Arts

Book Reviews
12:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Triumph Of The Bookworms: Two Novels To Cure Your Winter Blues

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:19 pm

In the opening paragraph of Moby-Dick, Ishmael tells us he takes to sea whenever he feels the onset of "a damp, drizzly November in [his] soul." I know how he feels. Whenever the frigid funk of February settles in, I, too, yearn to get out of town. This year I have, thanks to two exquisite vehicles of escape fiction. Both Rachel Pastan's Alena and Katherine Pancol's The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles are smart entertainments perfect for curling up with on a winter's night.

Read more
Monkey See
8:36 am
Wed February 5, 2014

What Are Indie Booksellers Like At Parties?

Stacks of books on a store table.
iStockphoto

Martha Woodroof has been writing about the First Novel Experience. For this post, she reports on her travels to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in January.

The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute was billed as providing independent booksellers with a chance to get together "...in vibrant Seattle for three-plus days of networking, special events, and professional development."

Read more
The Salt
8:20 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Electronic Tongues Are The Beer Snobs Of The Future

Personally, we're most looking forward to having robot drinking buddies.
Bongo Entertainment Inc.

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 4:01 pm

If beer is the new wine, robots are the new beer snobs. Well, sort of.

Researchers in Barcelona have developed an electronic tongue that really knows the difference between a pilsner and a bock.

For now, it looks less like a slick, futuristic robot and more like a big of clump sensors. It's still a prototype, but its creators say it could some day replace human taste testers.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:32 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Book News: Charlie Chaplin's Only Known Novel Is Unveiled

Actor Charlie Chaplin (right) is seen in the 1952 film Limelight with his son Charles Chaplin Jr.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:43 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
The Edge
6:02 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Olympic Preview, From The Canon Of Russian Literature

The Krasnaya Polyana mountain range, viewed from the Olympic host city of Sochi, shows off the stunning landscape of southern Russia.
Richard Heathcote Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:45 am

It is fitting that the Winter Olympics, one of the world's fiercest competitions, is taking place amid the breathtaking beauty of the Caucasus.

For centuries, Russia's greatest writers have been inspired by this volatile region full of not only immense natural beauty but also human misery. No matter how or why these writers came to the area, they found a land full of possibility and pain, rich in beauty, yet rife with violence: in short, a concentrated microcosm of the contradictions of life itself.

Read more

Pages