The 10 Best Books of 2019

Disappearing Earth By Julia Phillips In the first chapter of this assured debut novel, two young girls vanish, sending shock waves through a town perched on the edge of the remote, brooding Kamchatka Peninsula. What follows is a novel of overlapping short stories about the various women who have been affected by their disappearance. Each richly textured tale pushes the […]

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New & Noteworthy Poetry From Sharon Olds, Paul Muldoon and More

Recent poetry titles of note: PAGAN VIRTUES: Poems, by Stephen Dunn. (Norton, $26.95.) Dunn’s sly, companionable collection, his 19th, is filled with an embrace of the everyday that reifies the epigraph from Emerson: “An actually existent fly is more important than a possibly existent angel.” ARIAS, by Sharon Olds. (Knopf, $29.95.) For four decades Olds has laid bare her life […]

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In New Memoirs, Food Writers Serve Up Stories About Their Beat

If critics’ faces are ever put on postage stamps, Adam Platt’s will be a collectible. The longtime food critic for New York magazine, Platt is tall, bald, large and pale — he resembles a cherubic, sensitive-souled butcher from an imaginary Hitchcock film. (His brother is the actor Oliver Platt.) Real food critics tend to shy away from cameras; sometimes they […]

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Barking brilliant! Animal reads with a great pedigree

Barking brilliant! Our critic picks animal reads with a great pedigree to gift this Christmas Christopher Stevens selected this year’s best books featuring animals  Paul Heiney shares the story of his beloved sow in A Pig Called Alice Colin Butcher’s Molly & Me is a fascinating read about a pet-detective duo A PIG CALLED ALICE by Paul Heiney (The History […]

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The year's raciest celebrity memoirs show

From hell to Hollywood: Demi’s mother sold her for sex. Elton’s hit him with a wire brush – as the year’s raciest celebrity memoirs show, it can be a tough road to the top Roger Lewis rounded-up a selection of this year’s best showbiz memoirs  Demi Moore whose mother engineered her loss of virginity reflects in Inside Out Elton John who […]

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Dissecting Brett Kavanaugh’s ‘Supreme Ambition’

SUPREME AMBITION Brett Kavanaugh and the Conservative TakeoverBy Ruth Marcus Brett Kavanaugh had a confirmation hearing like none other, because of the extraordinary testimony of one woman. Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her at a high school party decades earlier. “Brett got on top of me,” she said, and […]

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Dictionary.com names 'existential' the word of the year

How did 2019 make you feel? Surely there were highs and lows, but if you spent a good portion of the year that was feeling concerned with the nature of your existence, then Dictionary. com understands. On Monday the website announced that it has selected “existential” as its word of the year for the 2019, and explained why through the […]

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‘Free, Melania’: 6 Takeaways

Where the first lady, Melania Trump, is concerned, theories abound. From morning-show hosts to Twitter pundits to protest poster artists, everyone has an opinion: Mrs. Trump is a prisoner in her own home. Mrs. Trump rules the roost. Mrs. Trump is complicit, clueless, estranged from her husband, advises her husband, loves Washington, hates Washington, just wants to be left alone. […]

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