Guest Essays
Interstellar05

Straight on Till Morning: Iconic Images from the Voyager Missions

I was too young to remember the moon missions. By the mid-1970s, the country had overcome its zeal for space exploration, leaving grainy tape of Apollo-Soyuz and Evel Knievel rocket bikes as sorry substitutes for a generation of Star Trek-addled brains yearning to go where no one had gone before.

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YA Wednesday: Guest Essay from Gayle Forman

For many YA readers a new book by Gayle Forman is cause for celebration and now the film adaptation of If I Stay has introduced her to an even wider audience...

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Vanessa and Her Sister

Dangerous Fun to Write: Priya Parmar on "Vanessa and Her Sister"

Much has been written about the legendary Bloomsbury group and two of its most famous members--the painter Vanessa Bell and author, Virginia Woolf. In her novel Vanessa and Her Sister, Priya Parmar examines their relationship through the lens of an obscure, real-life incident from their youth, that rocked the foundations of their family...

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Elliot

Ben Fountain Reviews Elliot Ackerman's "Green on Blue"

A few years ago, Ben Fountain helped to start a phenomenon. His excellent novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk was one of the first novels to explore the war in Iraq through literature. Since then, a drumbeat of great novels about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has followed, many of them written by soldiers from those wars.

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Jaguars-Children

"The Jaguar's Children" and John Vaillant's Mexico

"One sunny October day in my early twenties, I swam across the Rio Grande. The current was strong, the water cool and thick with silt. I made the far bank in a couple of minutes and, once there, stood naked beneath a cliff with river mud oozing between my toes."

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MySunshineAway300

The Southern Man

My Sunshine Away is our Debut Spotlight pick for February and M.O. Walsh's smart work of Southern fiction had me hooked from the first chapter. Part coming-of-age story, part mystery, and fully immersed in the climate and culture of Baton Rouge, Louisiana...

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ABR-KJIP_Cover

The Dear Director: Essential North Korean Cinema

North Korea has a complex relationship with the movies. Most people with access to TV, internet, or ears are familiar with The Interview and the recent kerfuffle that the assassination comedy caused when the DPRK apparat took notice, and then offense. But the story goes much farther back than that.

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ABR_Sapiens

No Chimps in Heaven: Mankind's Journey of Imagination

Yuval Noah Harari has some questions. Among the biggest: How did Homo sapiens evolve from an unexceptional savannah-dwelling primate to become the dominant force on the planet, emerging as the lone survivor out of six distinct hominid species? He also has some answers, and they’re not always what you’d expect.

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West of Sunset

A Story About Second Chances: Stewart O'Nan on "West of Sunset"

Lauded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, F. Scott Fitzgerald is synonymous with The Great Gatsby, the Jazz Age, and the Lost Generation. Not many know that in the twilight of his life and career--when his wife Zelda was in a mental asylum, and Fitzgerald was struggling financially--he tried to launch a comeback as a Hollywood screenwriter. This is the focus of Stewart O'Nan's gorgeously-written fictional biography, West of Sunset. Here O'Nan discusses the inspiration behind the book.

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Gut

"My Own Hunt for Health" - Reading Along with Author Heather Abel

Originally from Los Angeles, Heather Abel now lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and daughters. Her most recent non-fiction is about celiac disease, bananas, her mom, and the rise of the gluten-free diet. Here, Heather tells us about what...

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