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23 fiction books you'll want to read this summer

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  • YA science fiction delights: 'Shadowshaper' and 'More Happy Than Not'

    YA science fiction delights: 'Shadowshaper' and 'More Happy Than Not'

    "The trouble with magic," wrote children's author and activist Zetta Elliott in an award-winning 2013 Jeunesse essay, "is that it appears to exist in realms to which only certain children belong."

  • Judd Apatow: 'writing saved my life' and other stories

    Judd Apatow: 'writing saved my life' and other stories

    Judd Apatow started interviewing comedians 30 years ago, when he was a teen comedy fanatic from Long Island. Armed with a bulky recorder and the media credentials of his high school radio station, Apatow talked with heroes such as Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno to discover the keys to the comedy kingdom....

  • Milan Kundera's 'Festival of Insignificance' on being and smallness

    Milan Kundera's 'Festival of Insignificance' on being and smallness

    There's not much to Milan Kundera's 10th novel, "The Festival of Insignificance" — his first work of fiction since 2000's "Ignorance" — but then that's part of the point. Revolving around five middle-aged friends living in Paris, it offers not a narrative so much as a collection of vignettes, or...

  • 'Your Band Sucks,' but your book is a mixed bag

    'Your Band Sucks,' but your book is a mixed bag

    Long, long ago in a time now known as the early '80s, long before Pandora, file sharing and even compact discs, to find new music you trudged to a record store and sifted through bins of LPs. If you lived in the suburbs, your options were limited to a few national chains that sold only the latest...

  • Jami Attenberg novel pays tribute to big-hearted 'Saint Mazie'

    Jami Attenberg novel pays tribute to big-hearted 'Saint Mazie'

    In addition to having published four novels and a short-story collection since 2006, Jami Attenberg once went viral for busting a bike thief in Brooklyn, which makes her one of the most New York authors of the 21st century, as far as I'm concerned. It makes sense then that after 2012's bestselling...

  • What was it like to be 'Stalin's Daughter'?

    What was it like to be 'Stalin's Daughter'?

    "Why is it that I cannot find my own right way?" Svetlana Alliluyeva asked herself in 1986. She had rejected the confining privileges of being Joseph Stalin's daughter when she defected from the Soviet Union in 1967, writing to the son and daughter she left behind that "[i]t is impossible to be...

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