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brendanmcfadden : books   78

Jeffrey Eugenides, Great American Novelist, Turns to the Story - The New York Times
In 1993, soon after the publication of Jeffrey Eugenides’s first novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” my sly and thoughtful high school English teacher handed me a copy. In those days, my knowledge of contemporary literature ended with “The Catcher in the Rye,” so Eugenides’s book came as a thunderclap.
jeffreyeugenides  nytimes  bookreview  books  literature  shortstories 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Hunt for a Good Beginning. Then Write It. - The New York Times
Followers of John McPhee, perhaps the most revered nonfiction narrative journalist of our time, will luxuriate in the shipshape prose of “Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process,” a collection of eight essays that first appeared in The New Yorker, his home for more than 50 years.
writing  books  nonfiction  literature  johnmcphee  nytimes  bookreview 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
The First Modern President - The New York Times
In his measured, insightful biography, “President McKinley: Architect of the American Century,” Robert W. Merry seeks to set the record straight. He notes that the willful, flamboyant Roosevelt upstaged the staid, placid McKinley. Even Roosevelt’s children joked that he wanted to be “the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral,” and Roosevelt was not above personal derision. When McKinley seemed to hesitate before declaring war on Spain in 1898, Roosevelt is said to have suggested, in a private remark that inevitably became public, that the president’s backbone was “as soft as a chocolate éclair.” (The quip has also been attributed to House Speaker Thomas Reed.) In reality, Merry argues, McKinley was shrewd and patient, wily beneath the bland exterior.
biography  williammckinley  books  literature  nytimes  bookreview 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Celeste Ng: By the Book - The New York Times
The author of, most recently, “Little Fires Everywhere,” often returns to “The Count of Monte Cristo”: “Right now, I see it as an exploration of the complexities of good and evil and how easily one shifts into the other.
celesteng  nytimes  interview  books  writing  literature  authors  bookreview 
november 2017 by brendanmcfadden
After the Hurricane Winds Die Down, Larry McMurtry’s Houston Trilogy Lives On - The New York Times
Some claim the three essential books in Texas history are the Bible, the Warren Commission report and Larry McMurtry’s “Lonesome Dove,” his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about 19th-century cattle drives. This last August, as I watched Hurricane Harvey intensify on my TV screen, the 50 inches of rain in Houston breaking national records, I stayed clear of the Book of Revelation and Oswald and instead hunkered down in safe-haven Austin reading McMurtry. Not, however, his western-themed “Lonesome Dove” — set in the Great Plains and Big Sky country — but his underappreciated Houston trilogy of “Moving On” (1970), “All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers” (1972), and “Terms of Endearment” (1975), the best novels ever set in America’s fourth largest city. Additionally, his nonfiction essay collection, “In a Narrow Grave” (1968), remains the gold standard for understanding Houston’s brash rootlessness and civic insecurities.
larrymcmurtry  houstontrilogy  nytimes  bookreview  lonesomedove  allmyfriendsaregoingtobestrangers  movingon  literature  books  writers  houston  texas 
october 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Keepers of the Secrets | Village Voice
I was told that the most interesting man in the world works in the archives division of the New York Public Library, and so I went there, one morning this summer, to meet him
archives  newyork  newyorkpubliclibrary  libraries  books  thomaslannon  villagevoice 
october 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Louis Sachar, the Children’s-Book Author Who Introduced Me to Style | The New Yorker
I first read Louis Sachar’s Wayside School books in second grade, and I felt as if I’d been psychologically recognized, like a neon fetishist discovering Dan Flavin, or a millennial stoner happening upon “Broad City.”
fiction  jiatolentino  thenewyorker  childrensbooks  kidsbooks  books  literature  writing  writers  authors  louissachar 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
A Lot Like Prayer: Remembering Denis Johnson - The New York Times
I was working as an editor at Esquire in 1990 when I sent the novelist and poet Denis Johnson a photograph I’d clipped from The New York Times of a Liberian fighter in the country’s civil war, posing at the edge of a field, resplendently horrific in a wedding gown, cradling an automatic rifle, a woman’s wig perched jauntily atop his head.
denisjohnson  nytimes  books  literature  authors  writing  writers 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
‘A Writer Writes’: Penelope Lively’s Fiction Defies the Test of Time - The New York Times
The British novelist Penelope Lively is fascinated by contingency — the idea that an entire life is shaped by small decisions that seem inconsequential at the time. In 2005, she published a sort of anti-memoir, “Making It Up,” in which she imagined all the different directions her life might have taken.
nytimes  penelopelively  writers  authors  books  literature 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Spies Like Us: A Conversation With John le Carré and Ben Macintyre - The New York Times
Their subject is spying. Their obsessions are secrecy and betrayal. They are Englishmen of a certain background, old friends and admirers of each other’s work. One writes novels; the other, nonfiction. They speak in practically perfect sentences.
