June 18, 2019

Books

"Amazon has assembled a collection of climate-change fiction, or cli-fi, bringing a literary biodiversity to bear on the defining crisis of the era."

"Surely there is nothing left to say about Anne Frank, except that there is everything left to say about her: all the books she never lived to write. "

"Sylvia Plath died in London in February 1963, a largely unknown writer. She wrote almost all of the poems we know her by in the final months of her life, after separating from her husband Ted Hughes."

"An illustrated adaptation of the teenage Holocaust victim’s diary calls into question which avenues are best for retelling painful, complicated histories."

"For two years, the pseudonymous literary sensation corresponded regularly with the director adapting “My Brilliant Friend” for HBO. But the resulting show is a testament to her elusiveness."

"Meaning making, positing purpose, and religious thinking are all more an intuitive, “gut,” or “heart” process than they are a rational, analytical, or “head” one."

"To understand the literary Gothic – to even begin to account for its curious appeal, and its simultaneous qualities of seduction and repulsion – it is necessary to undertake a little time travel."

"In the world of fine art, the more provenance, the documented history of an object, that can be found, the better. But in the world of antiquities, sometimes there is little to no paper trail."

America is increasingly tolerant of all kinds of religious beliefs - but Americans are still uncomfortable with a lack of belief. Two new books examine what atheists actually believe in.

"The genre has historically offered up plotlines that range from uncomfortable moments of pursuit to nos that imply yes. One author talks about her decision to go about it differently."

"The danger is not Mr. Pinker’s silly interpretation. It’s the confident assumption that one can cull a sentence out of context, take it literally, and know its meaning."

For all those who consider themselves bookish, here is a collection of photographs of some of the world's most inviting and aesthetically impressive libraries.

"It wasn’t until I read Shachar Pinsker’s new book, “A Rich Brew: How the Café Created Modern Jewish Culture” (NYU Press), that I learned that Jews and coffee shops have been connected for at least a century..."

"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.

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"At 12:42 a.m. on the quiet, moonlit night of March 8, 2014, a Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines took off from Kuala Lumpur and turned toward Beijing, climbing to its assigned cruising altitude of 35,000 feet. The designator for..."

"“I hereby sentence you to death.” The words of Judge Clifford B. Shepard filled the courtroom in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 27, 1976. Shepard was sentencing Clifford Williams Jr., whom a jury had just found guilty of entering a woman’s house..."

"The video footage of Jewish Israelis dancing with Palestinians at a wedding should be something to celebrate. It should be an expression of joy and joint faith in the future. Instead, it has brought danger and disgrace to Radi Nasser, the mayor..."

"In 2013, I was executive editor of the NY Daily News, and we, like every other publication in the country, were covering the series finale of Breaking Bad. As one of the most popular and critically acclaimed shows in history, the finale was..."

"Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., tells us that wealth inequality is at grotesque and immoral levels. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has a plan to tax everyone lots and lots to solve this. The slight problem is that the Federal Reserve tells us that..."

"For much of World War I, Sir Phillip Gibbs was one of the few journalists the British War Office permitted to correspond from the Western Front. Gibbs’s mission was to describe, in terms that would be acceptable to government censors, the..."

"In the 1940s, sexologist Alfred Kinsey, who was on the verge of publishing his first major report on male sexuality in the US, enlisted a photographer named Thomas Painter to investigate gay subcultures. Painter, a white, openly gay man, had..."

"What was Postmodernism? In the 35 years since Fredric Jameson’s New Left Review essay “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism” — and the 40 years since the publication of Jean-François Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition..."

"My husband and I are proud fathers of a 5-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy. I was grocery shopping with them last week when I saw a sign that made me cringe. Attached to a basket of free fruit, the sign reminded kids to “Ask Mom” before taking a..."

"Family farms are central to our nation’s identity. Most Americans, even those who have never been on a farm, have strong feelings about the idea of family farms — so much that they’re the one thing that all U.S. politicians agree on. Each..."

"The Big Bang is the defining narrative of modern cosmology: a bold declaration that our universe had a beginning and has a finite age, just like the humans who live within it. That finite age, in turn, is defined by the evidence that universe is..."

"After a protracted siege by the Roman tenth legion, the situation of the Sacarii, the Jewish rebels holed up on the mountain fortress of Masada, became hopeless. The Jewish rebels led by Elazar Ben Yair decided to kill themselves rather than be..."