Category: New Discoveries

A Catalogue of The Further Suns

An imaginary “precis of reports compiled by the preliminary survey expeditions,” F.J. Bergmann’s “A Catalogue of the Further Suns” is the most memorable book we’ve read in years. It’s magic, a work of inspired genius, and the less we attempt to describe this singular creation, the better it becomes. Each “report” is a brief prose-poem...

A Cure for Wellness

The modern horror movie typically involves copious amounts of spilled blood and tortured screaming. The old-fashioned scary movie, on the other hand, involves few on-screen glimpses of violence and loads of tension-producing psychology. Think Hitchcock. “A Cure for Wellness” belongs in this second category. Manned by Gore Verbinski, on vacation from overseeing the “Pirates of...

Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck

The latest book from investigative journalist Brian Saady examines America’s hypocritical — and absurdly foolish — gambling laws. In “Dealing from the Bottom of the Deck,” Saady exposes how corrupt politicians, working in cooperation with select casinos and organized crime, enrich themselves and bankrupt (or imprison) others, all the while touting their moral niceties. Meticulously...

Indiana Review

While the wheels of popular culture churn onward in a cynical race to the bottom, America’s literary journals continue to showcase stirring, innovative, utterly necessary work in the realms of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, essays and impossible-to-categorize hybrid forms. So multifarious and numerous are these excellent journals, many of them affiliated with universities, you could...

Sausage Party

Until viewing the movie “Sausage Party,” we were unaware that a scathing critique of organized religion could be elegantly disguised as an animated film about grocery store products. We didn’t know that sausages and buns — and bagels and bananas, and everything else in a supermarket — could illuminate the folly of waiting for “a better...

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

We’ve recently re-read a book that seems to be a thinly veiled satire of our current White House administration. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil is a novella about a not-very-bright demagogue who suddenly develops an insatiable appetite for power. (Heard this one before?) The author is the great George Saunders, one of America’s wittiest...

“Facing the Furies”

America’s Essayist Emeritus, Mr. Lewis Lapham, relinquished his monthly column in Harper’s magazine a couple years ago. Thomas Frank and Walter Kirn have made worthy contributions to the national discourse in his absence, and now Rebecca Solnit takes over the “Easy Chair” space, bringing a solidly progressive viewpoint to bear on the issues of the day. This...

SportLiterate

Call it the New Yorker for people who love sports. For more than 20 years, SportLiterate has published essays, poems and “think pieces” about our favorite games and the athletes that play them. Unlike, say, sports-radio and sports-television, the focus isn’t guaranteed contracts, top-5 lists, or personality conflicts ripped from soap opera story-lines. SL explores what sports mean:...

Amy Bennett, Artist

The results of the artist Amy Bennett‘s work speak for themselves. The process of how her paintings come to be needs a little explaining. Bennett paints exquisitely detailed townscapes, quaint villages and bucolic communities viewed, often, from a cloud’s-eye-view, with a startling combination of panoramic sweep and deep-focus detail. These mesmerizing pictures are based not...

Chess24.com Commentators

Fanboy alert! We’re developing a platonic man-crush on the smart, eloquent, adorable commentators at the Chess24 site, where players from around the globe congregate for online matches, breaking chess news — yes, there is such a thing — and analysis of the day’s top games. The core stable of erudite talkers includes three Grandmasters (the...