June 24, 2009 Nonfiction can be every bit as exhilarating and illuminating as novels. You just have to pick the right books. Here, then, are five works of history, journalism and biography that will shock, inform and delight.
January 6, 2009 In her journals, Susan Sontag exhibits the fierce intelligence that distinguishes her work — along with a vulnerability that may surprise. The result is an absorbing chronicle of emotional and intellectual self-discovery.
December 3, 2008 Nothing bridges the gap between here and there, then and now like a story. These powerful, personal books examine the exile's life and celebrate lost cities of memory.
October 21, 2008 Humorist Elizabeth McCracken explores the landscape of grief in this wrenching, clearsighted memoir of the year that follows a son's death in utero.
September 22, 2008 How do we live with the knowledge that death comes to all? Julian Barnes mixes memoir with philosophy as he zigzags briskly through the scientific, religious and emotional significance of living finite lives.
August 6, 2008 Stop Me If You've Heard This Before, Jim Holt's funny, scholarly history of humor, ranges high and (very) low to answer the question, "What are you laughing at?"
July 15, 2008 Tim Winton's novel is a coming-of-age story imbued with a healthy dose of aesthetic mysticism. John Freeman says that there "won't be a better novel on surfing published anytime soon."
June 26, 2008 In his new book of essays, neurotic, death-fearing humorist David Sedaris visits a morgue, has a catheter inserted (just to see what it's like) and buys a skeleton as a gift. Reviewer John Freeman calls Engulfed in Flames "always funny, occasionally bittersweet."
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