nytimes  books  literature  johnlecarre  benmacintyre  spynovels  writers 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
L.A.’s Vintage Bookstores - The New York Times
Despite its richly deserved reputation for superficiality, Los Angeles is indeed a reading town, but with a uniquely transactional relationship to books, especially those that are remnants of bygone eras.
nytimes  tmagazine  losangeles  books  bookstores  vintagebooks  oldbooks  antiquarianbooks  usedbookstores  literature 
september 2017 by brendanmcfadden
“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” Fifty Years Later | The New Yorker
The first paragraph of E. L. Konigsburg’s 1967 book “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” about two young runaways who become entangled in an art-historical mystery, is a masterpiece of graceful, efficient exposition
jiatolentino  thenewyorker  elkonigsburg  fromthemixedupfilesofmrsbasilefrankweiler  childrensbooks  books  literature  metropolitanmuseumofart  newyork 
august 2017 by brendanmcfadden
An Absolute Truth: On Writing a Life of Coltrane
Posthumously, the mythology and exaltation of Coltrane, as well as his musical influence, only grew. But by that point, Simpkins had already researched and written Coltrane’s story, expressing an uncompromising, unapologetic black voice rarely found in the annals of jazz before or since.
johncoltrane  music  jazz  books  musicwriting  musicbiography  biography  selfpublished  theparisreview  theparisreviewblog 
july 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Fifty Years of Music and Politics in Berlin, East and West - The New York Times
Paul Hockenos has written a detailed, doggedly researched, personally involved history of Berlin’s political and musical underground over the last 50 years. “Berlin Calling” should be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about the German capital’s still-hip music and street politics, and to get a flavor of that turbulent city’s dark history and stubborn spirit.
berlin  germany  ironcurtain  history  paulhockenos  books  music  protest 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Putting Cowboys — and Their Industry — in True Historical Context - The New York Times
In the 1870s, there was no faster way to fortune than to set up as a cattle baron in the American West. Or so the boosters promised. “Cattle is one of those investments men cannot pay too much for,” one promoter declared, since the worst that could happen was that the animals would “multiply, replenish and grow out of a bad bargain.”
theamericanwest  thewest  cowboys  cattle  nonfiction  books  christopherknowlton  history 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Soul of the ’60s: Otis Redding’s Short Life and Long Reach - The New York Times
Fifty years ago this month, the rock community held its first large-scale gathering at the Monterey Pop Festival. For several of the performers — Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who — the event marked the moment of their discovery, at least by American listeners. For Otis Redding, though, Monterey represented a transformation of his audience.
books  bookreviews  otisredding  biography  music  musicbiography 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
A Late — and Maybe Last — Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘Lost’ Stories - The New York Times
In the heyday of mass-market “slick” magazines, a serious fiction writer actually had the option of selling out, but you had to have a knack for it.
bookreview  fscottfitzgerald  shortstories  shortstorycollections  books 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Zadie Smith on the Genius of Graham Greene - The Guardian
Graham Greene, whose centenary is next month, was a more ethically complex novelist than is usually remembered, argues Zadie Smith. The Quiet American, his love story set in the chaos of 1950s Vietnam, shows him to be the greatest journalist there ever was
grahamgreene  literature  literarycriticism  zadiesmith  writers  writing  authors  thequietamerican  theguardian  books 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
There’s No Place Like Here: Brazenhead Books on Vimeo
Tucked high above the bustle of the street, Michael's secret secondhand bookshop is a mecca for those who savor the story behind the volume.
brazenheadbooks  video  vimeo  books  bookstores  newyork  nyc 
june 2017 by brendanmcfadden
First, Emil Ferris Was Paralyzed. Then Her Book Got Lost at Sea. - The New York Times
Like many of the best monster stories, Emil Ferris’s true-life horror tale starts with a bite. But more about that in a moment.
emilferris  graphicnovel  writing  books  nytimes 
may 2017 by brendanmcfadden
Ann Rule's true crime books: what made them so compelling?
She may not have been the best writer, or the sharpest assessor of psychology. But she had a gift for tapping into our collective obsession with crime
books  literature  truecrime  annrule  theguardian 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
The ‘Real’ DFW: Three Visions of David Foster Wallace «
By the time the author David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008, he had already become a myth: a tobacco-chewing, bandanna-wearing genius who suffered under the weight of his own empathy. Since then, three versions of him have entered the picture. One is a 2012 biography by New Yorker writer D.T. Max called Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story. Another is a book by the Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky, called Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Roadtrip With David Foster Wallace, which documents five days of conversation with Wallace as he finishes a tour for Infinite Jest, a novel more famous for its difficulty than for its content.
