Tom Nissley
Omnivoracious Editor
Tom Nissley knew he wasn't like the other kids when they assigned Thomas Hardy's "Return of the Native" in 10th grade and he spent dreamy afternoons in Wessex with Clym Yeobright and Eustacia Vye (Eustacia Vye!) and then came back to school to find that everybody else thought it was "boring."

Recent posts by Tom


Looking Back at Bin Laden: Interviews with Lawrence Wright and Steve Coll

The late Osama bin Laden not only attracted the close attention of the American military and intelligence forces for the past decade, leading to this weekend's final result, but also some of the best reporters of our day, most notably two New Yorker writers, Lawrence Wright and Steve Coll. Wright...

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So Long, and Thanks for All the Galleys: Thirteen Books for Ten Years

In October 2007, I introduced myself in the very first Omnivoracious post by recommending some books: my four favorite novels from what turned out to be a very good year for fiction. Now I'm saying goodbye, and I'd like to do the same. My fellow Omnivores, knowing how I am...

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Learning How to Be a Social Animal: Talking with David Brooks

Back in September, New York Times columnist David Brooks joined the post-publication fray about Jonathan Franzen's Freedom, arguing that it's "a brilliantly written book that is nonetheless trapped in an intellectual cul de sac." Little did we know then that Brooks was writing a fictional marriage story of his own....

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My Best Books of February

My reading schedule, by necessity, tends to be organized around months: around our Best of the Month picks, to be exact. I read around as much as I can, going on first dates as it were, looking for books I might love enough to make our list. Some months the...

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Omni Daily News

Unreliable witness: Lots of attention this morning for Diana B. Henriques's prison interview--the first--with Bernie Madoff in the NYT, in which Madoff claimed that banks and funds he worked with "had to know" something was up, but that his own family knew nothing. The interview (and related emails) were for...

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Old Media Tuesday: Reviewing the Reviewers

My network connection crashed last night just as I was wrapping this post up, so calendrical quibblers rejoice: it's OMT! New York Times: Jay McInerney on J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski: "If you really want to hear about it, what’s missing — and this is not necessarily Slawenski’s...

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If All Robots Looked Like This, the Future Wouldn't Look Too Bad

I had sworn off Jeopardy! posts, but the only way I can justify posting the video below is to say that the unsettling but pleasing way the machine in the video comes to life reminds me of its much glossier (and it must be said, not quite so spectacularly adorable)...

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Omni Daily News

Brian Jacques, 1939-2011: We're belated in noting the passing last weekend of Brian Jacques, the storyteller behind Redwall, the wildly popular series of animal adventures (and the longtime host of "Jakestown"--his last name is pronounced "Jakes"--on his local BBC station). He died in his native Liverpool at the age of...

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Two Men Vs. Machine: Stephen Baker on Watson, IBM, and Jeopardy!

Earlier this week, I outlined my haphazard preparation for what turned out to be nine bewilderingly fun games of Jeopardy! (well, the ninth was less fun). Really, what my preparation amounted to was forty years of turning my omnivore's flypaper outward toward the world, and then spending a couple of...

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Old Media Monday: Reviewing the Reviewers

New York Times: Sunday Book Review cover: Emma Donoghue on Swamplandia! by Karen Russell: "Vividly worded, exuberant in characterization, the novel is a wild ride: Russell has style in spades.... If Russell’s style is a North American take on magical realism, then her commitment to life’s nitty-gritties anchors the magic;...

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