Mudwoman: by Joyce Carol Oates
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Mudwoman: by Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is the queen of darkness. Her fiction treads the path where sophistication meets depravity. Insanely prolific, Oates has penned tales from the first person perspective…

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The Orphan Master’s Son: by Adam Johnson
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The Orphan Master’s Son: by Adam Johnson

From a historical perspective, the tragedy of despotism is not only the oppression faced by its victims, but that the victims’ stories—like their lives—remain subsumed under the despot’s…

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A World on Fire: by Amanda Foreman
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A World on Fire: by Amanda Foreman

If you believe the history books, the Civil War pitted a magnanimous Union against a craven Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet struggled to keep the nation together,…

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Hot Pink: by Adam Levin
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Hot Pink: by Adam Levin

Adam Levin’s The Instructions should have been a bigger deal. Sure, it received a fair amount of publicity and rave reviews when McSweeney’s published it in 2010, but…

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Turing’s Cathedral: by George Dyson
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Turing’s Cathedral: by George Dyson

It doesn’t matter whether you’re reading this review on an e-reader, laptop display, mobile device or silicon-wired oracular implant, that device is parsing countless pieces of information and…

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Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices: by Noah Feldman
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Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices: by Noah Feldman

“So there’s this Yankee, a Westerner in a cowboy hat, an ex-Klansmen and a Jew…” Though this may sound like the beginning of an off-color joke or the…

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The One: The Life and Music of James Brown: by R.J. Smith
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The One: The Life and Music of James Brown: by R.J. Smith

While it’s only been five years since his death, reading about James Brown today feels almost like studying Greek mythology. As influential as he was infamous, Brown is…

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The Vanishers: by Heidi Julavits
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The Vanishers: by Heidi Julavits

Give Heidi Julavits credit for swagger. In The Vanishers, she walks right up to the endless trend of paranormal/fantasy/genre saturation in fiction, and then promptly turns around and…

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Silver Sparrow: by Tayari Jones
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Silver Sparrow: by Tayari Jones

For children, sharing the same toy can be a struggle. The boundary between “mine” and “yours” is programmed at an early age, and the concept of unfairness can…

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The Flame Alphabet: by Ben Marcus
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The Flame Alphabet: by Ben Marcus

Language can be weaponized even under the most banal of circumstances. Like any other manmade tool, language is neutral in itself, but when wielded by humans it can…

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