Writing About NASA's Most Shocking Moment
The Book Review
by The New York Times
1w ago
The year 1986 was notable for two big disasters, both of them attributable to human error and bureaucratic negligence at competing super powers: the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Soviet Union and the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger in the United States. The journalist Adam Higginbotham wrote about Chernobyl in his 2019 book, “Midnight in Chernobyl.” Now he’s back, with a look at the American side of the ledger, in his new book, “Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space.” On this week’s episode, Higginbotham tells host Gilbert Cruz why he was drawn to ..read more
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Fantasy Superstar Leigh Bardugo on Her New Novel
The Book Review
by The New York Times
2w ago
In the world of fantasy fiction, Leigh Bardugo is royalty: Her Grishaverse novels are mainstays on the young adult best-seller list, her “Shadow and Bone” trilogy has been adapted for a Netflix series and her adult novels “Ninth House” and “Hell Bent” established her as a force to reckon with in the subgenre known as dark academia. Now Bardugo is back with a new fantasy novel, “The Familiar,” and it’s also her first work of historical fiction: Set during the Inquisition in 16th-century Spain, it deals with literal royalty (King Philip II of Spain) through the story of a young scullery maid who ..read more
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Colm Toibin on His Sequel to 'Brooklyn'
The Book Review
by The New York Times
3w ago
Colm Tóibín’s 2009 novel “Brooklyn” told the story of a meek young Irishwoman, Eilis Lacey, who emigrates to New York in the 1950s out of a sense of familial obligation and slowly, diligently begins building a new life for herself. A New York Times best seller, the book was also adapted into an Oscar-nominated movie starring Saoirse Ronan — and now, 15 years after its publication, Tóibín has surprised himself by writing a sequel. “Long Island,” his new novel, finds Eilis relocated to the suburbs and, in the opening scene, confronting a sudden crisis in her marriage. On this week’s podcast, Tói ..read more
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100 Years of Simon & Schuster
The Book Review
by The New York Times
1M ago
Simon & Schuster is not growing old quietly. The venerable publishing house — one of the industry’s so-called Big 5 — is celebrating its 100th birthday this month after a period of tumult that saw it put up for sale by its previous owner, pursued by its rival Penguin Random House in an acquisition bid that fell apart after the Justice Department won an antitrust suit, then bought for $1.62 billion last fall by the private equity firm KKR. With conditions seemingly stabilized since then, the company is turning 100 at an auspicious time to celebrate its roots and look to its future. On this ..read more
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Looking Back at 50 Years of Stephen King
The Book Review
by The New York Times
1M ago
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Stephen King’s first novel, “Carrie.” In the decades since, King has experimented with length, genre and style, but has always maintained his position as one of America’s most famous writers. On this week’s episode, host Gilbert Cruz talks to the novelist Grady Hendrix, who read and re-read many of King’s books over several years, writing an essay on each as well as King superfan Damon Lindelof, the TV showrunner behind shows such as “Lost” and “The Leftovers.” Some of the books discussed in this episode: "Carrie," "Cujo," "Duma Key ..read more
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Books That Make Our Critics Laugh
The Book Review
by The New York Times
2M ago
Earlier this month, the Book Review’s staff critics — Dwight Garner, Alexandra Jacobs and Jennifer Szalai — released a list of 22 novels they have found reliably funny since Joseph Heller’s landmark comic novel “Catch-22” came out in 1961. On this week’s episode, they tell Gilbert Cruz why “Catch-22” was their starting point, and explain a bit about their process: how they think about humor, how they made their choices, what books they left off and what books led to fights along the way. (“American Psycho” turns out to be as contentious now as it was when it was first published.) “There are on ..read more
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Talking to Tana French About Her New Series
The Book Review
by The New York Times
2M ago
If you're familiar with Tana French, it's likely for her Dublin Murder Squad series of crime novels that kicked off in 2007 with "In the Woods." But her new book, "The Hunter," a sequel to 2020's "The Searcher," takes place outside of that series. In this episode of the podcast, speaking to Sarah Lyall about her shift to new characters, French said, "I wasn't comfortable with sticking to the detective's perspective anymore. I think from the perspective of a detective, a murder investigation is a very specific thing. It's a source of power and control. It's a way that you can retrieve order aft ..read more
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Talking ‘Dune’: Book and Movies
The Book Review
by The New York Times
2M ago
Frank Herbert’s epic novel “Dune” and its successors have been entrenched in the science fiction and fantasy canon for almost six decades, a rite of passage for proudly nerdy readers across the generations. But “Dune” is experiencing a broader cultural resurgence at the moment thanks to Denis Villeneuve’s recent film adaptations starring Timothée Chalamet. (Part 2 is in theaters now.) This week on the podcast, Gilbert Cruz talks to The Times’s critic Alissa Wilkinson, who covers movies, culture and religion, about Herbert’s novel, Villeneuve’s films and the enduring hold of Fremen lore on the ..read more
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Book Club: Let’s Talk About ‘Erasure,’ by Percival Everett
The Book Review
by The New York Times
2M ago
It’s not often that the Academy Awards give the publishing world any gristle to chew on. But at this year’s Oscars ceremony — taking place on Sunday evening — one of the Best Picture contenders is all about book publishing: Cord Jefferson’s “American Fiction” is adapted from the 2001 novel “Erasure,” by Percival Everett, and it amounts to a scathing, satirical indictment of publishers, readers and the insidious biases that the marketplace can impose in determining who tells what stories. Obviously, we recommend the movie. But even more, we recommend Everett’s novel. In this week’s episode, the ..read more
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Tommy Orange on His "There There" Sequel
The Book Review
by The New York Times
3M ago
Tommy Orange’s acclaimed debut novel, “There There” — one of the Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2018 — centered on a group of characters who all converge on an Indigenous powwow in modern-day Oakland, Calif. His follow-up, “Wandering Stars,” is both a prequel and a sequel to that book, focusing specifically on the character Orvil Red Feather and tracing several generations of his family through the decades before and after the events of “There There.”  This week, Orange visits the podcast to discuss “Wandering Stars” as well as the book he has read most in his life, Clarice Lispector's "T ..read more
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