I decided I had to embark upon a literary journey unlike any other I have previously contemplated – I had to read “Infinite Jest.”

"Purity" is not quite the genre-bending of Mr. Franzen’s contemporaries, but it still provides a welcome example of the author’s interest in connecting meaningfully with the culture at large.

It’s a meandering lecture of a book, often interesting, sometimes beautiful, but also tedious and exasperating.

At times, Žižek may come off as ridiculous, but at least he is troubling the water.

Even with the political agenda abbreviated to 140 characters, the political memoir still finds a way into the hearts and hands of the American voter. In fact, for the last 60 years, every winning presidential candidate has first published a book.

Snyder argues that to relegate the Holocaust to the context of our history classes is to do ourselves a great disservice, and a potentially dangerous one.

“Common Place” is essential reading, difficult, but exceptional. It leaves you trembling with guilt and fear and self-consciousness and an imperative to think through the relation your body has with persecuted and incarcerated bodies and, ultimately, whether that relation can be mobilized toward the collective attempt to make life livable.

In spite of the economic restlessness the recession caused, people did not want to be buoyed by their literature. Instead, they wanted to read about fictional societies doing things that were even worse than their own society was doing to them.

One can see the scaffold upon which Murakami would build his illustrious career upon. Most of the pleasure from reading his early novels stems from witnessing a deft writer learn his craft. They will delight devout Murakami fans, but it’s unlikely to give them new companions.