davidfosterwallace  grantland  books  writers  literature  culture  film  adaptations  criticism 
august 2015 by brendanmcfadden
What Happened: A Look at Joseph Heller’s Forgotten Novel
THE MOST CRIMINALLY OVERLOOKED great novel of the past half century is a book called Something Happened, which this year celebrates the 40th anniversary of its publication
somethinghappened  losangelesreviewofbooks  josephheller  writing  literature  books  novels  novelists  writers 
june 2015 by brendanmcfadden
A Prisoner’s Reading List
While working as editorial assistant for Applause Theater Books and then an agent associate for Nancy Love Literary Agency, Daniel Genis developed an addiction to heroin, which drove him to commit five robberies with pocketknife during August 2003. In November of the same year he was identified by one of his victims, arrested and eventually convicted of five counts of armed robbery, for which he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
prison  crime  literature  books  writers  thenewyorker  writing 
december 2014 by brendanmcfadden
A Brooklyn Literary Map: The Best Book for Each Brooklyn Neighborhood
To paraphrase a famous member of the local literary scene, Brooklyn contains multitudes. And perhaps nowhere are those multitudes made more manifest than in the borough’s many neighborhoods, each as different from one another as are the city’s boroughs themselves. Over the years, countless writers have borne witness to the nuances of each neighborhood, celebrating the singular smell of the streets in Bushwick or the way the light washes over the beach in Coney Island. With this map we hope to celebrate much of the best writing set in the borough; neighborhood by neighborhood, these novels, essays, and poems reflect the specific time and place in which they are set, and in doing so, beautifully demonstrate the multitudes that make up Brooklyn as a whole, multi-faceted as it is now, and has always been.
books  literature  brooklyn  brooklynmagazine 
october 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Invisible Bridge
Consider 1975. There were 89 terrorist bombings on American soil; two assassination attempts, 19 days apart, on President Gerald Ford; and a Gallup poll finding that 75 percent of American women were afraid to walk near their homes at night.
books  literature  nytimes  theinvisiblebridge  rickperlstein  politics  republican  campaigns 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
Secrets of the Stacks
How libraries decide which books to keep—and which don’t stand the test of time
libary  medium  books  literature  archives 
july 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Book On Publishing
There was the author, Chad Harbach, who had spent a decade on a novel his friends thought he’d never finish. There was the agent, Chris Parris-Lamb, who recognized its power. There was the editor, Little, Brown’s Michael Pietsch, who won it in a high-stakes auction. With the story of one book, The Art of Fielding Keith Gessen examines the state of the troubled, confused, and ever unpredictable world of U.S. book publishing in the age of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and e-readers.
vanityfair  publishing  writing  writers  literature  books  theartoffielding  chadharbach  keithgessen  n+1 
june 2014 by brendanmcfadden
The Passion of Lew Wallace
The incredible story of how a disgraced Civil War general became one of the best-selling novelists in American history.
history  books  slate  literature  writing  writers 
april 2013 by brendanmcfadden
When Books Could Change Your Life
Why What We Pore Over At 12 May Be The Most Important Reading We Ever Do
reading  childrensbooks  BaltimoreCityPaper  books 
december 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Judy Blume: Three Essays by Nell Beram, Nina Berry and Andrea Kleine
A roundtable discussion about Judy Blume featuring Nell Beram, Nina Berry and Andrea Kleine.
youngadult  childrensbooks  books  literature  writers  lareviewofbooks  judyblume 
november 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Book Shopping with the Best-Read Man in America
Browsing the stacks with The Washington Post‘s Michael Dirda.
theparisreview  reading  books 
november 2012 by brendanmcfadden
The Gorey Details
“So what exactly is this thing called ‘Gorey,’ and why has he/it remained so popular?"
illustrations  books  literature  losangelesreviewofbooks  edwardgorey 
october 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Amis and Larkin: Hate in a Cold Climate
Kingsley Amis’s novel Lucky Jim has its origins in his intense and competitive friendship with Philip Larkin.
luckyjim  kingsleyamis  philiplarkin  newstatesman  books  writers  writing  literature 
october 2012 by brendanmcfadden
Blane and Andie, 25 Years Later
Andrew McCarthy’s memoir and Molly Ringwald’s novel suggest how hard it is to love like characters in movies.
BratPack  books  literature  slate 
september 2012 by brendanmcfadden
The Penge Mystery: The Murder of Harriet Staunton
In 1877, Harriet Staunton's husband and three others were accused of starving her to death and lurid newspaper reports of the Penge murder trial held the nation's rapt attention. A bestselling novel about the affair – written in 1934 and now republished – proves as gripping today
books  writing  theguardian  murder  victorians  history  crime 
may 2012 by brendanmcfadden
The Big Book
Robert Caro has spent thirty-eight years writing the biography of one man. The fourth volume of that work, like its three predecessors a giant achievement and certain best seller, is about to be published. But Caro is not done. The world and all that's in it has changed, and still Caro is not done. Time has eaten everything around him, and still he is not done. But until he is done, one part of the world that we will never see again will not die.
lbj  esquire  es  history  biography  books  writer  robertcaro 
may 2012 by brendanmcfadden

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