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Let’s call April mystery book month. Here’s what I’d read. At the Malice Domestic convention April 22 to 24, devotees of traditional mysteries will present the Agatha Awards. On April 28 the Mystery Writers of America will hand out the annual Edgar Awards. Therefore, Michael Dirda asks, “Shouldn’t April be designated National Mystery Month?” He continues …

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Home and Away: Horror & Gothic Fiction 2022 Among this season’s horror releases, twinned themes emerge. On one side, the oppressive atmosphere of a childhood home and the secrets it holds; on the other, the ambiguity of liminal spaces and the unease of isolation. PW spoke with editors about the fear of the unknown, whether …

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An Innocent Abroad: Joan Didion’s Midlife Crisis Novelist, short story writer, critic and retired English professor Scott Bradfield grew up in California but had difficulty “[l]earning how to write fictions set in California”: California is filled with so many vivid pleasures, smells, textures, and absurdities of human character that it feels difficult, or even impossible, …

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11 Translated Books by Asian Women Writers to Read This #WITMonth More suggestions in honor of Women in Translation Month. The Buffoonery of White Supremacy Trying to Disguise Itself as Literature “Tracing the history of white supremacy storytelling back to William Faulkner” Taking note of the items worn by the insurrectionists at the U.S. Capital …

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The 50 Greatest Apocalypse Novels “Apropos of . . . Nothing” I’m including this list here because, really, how could I not? How many of these have you read? I’ve read five, and I have two more on the top of my TBR pile. I think that’s pretty good, given that I usually avoid most …

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The Best Time Travel Books Annalee Newitz is both a science journalist and a science fiction writer who uses science to spur investigations into the nature of human existence. Newitz says science fiction is “less teaching people about how science works, and more about teaching people how history works.”  Newitz uses the version of time …

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Crime Fiction Trains Us for Crisis Writer Sulari Gentill says that, since crime fiction “essentially tells the story of a crisis,” is has helped to prepare us for the world we all now find ourselves in. This year we have already faced fire, flood and pandemic. We had fled our homes and been confined to …

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Summer reading has a fraught history. But if there was ever a time to delight in escapism, it’s now Wisdom from Ron Charles, book critic for the Washington Post: The shame of summer reading is almost as old as summer reading itself. It took humanity 200,000 years to produce movable type, widespread literacy and enough …

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American Dirt Starts An Important Conversation But Not The One Author Intended I avoided the recent brouhaha over Jeanine Cummins’ novel American Dirt while it was developing, but most of the dust seems to have settled now. If you looking for a summary of the situation, this article provides a good overview. It also contains …

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Why Some People Become Lifelong Readers Joe Pinsker looks at the question of “why some people grow up to derive great pleasure from reading, while others don’t.” Here’s no surprise: “a chief factor seems to be the household one is born into, and the culture of reading that parents create within it.” How Reese Witherspoon …

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