“In the present, mosh-pit of book reviewing, it’s nearly impossible to know where the freelance literary critic you’re reading is coming from. Including, perhaps, this one.” – “Book Reviews: A Tortured History”
Literary criticism: the oft-discussed, myopic, and somewhat pompous in-law of “real literature.” Here, I have collected articles about book reviewing, some of my favorite book reviews, and related miscellany.
“Book Reviews: A Tortured History” by Sarah Fay: a wonderful article from the Atlantic, which contains the quote above.
“What Girls Want” by Caitlin Flanagan: this is the review that caused me to take another look at the Twilight saga and consequently grow to love it. And, don’t worry, I disapprove of Caitlin Flanagan just as all good little hipsters should.
“Flathead” by Matt Taibbi: discusses the best-selling book The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman. You don’t need to have read the book to enjoy this unequivocally negative piece of excellent reviewing.
“The Deferential Spirit” by Joan Didion: critiquing Bob Woodward’s canon of books. Although this is a cumbersome article, it demonstrates the problems that occur when journalists interview and report on politicians.
“Can Poetry Change Your Life?” by Louis Menand: a great book review, with a tone and style that I’ve found myself emulating.