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  • A gutsy trio of newswomen in Sheila Weller's 'News Sorority'
    A gutsy trio of newswomen in Sheila Weller's 'News Sorority'

    Why has author Sheila Weller chosen these three particular women as her subjects? Get yourself past that question and you'll find in "The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour — and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV...

  • Jane Smiley brings 'Some Luck' to readers
    Jane Smiley brings 'Some Luck' to readers

    What happens in the middle-American farm town of Denby, Iowa? Not much.

  • Colm Toibin's new novel may not be a beauty, but greatness abounds
    Colm Toibin's new novel may not be a beauty, but greatness abounds

    Up against John Banville and Colum McCann in an unending round-robin (The Favored Irish Writer Cup), Colm Toibin is an international literary figure. We know the deal with the international literary figure. The novels inspire sighing genuflection and sometimes even get audio-recorded by That...

  • How Hollywood scandal was born
    How Hollywood scandal was born

    In its regular roundup of celebrities caught in public performances of latte-sipping, stroller-pushing everydayness, US Weekly assures its readers that stars are "just like us!" But why would we want stars, those shiny embodiments of melodrama and talent and glamour, to be just like...

  • 'All the Truth Is Out' probes the repercussions of Gary Hart's affair
    'All the Truth Is Out' probes the repercussions of Gary Hart's affair

    In 'All the Truth Is Out,' Matt Bai posits that the Gary Hart scandal redefined journalism and politics, chasing away strong, privacy-loving leaders. His reporting is excellent, his thesis is not.

  • Hilary Mantel's short-story collection long on controversy
    Hilary Mantel's short-story collection long on controversy

    The title story of Hilary Mantel's new collection was embargoed, then published simultaneously in the Guardian and the New York Times newspapers, and now has conservative British politicians calling for her arrest.

  • 'To Make Men Free' is a timely tale of the ever-changing GOP
    'To Make Men Free' is a timely tale of the ever-changing GOP

    With division in Washington a solidifying fact of modern American politics, this is a smart moment for a deep examination of the political faction that gave this country the income tax, that railed against business trusts on behalf of working men and women, that championed immigration,...

  • Eula Biss' 'On Immunity' is a beautiful shot of insight
    Eula Biss' 'On Immunity' is a beautiful shot of insight

    "The womb is sterile," Eula Biss observes toward the end of "On Immunity: An Inoculation," her meditation on the risks and rewards of vaccination, "and so birth is the original inoculation." From the moment of our emergence, this means, we are equally confirmed and...

  • Riding with Easy Rawlins in Walter Mosley's 'Rose Gold'
    Riding with Easy Rawlins in Walter Mosley's 'Rose Gold'

    Easy Rawlins is back, this time hunting a missing Patty Hearst-like heiress in Walter Mosley's undercooked 'Rose Gold.' Although set in 1967, the story line and racial issues are sadly familiar.

  • 'The Case Against the Supreme Court' pushes for reforms
    'The Case Against the Supreme Court' pushes for reforms

    Erwin Chemerinsky has made an exemplary career out of teaching, writing and lecturing about the U.S. Supreme Court. And though he has strongly liberal views, he is widely admired for his ability to explain the work of the court in a way that is thoughtful, clear and fair.

  • Nicholas Carr's latest anti-technology rant, 'The Glass Cage'
    Nicholas Carr's latest anti-technology rant, 'The Glass Cage'

    With his 2010 bestseller, "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains," Nicholas Carr emerged as one of the Information Age's chief scaredy-cats.

  • Blame and forgiveness in David Bezmozgis' 'The Betrayers'
    Blame and forgiveness in David Bezmozgis' 'The Betrayers'

    What does the novelist do in the face of history? Such a question, notes David Bezmozgis in his essay "The Novel in Real Time," once made Philip Roth worry about contemporary fiction, which he feared might be overwhelmed by "our absurd and almost unaccountable reality."

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