Book Signings
Pynchon for the Postmodern Soul

Pynchon for the Postmodern Soul

Visionary author takes the modern world to the Bleeding Edge  In his new novel Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon uses the word “postmodern” for the first time in his fiction – a notable event in the career of this supposed American postmodern novelist par excellence. The word crops up in a few places, including a description...
Radical Discipline

Radical Discipline

J.B. bio gets on The One Of course James Brown’s 1986 autobiography, The Godfather of Soul, begins outrageously: “I wasn’t supposed to be alive…I was a stillborn kid.” It’s a contradiction and a medical impossibility, but no bother. When Brown died on Christmas Day 2006, aged 73, he’d played more than 80 shows in the...
Pauline Kael, Criticism’s Last Icon

Pauline Kael, Criticism’s Last Icon

Pauline Kael’s reputation as America’s most distinguished film critic is secure. She is defended by high-placed friends fighting the misogynists and elites who have spent the 10 years since her death trying to erase her influence on film culture.
Book Review: Mule

Book Review: Mule

Mule, by Tony D’Souza What’s a freelance writer to do when the economy crashes and the glossy mags stop returning his calls? In Tony D’Souza’s gripping, ultimately thin novel Mule, the freelancer turns to drug running, with typically adrenaline-pumping results.
Book Review: Blueprints for Building Better Girls

Book Review: Blueprints for Building Better Girls

  Imagine, if you will, a Mary Gaitskill story collection in which the author casts a fond eye on the foibles and bad behavior of her characters. That book is Elissa Schappell’s Blueprints for Building Better Girls, a collection of eight sharp, meticulously etched and tenuously linked tales of female archetypes.
Book Review: Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper

Book Review: Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper

There are few sub genres of non-fiction more satisfying than that of a bizarre event recounted in the context of much larger themes. Timothy Egan, who has chronicled both the Dust Bowl of the 1930s and the wildfires of 1910 that prompted a widespread conservation movement, is the master of transforming history lessons into gripping...
Book Review: City of Promise

Book Review: City of Promise

  When was the last time your heart started pounding as you read a novel? Or learned something you didn’t know about Manhattan’s history? If you can’t remember, run, don’t walk, to purchase a copy of Beverly Swerling’s compulsively readable City of Promise. Set in the Manhattan of the 1870s and ’80s, when elevated subways...
Philip Glass to Publish Memoir

Philip Glass to Publish Memoir

Minimalist forefather Philip Glass has signed a contract with W.W. Norton & Company to write a memoir detailing his life and musical experiences. There’s no set release date yet as the text is still in progress, but Norton’s Liveright & Company division will handle the publication.
Bookstores with Nooks, Not a Nook

Bookstores with Nooks, Not a Nook

Three mom-and-pop bookshops remain comfortably old-fashioned There’s a word in Danish that doesn’t translate to English. Google Translate will tell you that “hygge” means “cozy” or “coziness,” but it really means much more than that. Hygge, pronounced “hue-gah,” is the happy, satisfied laziness you feel when it’s raining outside and you’re curled up on the...
Book Review: Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Book Review: Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Pinpointing precisely all of the things that are wrong with Ben Loory’s collection of short stories is difficult, but a reader’s experience with the collection, Stories for Nighttime and Some For the Day, can be summed up thus: the book leaves you with sore eyes. Not because the language is particularly lush or dense, but...
Summer of Cash

Summer of Cash

Rosanne Cash has spent the year revisiting her past, and now she’s ready for the next chapter Any discussion of Rosanne Cash these days must include some reference to her lively, busy Twitter page, which details everything from the new shoes she bought to the things she worries about at three in the morning. This...
Book Review: The Rules of Civility

Book Review: The Rules of Civility

Late in Rules of Civility, Amor Towles’ accomplished debut, Katey Kontent defends Great Expectations against an acquaintance who prefers Virgina Woolf. It’s an ironic preference. Ten pages later this acquaintance is revealed to be Katey’s secret benefactor, and she’s perhaps most responsible for making this new Jazz Age novel owe just as much to Dickens...
Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring Twenties

Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring Twenties

David Wallace, known for his examinations of Los Angeles during Hollywood’s golden age, now takes on New York in the 1920s, detailing the rise of the Mafia, the dawn of Prohibition, the first gossip journalism, women’s suffrage and the heyday of the Round Table wits, to name a few. A comprehensive look at this decade...
Richard Serra Drawing

Richard Serra Drawing

Admirers of sculptor Richard Serra must also check out this look at his drawings, which not only inform his sculpture with their depth and attention to shape, but represent an important phase in the history of modern drawing—that in which drawing was first taken seriously as a medium unto itself. “My drawings deal with weight...
Ars Sacra: Christian Art and Architecture of the Western World

Ars Sacra: Christian Art and Architecture of the Western World

This 23-pound doorstop could crush your coffee table if you’re not careful—but it’s worth the risk. In fact, you could cancel your plane tickets to Europe: Everything you need to know about Christian art and architecture, “from the very beginning up until today,” seems to be contained in this amazingly thorough and overwhelmingly gorgeous book....

New York: A Photographer’s City

“New York has been a photographer’s city and a filmmaker’s city since the late 19th century,” writes Elisabeth Sussman, photography curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. New York City changed after 9/11; exactly how remains fuzzy. Though, as the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, the composite of 300, from...

Nevada Rose: Inside the American Brothel

In the opening essay of Nevada Rose: Inside the American Brothel, titled “Among the Last Honest Places in America,” Patty Kelly, feminist research professor at George Washington University’s Department of Anthropology, writes, “Rather than viewing the brothels and their denizens as the exotic Other, or worse, as quant iconic clichés, the images insist upon a...

Art In The Streets

Published in association with Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, which recently mounted an exhibition that shares its name with Art In The Streets, this book focuses on the rise of graffiti on the streets of New York City and its long journey toward becoming “street art,” the trendy and sought after modern equivalent with...

The History of American Graffiti

Authors Roger Gastman and Caleb Neelon, both former graffiti artists, claim, “Graffiti, in so many ways, is often a yelling contest.” There are hundreds of books about the graffiti movement that began in the ’70s, but now you can ignore them all: The History of American Graffiti is the definitive source. The 397-page textbook, categorized...

Building Blocks of Books

Van Alen Institute, the haven for architects in Chelsea, isn’t content with just offering support for design practitioners and scholars anymore. Later this month, it will be unveiling Van Alen Books, a new bookstore and public reading room located in its headquarters at 30 W. 22nd St.

It’s Rare for a Bookstore to Beat an Amazon

Small, antique bookshops hang on while the larger stores close On paper, things don’t look so good for bookstores these days. Over six million e-readers were sold in 2010, a number expected to increase exponentially this year. The Upper West Side lost the giant Barnes & Noble outpost at Lincoln Center and several Manhattan Borders...