Guest Essays
Reunion

"Saving Clara" - by Judith Claire Mitchell

"In the absence of biography, I began the work of the novelist, creating a fictional character based on what little I knew of her. But then a funny thing happened. Whenever I stopped writing to do a little research, I’d discover another, then another new article about her." - Judith Claire Mitchell

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UnlikelyHeroCrop

YA Wednesday: If You Were a Superhero...

Last week I told you a little bit about my favorite YA book this month, "The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B," but one of the things I didn't mention is how Batman and Robin, Thor, and Wonder Woman fit in...

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Bettyville

A Place to Hold Your Life: George Hodgman on Memoirs and "Bettyville"

Our spotlight pick for Best of the Month this month is George Hodgman's humorous and affecting memoir, Bettyville, which documents his unintended, and indeterminate tenure as a caregiver to his aging mother. It also, as Hodgman explains here...

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A Small Indiscretion

A Chance to Recover a Lost Destiny: Jan Ellison on "A Small Indiscretion"

A Small Indiscretion is a novel about one lost period in a young woman’s life. It’s part thriller, and part critical-and-nostalgic look back at youth, from a first-time novelist. Here’s Ellison’s exclusive essay on how she came to write the book...

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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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I_Was_Here_225

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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