January 16, 2019

Books

"Literature — the top-shelf, award-winning stuff — is positively ectoplasmic these days, crawling with hauntings, haints and wraiths of every stripe and disposition."

"Not long ago, the writer Amos Oz found a rather surprising letter in his mailbox. “Dear Mr. Oz, It gives me great pleasure to inform you that you have won the award,” wrote someone who signed himself “Mr. Tolstoy.”"

"As a bottom-up phenomenon, religion can foster a healthy emotional balance in a number of areas... religion can help us calibrate our emotional reactions, particularly to ourselves and those around us..."

"On Tuesday, Stephen Hawking's final, posthumous book 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' was released, detailing final thoughts the physicist had on the biggest questions humankind faces. In the book, Hawking wrote 'there is no God.'"

In “Zion’s Fiction,” Israeli authors grapple with God, country, and spacetime.

“Bookish, which sounds a bit like Jewish, is the word I use to describe lives that are dominated by books.”

“When female novelists write about female characters, or domesticity, or children, they face subtle charges of self-absorption.”

Norman Podhoretz of Commentary Magazine started his career with a controversial negative review of Saul Bellow’s “Augie March.”

A new book looks at what we do, why we do it, and how we feel about it.

“What is the task of the translator – to be a servant to the source or to create a new work of illuminated meaning?”

“Appropriation goes both ways, and increasingly it’s being seen as a creative freedom for writers who have been excluded from the literary canon.”

“In place of the traditional gatekeeping system is a supportive, welcoming environment, particularly for marginalized voices.”

“What a literature that embraces female anger can achieve.”

“What do readers lose from having no Nobel announcement this year? It’s easier, perhaps, to consider what they might have gained: Not very much.”

“Full Disclosure,” the new memoir from porn-star and #resistance hero Stormy Daniels, is about more than sex.

A new book from Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, “Everybody Lies,” examines Americans as we are when we’re alone with our computers.

During ‘Banned Book Week,’ bookstores around the country celebrate titles and authors which have been censored in the past. But we don’t need it anymore.

What’s the purpose of Talmud study? Is it merely legal? Or is it spiritual and intellectual as well? Chaim Saiman answers these questions in his new book, “Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law.”

A new book details the legal battle Israel waged for possession of Kafka’s manuscripts. The State of Israel may have won their case, but who really has the right to claim Kafka's legacy?

Wattpad offers users an undifferentiated mass of user-generated content ranging from erotica to sci-fi fanfiction. Here’s how it’s transforming the publishing world.

"It strikes me that we’re now suffering collectively from a “tyranny of the virtual,” since we find ourselves unable to look away from the screens that mediate not just print but, increasingly, reality itself."

Tolstoy, in addition to literary masterpieces, left behind a legacy as a political and spiritual thinker. His teachings inspired a Kibbutz-like cooperative farming movement. These Tolstoyan communities still exist.

“Teachers and students love A People’s History of the United States. But it’s as limited—and closed-minded—as the textbooks it replaces.”

Every great fantasy book starts with a map. David Mitchell explores the unique role cartography plays in the creation of his fictional worlds.

Karl Ove Knausgaard’s epic 7-book memoir, My Struggle, is an international literary hit and widely hailed as a masterpiece. Its seventh and final volume takes on Hitler and turns this epic work into an epic fail.

“The cultural and political assumptions and insights once confined to the Voice-defined margins have long since been absorbed into the mainstream... In many ways, The Village Voice folded simply because its work here was done.”

“The feel-good mantras and fuzzy exhortations to optimism that are rapidly becoming ubiquitous shift the burden of reform away from society…”

Is “safetyism” destroying America? In “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Greg Lukianoff & Jonathan Haidt call out the culture of intellectual infantilization plaguing American Universities.

Bob Woodward, a journalist who rose to prominence reporting on the Watergate scandal, is releasing a new book about the Trump White House. Here's what his interviewees had to say about Trump.

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JJ Editor's Picks

"In a bid to create new space for green industries and fossil-free energy production, greater Copenhagen wants to build an entirely new business and infrastructure district on the city’s southwestern edge."

Donald Trump ran for president saying that he would be a shrewd businessman with a propensity for making deals. Why, then, are we in the longest government shutdown on record?

"There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think... In the Israeli view, no peacemaker can bring the two sides together because there aren’t just two sides. There are many, many sides."

"I've always wondered what fans see in her. After debating with a friend about her “merits” for over half a decade now, I thought I had found the one thing that could probably change my opinion of the pop star: the Reputation tour documentary..."

"Even if the economy is on a roll, many Americans aren’t feeling the benefit... In fact, when adjusted for cost of living increases, real wages actually declined 1.3% since the end of 2017, PayScale found."

"Cutting ties with Facebook would mean consciously cutting ties with my own community, and I can't bring myself to do it. When I asked my connections on Facebook why they were staying, their answers were very similar to mine..."

Fear of the news; fear of climate change, fear of touch screens... these New Yorker cartoons portray the modern phobias that are driving us crazy.

"Texts replaced authors as the privileged objects of scholarly knowledge, and the performance of critical operations on texts became essential to the scholar’s identity."

"When I speak to parents’ groups about kids who are addicted to Fortnite and other video games, I tell them that it is the parents’ job to limit, govern and guide their kids’ use of video games..."

"Startups like Hungry Harvest and Imperfect Produce say they're helping to reduce food waste in America. Critics say they're deceiving their customers and making the problem worse."

"Scholars are now interested in whether having a vocabulary item for a concept influences thought in domains far from language, such as visual perception."

"The much-documented anti-Semitism of the British Labor party leader is no accident... Jeremy Corbyn reminds us that anti-Semitism is not just an irrational hatred, harbored by madmen at the fringes of British society."