Guest Essays
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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ABR-Descent

Wild at Heart: The Dark Center of Tim Johnston's "Descent"

2015 may be young, but Tim Johnston's Descent has positioned itself as an early frontrunner for year-end best-of lists. The surprise bestseller's plot is straight-up thriller: On the eve of daughter Caitlin's departure for college, the Courtlands drive into the...

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ABR-Moral-Arc

Like Minds: Stephen Pinker Reviews "The Moral Arc"

Is the world becoming a better place? Michael Shermer, editor in chief of Skeptic magazine, thinks so, and he thinks it's all about the science. His new book, The Moral Arc, outlines his hypothesis: As humankind gains greater understanding of...

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YannickG

Guest Post: Two "Obscure Geniuses"--Alan Turing & Kurt Gödel

Yannick Grannec is the author of The Goddess of Small Victories, her debut novel about the life and marriage of one of the greatest mathematicians of the last century, Kurt Gödel. In this guest essay, she compares the lives of...

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