October 12, 2009 Sarah Hall's How to Paint a Dead Man weaves together time-shifted stories of four visual artists, all at crisis points in their lives. The book is clever in structure and sweeping in ambition. Hall's skill makes the journey worth the commitment.
September 16, 2009 David Allen Sibley, the master of bird books, shifts his gaze from fauna to flora with The Sibley Guide to Trees. Graceful illustrations of leaf, twig, flower seed and bark accompany concise, elegant descriptions — enabling us all to finally appreciate both the forest and the trees.
August 25, 2009 In his new book The Wauchula Woods Accord: Toward a New Understanding of Animals, Charles Siebert focuses on the complex — and too often violent and exploitative — relationship between primates who have much in common.
August 4, 2009 Chef Ji-won's life turns sour after she catches her boyfriend with one of her cooking students. Tongue, the English debut of best-selling South Korean author Kyung-ran Jo, is filled with food and restaurant trivia, but it's really about moving on from disappointment.
July 21, 2009 Lady Idina Sackville's five husbands and life of high-society debauchery in colonial Kenya scandalized the Edwardians, inspiring more than one novel. The Bolter, her hard-to-put-down biography, shows us the shadow side of a prim and proper era.
July 14, 2009 From brief essays combining myth and history, Eduardo Galeano assembles a mosaic of global civilization. Though often depicting cruelty and oppression, the lyrical, accessible Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone is tinged with hope.
July 2, 2009 In a society driven toward endless economic progress, what's the value of those who can't or won't contribute? Ninni Holmqvist's thought-provoking, compulsively readable The Unit provides a dark vision of one possible answer.
June 16, 2009 With a bride on her wedding day and an ex-boyfriend lurking among a houseful of eccentric guests, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding seems set on a predictable track. But Julia Strachey's frenetic, screwball novel has some twists in store.
June 1, 2009 Trying to put the listening or playing experience into words has led to some embarrassing moments in literary history. But in her new novel, Appassionata, former musician Eva Hoffman manages to avoid this fate.
May 26, 2009 All too often, "summer reading" is synonymous with brainless and poorly constructed novels that leave you unsatisfied. But here are five books that will suit your palate just fine this summer.
May 14, 2009 When New Zealand writer Janet Frame died, she left behind works that were too personal to publish in her lifetime. In Towards Another Summer, Frame writes with such exquisite sensitivity that even this slim story about a weekend holiday is shattering.
May 13, 2009 For those who found Stephen Hawking as clear as a black hole, Christopher Potter's You Are Here offers a friendly, poetic introduction to our current understanding of the big bang, relativity, evolution, life, particle physics and the universe in general.
May 8, 2009 David Selig can read minds. But award-winning science-fiction author Robert Silverberg uses this fantastic premise to plumb-all-too realistic themes of alienation and loss. Dying Inside is an intimate portrait of an unpleasant yet sympathetic character.
April 3, 2009 From the moment Noa met Alek, she was stripped of her dignity, unable to resist him. In Gail Hareven's witty, compelling Confessions of Noa Weber, Noa admits the humiliating details to her daughter in hopes of exorcising the demon.
March 11, 2009 For years, Anna has circled the globe in search of her lost love, the titular Sailor from Gibraltar. With its mix of amour, ennui and endless conversation about both, this nuanced 1952 work by Marguerite Duras is as thrilling as it is cerebral.
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