better for You Than Porn: Why Men Are Reading Romance Novels
- Books About Missing and Murdered People of Color That Deserve More Attention
“21 novels with no obvious road map. Let’s dive in!”
Adrienne Westenfeld, assistant editor at Esquire, offers some guidelines on how the navigate the Dune oeuvre, “21 novels with no obvious road map.”
Sinclair Lewis captured the narrow-mindedness and conformity of middle-class America in the first half of the 20th century. On the 100th anniversary of his best-selling novel “Babbitt,” Robert Gottlieb revisits Lewis’s life and career.
Thousands of hopefuls auditioned for the lead role of a blind character in an epic second world war drama series for Netflix that is based on a Pulitzer prize-winning novel. But the producers of All the Light We Cannot See have chosen a student with no formal acting training who is registered blind, in a move that has been welcomed by disability rights activists.
Articles about Joan Didion’s influence and legacy continue to appear since her recent death. Here, Hilton Als writes, “Her genius—and it was genius—lay in her ability to combine the specific and the sweeping in a single paragraph, to understand that the details of why we hurt and alienate one another based on skin color, sex, class, fame, or politics are also what make us American.”
“The author of “Crime and Punishment” had a love-hate relationship with the true-crime obsessions of his era.”
Jennifer Wilson discusses Dostoevsky and his novel Crime and Punishment in the context of Kevin Birmingham’s recent book The Sinner and the Saint: Dostoevsky and the Gentleman Murderer Who Inspired a Masterpiece. Wilson concludes that Birmingham “shows us that Dostoevsky is both the ‘sinner’ and the ‘saint,’ a repentant political criminal who wanted his characters to inspire not fervor but fear—of our worst instincts.”
Robin Abcarian, an opinion columnist at the Los Angeles Times, laments that her 11-year-old niece, who lives with her, dislikes reading. Much of her concern seems to arise from not realizing that kids of today read a lot, even if they don’t sit down with printed books like we now-older folks used to.
Overall, romance is the second-most-popular genre in American fiction, below only thrillers, yet there’s still archaic stigma about romance novels and the people who read them, rooted in sexism and snobbery. I’m here to tell you that romance novels are for guys—in fact, they’re for anyone who wants to live a more emotionally rich life.
And tell us she does. Adrienne Westenfeld explains why these are not your mother’s romance novels: “Today’s romance novels offer more than sex (though, don’t worry, they do contain plenty of it). Unlike previous generations, these books dig deep into the emotional lives of characters. They center smart, strong, frequently stubborn men and women who are putting in the work to live authentic and meaningful lives.”
I live in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., where this story has been a point of major concern: “the media shows a clear preference for covering true crime cases involving white (and often beautiful) women while those about missing and murdered Indigenous and Black women and men get little.”
Addison Rizer lists several books—mostly nonfiction, but also a few novels—that feature the stories of “missing and murdered Black, Indigenous, and people of color.”
© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown