Fiction

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How Crime Writers Can Reimagine Public Safety Without Police “The next wave of crime fiction could help shape the public imagination of what a world where police weren’t in charge of public safety could look like.” Historically, crime fiction has portrayed the police as heroes. But that vision of law enforcement is becoming hazier for …

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Captivating Novels about Astrology In her introduction to this list, Laura Maylene Walter, author of the novel Body of Stars, calls herself “a skeptic who doesn’t read horoscopes in my daily life.” But, she continues, “hand me a work of fiction about astrology or psychics, and I’m captivated.” Many of the books on this list …

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They Are Giving Hemingway Another Look, So You Can, Too Gal Beckerman, an editor at the New York Times Book Review, talks with Lynn Novick and Ken Burns about their three-part series on Hemingway currently airing on PBS. The documentary filmmakers were drawn to Hemingway because of his complex status as both an influence on …

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How Reading Ebooks Changes Our Perception (and Reviews) Addison Rizer, a self-declared “avid Kindle reader,” writes, “I am curious about the ways reading ebooks changes the way we interact, and review, the novels we consume.” The article contains lots of references, with links, to both scientific studies and popular sources. However, the discussion is unfocused; …

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Discussion

Your Favorite Book Might Be My DNF . . . and Vice Versa

“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” “There’s no accounting for taste.” “Different strokes for different folks.” I occasionally see the novel Geek Love by Katherine Dunn listed on someone’s list of best novels ever read. I understand that the novel’s themes of family, love, and normality make it appeal to a lot of people, …

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New Report Explores ‘Engagement’ with Books, Digital Media A new report released this week is being billed as the first study to capture critical data about how consumers “engage” with books within a “connected media ecosystem” that includes video games, TV, and movies. According to Publishers Weekly, “The study’s focus on consumer ‘engagement’ with books—vs. …

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Writers’ Inner Voices Many writers report vivid experiences of ‘hearing’ the voices of the characters they create and having characters who talk back to them, rebel, and ‘do their own thing’. It’s an experience described by a wide range of authors from Enid Blyton, Alice Walker, Quentin Tarantino and Charles Dickens through to Samuel Beckett, …

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A Sickness in the Air “Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind imagines the world after a global disaster, but its real subject is white entitlement.” [Alam] has an interior barometer exquisitely calibrated to signifiers of social class: fashion houses, just-trendy-enough restaurants, interiors detailed with the loving eye of a copywriter for a high-end furniture catalog. …

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What’s Behind the Label ‘Domestic Fiction’? Soledad Fox Maura, professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Williams College and soon-to-debut novelist, wonders why World Cat “(the biggest library search engine on the planet)” has classified her upcoming novel, Madrid Again, as domestic fiction: Why would my novel, about an itinerant bilingual mother and daughter who …

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Using Neuroscience to Understand Reading Slumps Joshua C. Craig, who spent an undergraduate year studying neuroscience, read up on the scientific literature to see what the current thinking is on the subject of reading slumps. He does a good job of making the subject accessible for those of us without a hefty science background. A …

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