The Reason I Jump

Have you read "The Reason I Jump", the book written by the autistic child If so, what were your thoughts about it? My wife first brought this book to my attention last month, and shortly thereafter I saw the Daily Show interview with David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and translator of The Reason I Jump. I swiped my wife’s Kindle and read it in roughly 24

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Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets

A few years ago I joined a book club. Not one of those new-fangled Internet discussions groups, but a real-life, old-school book club, where participants gather monthly, eat pita chips, and grudgingly confess to not finishing the novel. Occasionally the other members are even so foolish as to let me pick the book. Such was the case with this month's

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Booklist 2011

Today in the Tournament of Books, it's Model Home by Eric Puchner vs. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, with the verdict rendered by .... me? Wait, seriously? Who let me do literary criticism? Well anyway, mistakes were made and I think it's best we just move on. But I am going to check two novels off my

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Booklist 2011 – Suggestions Sought

In 2005 I asked readers of defective yeti to pick a year's worth of books for me. They did, and I wound up reading some of the best literature of my life. I still harken back to the comments that entry when I am in need of a novel to devour. I haven't been reading as much in recent years,

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Books: Twilight

Warning: spoilers ahoy. I can't believe I read the whole thing. The Queen is also unable to believe I read the whole thing. She reacts to bad literature the way most do to curdled milk, spitting it out the moment she realizes what she is imbibing. And so, 30 pages into Twilight, she tossed the book over to my side

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Books: The Ruins

There are many qualities for which one might recommend a novel . Profundity. Innovation. Eloquence. Erudition. A book may skimp in one nor two elements, but make up for it by excelling in other areas. Take, for instance, The Ruins by Scott Smith. Here's a book which, on a scale of 1 to 10, scores about a 2 in every

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Things I Learned About My Dad (in therapy)

Things I Learned About My Dad (in therapy), a compendium of essays on fatherhood headed up by Dooce's Heather Armstrong, hits stores today. I contributed a chapter, with the caveat that it not follow any of those of the other writers (as they are all so astoundingly talented that mine would pale in comparison), and also not come first. I'm

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Books: A Day In the Life

So I'm at a get-together the other day, and someone mentions The Beatles, and someone else asks, "When did 'The Beatles' really start to exist? Is it when Ringo joined the group? When John, Paul, and George got together? When John and Paul met?" And I said, "Really, The Beatles, as an entity, consisted of five people, and would be

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Books: Red Mars

Red Mars, the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's sprawling epic about the terraforming and colonization of Mars, is epitomized by two passages. The first is found on page 102, shortly after the first settlers arrive on the barren planet:The stacked crate walls made a ramp to drive the tractor off the lander. They didn't look strong enough, but that

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Book And Movie: The Prestige

Some people like books about cats that solve mysteries. Some people like books about rugged individuals wandering post-apocalyptic America. Me, I like books about magicians, escape artists, and mediums, set in eras when such professions were respectable. Thus my fondness for The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Carter Beats the Devil, Girl in the Glass (and why I will presumably

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