April 30, 2013 Time is special. How we see it helps determine how we see the rest of the Universe. Physicist Lee Smolin has a new book out that says we've been looking at time the wrong way. Adam Frank digs in and offers his own perspective on Smolin's argument.
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April 30, 2013 How do creative geniuses do what they do? Daily Rituals, which assembles the working regimens of 161 artists and thinkers into a lean, engaging volume, makes one thing clear: There's no such thing as the way to create good work, but all the greats have their way — and some are spectacularly weird.
April 28, 2013 Oftentimes, foodie fiction makes you hungry. But author Jessica Soffer recommends three books that deal with food yet aren't in love with it — books to read when you're on a diet, a desert island, or for whatever reason would like a peach tart to not be compared to a summer's day.
April 27, 2013 April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than with new books? This month brings us a reissue of Hayden, a retranslation of Dante, a gathering of estimable poems from the past quarter-century and a new collection with a camera-eye view of the world.
April 25, 2013 Claire Messud's new novel, The Woman Upstairs, delves into the inner life of the quiet, friendly — and secretly furious — woman upstairs, a frustrated artist named Nora who becomes obsessed with a glamorous immigrant family.
April 24, 2013 Ken Kalfus' new novel about an astronomer obsessed with attracting the attention of Martians appears at first to be an homage to the scientific romances of H.G. Wells and the lost-world sagas of H. Rider Haggard. As the novel develops, however, its unique social commentaries emerge.
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April 24, 2013 At 19, the heroine of Isabel Allende's florid, frenzied Maya's Notebook is in a tailspin of drugs, prostitution and crime. Sent by her grandmother to hide out with an old friend on an island off Chile, she finds love and redemption. Reviewer Mary Pols doesn't buy it.
April 23, 2013 A grad student with a temp job surveying bird populations finds his way to adulthood in a series of linked stories. Filled with quirky characters and offbeat humor, Brian Kimberling's Snapper is a love letter to the wilds of Indiana.
April 22, 2013 Some people, unlucky in love, turn to matchmaking services. Thomas Day, an 18th century British intellectual, adopted two girls from an orphanage in order to mold them into the women of his dreams. Reviewer Cord Jefferson says Wendy Moore's history is so adroitly written it reads like a novel.
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April 21, 2013 Author Sloane Crosley is moving apartments — and, just as importantly, her library. Some books will come with her; others won't. But when she can't find the sheets or shampoo, these are the titles she'll want easy access to.
April 18, 2013 NPR comics critic Glen Weldon has a new, comprehensive biography of the classic American hero: Superman. Reviewer Elizabeth Graham says Weldon's survey of the Man of Steel's many lives in Superman: The Unauthorized Biography is "reliable, witty and informative."
April 17, 2013 David Sedaris' latest essay collection, Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls, mixes his trademark quirky observations with less successful fictional asides in which he takes on the voices of assorted ultraconservative bad guys.
April 16, 2013 Believing evidence of life on Mars, a scientist sells a scheme to signal the red planet via a giant, burning triangle — each side 306 miles — dug in the Egyptian desert. Ken Kalfus' compact (at 207 pages) and deeply satisfying novel Equilateral sends up the arrogance and casual racism of the Victorian mindset.
April 14, 2013 Tomás Rivera's ... And the Earth Did Not Devour Him is the account of a boy bearing witness to the injustices faced by migrant workers in the mid-20th century. Author Alex Espinoza says this book showed him that storytelling doesn't have to be private, it can be revolutionary.
April 12, 2013 Critic Alan Cheuse has a review of The Blue Fox written by the Icelandic novelist Sjon, who also writes lyrics for Bjork.
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