Sara Says

Proust or Pop: What's in Your Beach Bag?

What constitutes summer reading? Like any open ended question, this one has plenty of answers. To my sister, as a teenager, it meant reading all of Proust – in French. (I know. That annoyed me, too.) To my son, it means manga, manga, and more manga, with a little anime...

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Write What You Know: Emma Cline, Charles Manson, and "The Girls"

One of the things I’m going around saying to anyone who will listen is that The Girls by Emma Cline (pictured at right) is a very good novel, better, in fact, than I might have thought it would be, given the hype and the subject matter and the youth of...

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The Best of "Quindlenesque"

I consider having been asked to interview Anna Quindlen in front of a live audience at last week’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books a big honor. She’s a “great get” – a popular writer sure to draw a large audience – and to judge from 300+ people lining up...

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"The Nest" Is THE THING

Pretty much every year, there’s a book that becomes THE THING, the one literary-but-mainstream title everybody all of a sudden seems to be reading, or at least talking about reading. A couple of years ago, that book was The Art of Fielding, then it was The Goldfinch, then All the...

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Author Spotlight: Ethan Canin on "A Doubter's Almanac"

When Ethan Canin, now a 55-year-old former wunderkind, “burst on to the scene” as a writer, back in 1988, he was noted as least as much for his youth and for how he’d started off with a whole other career path as for the wonderful collection that was Emperor of...

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Harper Lee (1926-2016)

Harper Lee, beloved by thousands of readers for her book To Kill a Mockingbird, has died at the age of 89. To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and won the Pulitzer Prize the year following. A high school reading staple, To Kill a Mockingbird told the story of...

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In Other Words

Learning a Second Language Reveals a New Voice: Jhumpa Lahiri’s “In Other Words”

One of the most interesting things about Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words, a slim bilingual memoir of learning to speak Italian, is something she announces in the first page of her introductory Author’s Note. The book—written in Italian (part of a vow of total immersion the author took when she...

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The Doctor Who Became a Patient

There’s a truism in the book publishing world that it’s nearly impossible to “sell” a book to readers if the author isn’t alive to publicize it. Especially now, in an era in in which success often depends on author “platforms” - an era in which an author’s personality and presence...

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Sara Says: All I Want for New Year’s...

...Is, as always, a stack of great novels. Here are five new books both promised – and promising. (And if you're still catching up on last year, see our picks for the best in Literature & Fiction from 2015.) Shop on Amazon Print Book | Kindle Book Sara de Vos...

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Sara Says: The President and Us

As I hope you’ve heard, we Amazon editors announced our favorite books of the year a couple of weeks ago – and the book at the top of our list was Fates and Furies, an unusual, electric novel about a marriage, told from two points of view. Its author, Lauren...

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