Benjamin Ross, Dead End

Why the rent is 2 damn high.

Your mom lives in a failed socialist experiment. At least she does if she’s out in the ’burbs, where covenants and zoning laws are mostly meant to stop low-class apartment dwellers or commer   More
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Charles R. Cross, Here We Are Now

Drawn into your magnet tar-pit trap.

In the 20 years since Kurt Cobain took his own life…an unbearable number of people (about 2 million, according to Google) have headed think pieces about the addled rock star’s legacy with some   More
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 PETE COTTELL

Hannah Kent, Burial Rites

A sentence of sorts in Kornsá.

Burial Rites (Back Bay Books, 311 pages, $15) is a fictional reimagining of the life of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, a farmhand who awaits execution for murdering her employer in 19th-century Iceland   More
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 LAURA HANSON

Brian Doyle, The Plover

At sea.

Mink River, the 2010 novel by University of Portland professor Brian Doyle, ends with protagonist Declan O’Donnell sailing away into vast sea. Four years later, O’Donnell is back in Doyle’   More
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 KATHRYN PEIFER

Sharon Kay Penman, A King’s Ransom

The Lionheart in winter.

He spoke no English, sired no legitimate heir, and spent only six months of his 10-year reign on English soil, just long enough to levy taxes to pay for his military adventures in France and the   More
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 MATT BUCKINGHAM

Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction

A hairy biped takes on survival of the fittest.

“One weedy species” will destroy earth as we know it, writes Elizabeth Kolbert in The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Henry Holt and Co., 336 pages, $28). As you might guess, we are that   More
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 KATHRYN PEIFER

McKenzie Funk, Windfall

Dead polar bears, rich old white dudes.

Follow the money, Deep Throat said. McKenzie Funk has done just that in Windfall (Penguin Press, 310 pages, $27.95), which takes the author to two dozen countries to examine the economics of global wa   More
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 LYLA ROWEN

Willy Vlautin, The Free

She healed my leg, and then my heart.

When WW asked author Willy Vlautin in 2010 what he was working on, he said he was writing a “nurse novel.” You know, kind of like Hemingway did with A Farewell to Arms. Alongside the penny W   More
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

Time and a tapestry of narratives.

Time is a tricky thing. We are all subject to its effect, yet it remains smugly intangible. Writing a novel about the concept of time has the potential to be dangerously abstract or cliché. But R   More
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 PENELOPE BASS

Langdon Cook, The Mushroom Hunters

You can’t spell fungus without fun.

There’s a bit of a vogue in mushroom pickers. From Burkhard Bilger’s picaresque 2007 piece in The New Yorker to a photo essay published this year on that might as well have been fund   More
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE


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